Friday, February 22, 2013

Return to Randolph

In 3/10, I made my first trip to Alabama to speak at Randolph School in Huntsville.

I was honored to be invited back, especially since the school wanted to tie themes of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman into their character development initiatives.

My time at Randolph comprised three talks—two (different) writing workshops and one assembly for grades 5-8. I simply love unfurling the tragic story of Bill Finger to young people because they are fascinated (and often moved) to hear that the life of a figure as popular as Batman was anything but easy.

A highlight of the day was partaking in Randolph’s generosity. Last time, they donated one of the three sessions they were paying for to a nearby school that did not have funds for enrichment. It was the first (and still only) time a school I’ve gone to has done that.

This time, they exceeded that generosity by again donating one of my sessions to an underprivileged school, but this time, they brought some of their own students along. By campus van, my host (and college friend) Jon Bluestein drove me and thirteen fifth graders who are avid readers to University Place Elementary. I ran a writing workshop for this combined group and I was elated to see that the UP kids were also eager to participate. The Randolph kids and the UP kids were even mixed up so each group could get to know the other a bit more (though we admittedly had almost no downtime for that).

Thank you again, Randolph, for this unique experience. I remain hopeful that other schools of means will take Randolph’s lead. It provides a lesson more powerful than a locomotive.

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