Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mt. Baker Junior High

Despite a nervous exchange of emails about a power outage at Mt. Baker Junior High, the school visit gods smiled on us and turned the power on this morning. So I got to drive with the cheerful and fascinating Sylvia Tag (Reference and Instruction Librarian at Western Washington University) out the beautiful Mt. Baker Highway just past Deming where we turned in at an amazing junior high/high school complex complete with state of the art auditorium. Here I am with uber-librarian Sher Smith Ross and the audio team, Austin and Jim. 
I've got the mouse at the ready!

Here is the packed house auditorium. 

And here I am making, I am certain, a brilliant point.

I chatted with a few students afterward, signing books, wishing I had more time to get to know all the kids better. I love junior high kids!

Mind you, Mt. Baker School is 15 miles or so from I-5, out in the country, as we say. But very nearby the school was a charming Italian restaurant -- Il Refugio -- where Sylvia, Sher and I had a heavenly lunch. I felt as if I'd taken a trip to Italy -- and I probably could have flown there under my own power after helping Sher drink two pots of french press coffee.

To clear the caffeine from my system, I decided to go for a walk along the Boulevard Trail after Sylvia returned me to the hotel. Maybe it was the crisp day or the blue sky, but I ended up walking all the way downtown and back, which I think is 4 or 5 miles. Not far along the path is Woods Coffee -- though normally I would've stopped, I was too wired today to do so -- I saw all kinds of birds and people and simply had a marvelous time.
Don't you want to live someplace where there is a coffee shop on a walking trail?

Can you see why I kept walking?
This heron has his own boat

I wish I was a better photographer -- this was a stunning Golden Eye
All roads lead to Bellingham

I picked up my pace on the return because I didn't want to keep Sylvia waiting when she came to get me to speak to the North Sound Student Reading Council. Comprised of prospective teachers, mostly elementary, in various levels of their schooling, my time with these thoughtful and articulate young men and women gave me great hope for the future. They will be awesome teachers. Now we taxpayers need to step up to the plate to give them the financial support to make the big differences with our kids that I know they will.
(I'll add photos of this event later --my camera couldn't handle the darkened room so someone's emailing me pix.) 
I finished the evening with a bowl of gingered carrot soup, courtesy of room service, eaten seated in the window seat overlooking the bay. Then I soothed my weary walking muscles in the soaking tub. 

It's a rough job, but someone has to do it.


  1. I'm bring you a CD of your presentation to the NSSRC! Can't wait to hear you talk again on Saturday.


  2. You are totally my soul sister! I would have loved that walk, that dinner, that bath.

  3. You drove right past my house when you went out to Deming! That's where I write all of my art books for kids...and I, like you, see hummingbirds and eagles from my office window. I also see great blue herons, snow geese, and the cutest little hungry coyote who is looking for one of my cats! Loved meeting you at the CLAC at WWU, and am enjoying your book, Hattie Big Sky. Just got through a sad spot. Hoping for love everlasting at the end.