After four full days of presentations, my brain was a little foggy. Too foggy to remember to take any photos! Urgh. Take my word for it, the kids at Sidney Middle School and at Fort Loramie are just as adorable/handsome as the kids at Bailey and Botkins. My new friend, Paula Bryan, graciously picked me up in the cold early hours of Friday morning to drive me to Sidney Middle School. There we met Sidney Chamber of Commerce member, Priscilla Wilt, who would be my guide for the rest of the day (the Sidney Chamber of Commerce gave the financial support for my visit; thanks, too, to Dawn Eilert of the Chamber!). I gave Paula a hug and the idea to connect with Michele Meyer about presenting a literacy workshop at Wright State this summer (don't forget, Paula!).
Sidney Middle School has this amazing facility they call the "auditoria" -- part auditorium, part cafeteria. It sounds odd but it works like a charm! Not only did 6th and 7th graders from Sidney squeeze in, so did students from a nearby Christian school and a county school. Though we had some microphone challenges, everything worked out great and the kids were respectful and welcoming. Thank you, too, to the Talented and Gifted teacher, Meggan Weaver, for getting faculty and staff psyched for my visit.
After the visit and lunch at a local restaurant with a school house theme, Priscilla spirited me away to Fort Loramie High School, where I spoke with 6th and 7th graders. I was first introduced by three very thoughtful and articulate students (I'm sorry they vanished before I could get their names) and then spent an enjoyable and lively 45 minutes talking books. What could be better?
Following the visit, Priscilla graciously gave me a tour of Sidney --there were several incredible old houses for sale I could picture myself living in -- wrapping up with a stop at The Spot for pie and coffee. Then it was to the hotel for me, to catch up on my blogging and pack my bags to return home.
Yes, I am very much looking forward to seeing hubby and dog, but it is hard to leave my new friends. The one consolation is that Ohio -- at least Dublin, Botkins and Sidney -- now rests in one corner of my heart. What did Hattie say? No amount of geography can keep caring hearts apart? (If she didn't say that, she should have.)