Friday, November 9, 2007

Can't Sleep....

Beautiful mural at Shimek Elementary. There is more, this is just one panel. Great student collaboration.

Can't sleep. I think it's catching up to me, these days in Iowa City schools. Or maybe I'm excited because I'm going home this afternoon. Maybe I'm too congested to sleep -- I think I've caught something. Maybe.

Or maybe I'm worried about getting the packing done and getting out the door early enough for a breakfast in school, as I need to go straight to the airport after school number three today. Lots and lots of details swimming around in my semi-congested head.

In any case, I woke up an hour ago and can't sleep. What's a body to do? Blog, of course. Here are some photos from yesterday's schools. My feedburner stats are amazing this week. Who are you guys? Lots of visitors!

Feedburner tells me how many people visit this blog. It doesn't tell me who you are, it doesn't give me that sort of information and I don't collect information but there is a counter, just like there is on many web pages, and I suspect there are lots of Iowa City students checking in to see themselves. Here you go. Another post for you.

Here are some of my welcoming ambassadors at Shimek Elementary, with their teacher-librarian Sheryl Little. I was in such good hands there and had a great sound system! Thanks, guys. I know I have your names in my notebook ("Keep a notebook! Rule Number One!") but it's packed right now. Let me get it.

Okay. I unearthed my notebook. Thanks to Kelly, Abby, Hudson, Danny B., Austin, and Tytiana or Ty, who is pictured above, next to Ms. Little.

Thanks, too, to Dr. Charlie Towers, principal at Shimek, for coming to the assembly and being such an integral part of his students' learning experience.

Here's the team at Kirkwood that made our second session possible. We had fun -- I laughed a lot yesterday. These folks and their students gave me so much. That's teacher-librarian Kristi Harper in the middle.

And here's the reading club at Coralville Central, with their hip teacher-librarian Becky Gelman.

Here's the reading club enacting what they would look like if my three maiden aunts came running for them - "Come here and love my neck! I could just eat you up!"

I'm pleased to show you a photo that includes these three beautiful men. From left, principal of Coralville Central Michael O'Leary (who not only attended the assembly, he wore his Community Reads t-shirt and introduced me to Molly, the school dog), Becky Gelman, Becky's DAD -- may we call him Mr. Wonderful? -- and another Mr. Wonderful from Hills Bank, one of the major funders of the Iowa City Community Reads program. I wish I'd thought to take my own advice and used my notebook, Mr. Wonderful, as I would have your name captured in it -- please, someone rescue me. In the meantime, thank you, Mr. Wonderful, you and your generous colleagues at Hills Bank.

Signing Kobi's shirt.

I might go into the shirt-signing business. I like it.

Cool yellow hat. Handmade. I miss wearing a hat. Maybe I'll take it up again.

After three sessions in three schools, I went to the Iowa City Public Library which has a children's room to die for. Here there be heroes:
Librarians who put good books into the hands of children (and cds, and dvds and information and on and on).

I spoke about my love affair with libraries with children's librarian Katherine Habley as we taped an hour-long interview that will air on the library channel soon. Katherine is fabulous.

My nose is not fabulous. It's running. I drank two bottles of water. I'm going to try to get some sleep. See you soon, students at Lucas, Wood, and Weber Elementary Schools. Then I catch a Delta flight home. Six days home and then to NCTE in New York City.

See this sign? It's what I feel about my work-in-progress right now, and I'm sure it's what my editor thinks. The new novel awaits my concentrated attention. I'm going to switch gears soon. I promise.