This series could've been a lot longer. I could've shared a story from nearly every school I’ve been to (in some cases, after looking at my notes).
I could’ve told how, though school visits, I’ve bumped into an old friend of my sister’s, the former director of my summer camp, and a kid who (erroneously, it turned out) claimed his father was the nephew of Jerry Siegel, co-creator of Superman.
I could've told how, at a Manhattan school, I fumbled through selling my own books (on behalf of an independent bookstore that I said didn’t have to bother sending a staff member). I am not great with math under everyday circumstances so imagine how I was with kids crowding around a table, their hands crammed with crumpled bills and coins, and dismissal imminent.
I could've told how during a delightful lunch with a young writer’s club at a Kansas school, I became convinced that at least one of them would be a published author one day.
I could've told how a Connecticut school set me up in the gym with the screen for my PowerPoint on stage—directly behind the basketball net. I asked if that could be raised out of the way and was first told that the kids wouldn’t mind if it stayed as is!
I could've told how the PowerPoint wasn’t working at a Bronx school and the kind staff endeavored to fix it—spilling twenty minutes into my allotted hour. Ultimately we couldn’t figure it out so I did a shortened talk with no visuals—luckily, the only time that’s happened (so far).
I could've told how, at a century-old school building in Ohio, a tile plummeted from the ceiling—luckily not hitting anyone.
I could've told how, after a presentation in Nevada during which I said the name of their state several times, a student delicately informed me that the “vad” syllable rhymes with “bad,” not “pod.”
But instead I will look forward to hearing about other authors’ cameo appearances in pre-adolescent academia. And I suspect I will update my list after another eighty or so schools.
Read the whole countdown.