Thursday, February 15, 2018

I Remember Rothesay Park Middle School

On Tuesday I visited Rothesay Park Middle School. As part of my author visit I conducted a writing workshop with grade eight students in the afternoon.I gave them a writing assignment that required them to pinpoint a memory and explore it by writing a series of sentences about that memory , each sentence beginning with 'I remember'. The kids wrote impressive and moving pieces. It was a great end to a very rewarding day for this author. I will attempt to remember the day . I hope the kids who spent those moments with me will read this and remember too. I remember walking up the steps of RPS for the third time as an author, thirty eight years after walking in the building for my first teaching job interview and fifty six years after posing on those steps as a grade one student.I remember a face , a boy I quickly recognized with a connection so strong to the precious boy I bring to each presentation. I remember the first class of grade sixes sitting and listening as I told my story of mothering, of teaching of writing, of sorrow and loss,of dreams and accomplishments and of gratitude. I remember questions and answers that curl and grow and take off in so many directions. I remember the question that uncovered the treasure I was gifted in that room. I remember the girl , quiet and unassuming as her friends unraveled the connection and stated who she was. I remember the name , the reporter, the reason it is Mrs. Montague crying in the classroom where Taylor Anne spends her grade four year . I remember the feeling of gratitude that nineteen years later I could acknowledge the part that young reporter played in the existence of The Year Mrs. Montague Cried and I could meet his daughter and later his son.I remember each hour and each new group that allowed me into their day, each attentive and engaged face and each thoughtful question and comment.I remember the writing , the emotion, the wisdom . I remember the laughter , the talk of tears, the near tears and the gasps of compassion. I remember the reason I put myself through such a wringer of emotion . I remember the sunshine. I remember the feeling of hope,of purpose and promise. I remember Rothesay Park Middle School.

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