Friday, February 11, 2011

Way-out Wisconsin, part 2 of 2

Way-out Wisconsin, part 1 of 2.

On 2/8/11, my first of three schools was in picturesque Soldiers Grove. Here’s what awaited me in the rental car before I drove there:

And then:

And (aside from my most kind host) here’s what greeted me when I got there:

And a kind mention in the center of the "Coming Attractions" display...

Something else in this picture needs a close-up, so...

Note that it’s not just an owl but an owl with prey. Realistic prey (i.e. there's blood). This continued the in-school hunting theme that is decidedly atypical back East.

The school scheduled a single presentation, but one that spanned a wide range: grades 2-8. That’s right—second graders with eighth graders (along with all the grades in between).

Few authors come by these parts so I understood that the school wanted to give as many students as possible the chance to hear one.
And I will gladly present to groups of any size.

But I do typically request that K-2 is a separate talk (and, usually, that middle schoolers are their own group , too). I adjust my approach depending on the makeup of the audience. But in this case, I saw no one approach that would work for all throughout.

My host recognized this and instructed me to tailor my presentation to the older kids. I was worried about alienating the younger ones but the host assured me that they are a mature group—and, if they weren’t keeping up, that their teacher would quietly escort them out.

To their credit, they stayed the whole time. (Then again, I did talk about Superman. No, they were good kids no matter what I would've talked about.)

After, I drove 1.5 hours to Mineral Point, where I spoke at two lovely schools.

At each of the three schools that day, I did the give-away-a-book-by-initials thing again. In Soldiers Grove, I hit upon someone’s initials on what I think was the third try. It took a few more attempts in Mineral Point. Yet in the end, every book I offered did vanish…right into their backpacks.

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