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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Coming Full Circle

First of all, the winner of a prize pack including:

Cool mini-bookmarks!
A Cold Winter's Good Knight!
A mini blank book for saving ideas!
A reusable LOVE shopping bag!


Karen Akins!

So, Karen, just email me at storyqueen at gmail dot com with your address and I will send your package right out.

Now for other things.

Twice within the past week, I have been visited from spirits from my own past. (Not in aCharles Dickens kind of way, but in an oh, yes, I remember that person I used to be kind of way).

I used to be a very young teacher in a school called Monte Vista in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I used to teach a combination class of first and second graders. But one year, I think my third year of teaching altogether (which would have made be about 23 or 24), I got to teach a second/ third combination. Oh, I loved this class. It was very diverse in many ways. And the kids were such fun. Imagine my surprise when I got an email from one of them the other day! Not only did I remember him (who must be around the same age I was when I taught him) but I remembered me, that young, idealistic teacher who thought she could make a go of being a teacher, who thought maybe she could make a difference in the lives of kids.

I am so honored that you remembered me, H.

And then, gmail held yet another surprise for me. I got a letter from a coach of a speech team in Iowa asking if a student could perform my story, GOOD NIGHT, GOOD KNIGHT for a show. Have I ever mentioned that I was PRESIDENT of the Speech and Debate Team? (Seriously, you are not surprised, are you? I mean, if you'd ever met me in person you wouldn't be surprised.) My claim to fame was a piece I performed which used over ten different voices. I think it was The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber. And now, one of my stories is getting the speech team treatment! And with that little thrill, I was visited again by a teenage girl who practiced funny voices and planned outfits to wear to Speech Tournaments (yes! Tournaments!) that wouldn't look too business-like nor too casual, the girl who could memorize a new story in less than a day if necessary, the girl who wrote her own speeches and practiced while she vacuumed so no one would hear her. Teenage me was so confident and so completely non-confident at the same time.


The funny thing is, I should feel older. I haven't been a teenager or a twenty-something for quite a while.

But I don't. I just feel a bit strange and protective of these earlier versions of me...and how glad I am that they never gave up their hope, idealism or silly voices.



Jessie Oliveros said...

I love your memories of yourself from the past! I think of teenage me a little that way, but mostly I want to pat my 15 years ago me on the head and say, "You have SOOO much growing up to do. You don't know EVERYTHING."

Karen Akins said...

I WON I WON I WON I WON I WON!!!! I thank you, Your Highness (as does the Pea). :)

Yat-Yee said...

Lovely. Lovely. No, you shouldn't feel older. Richer, but not older.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

The kids are lucky to hear your silly voices. You should do your own audio versions of your books, for sure. I bet you're one of those teachers who are remembered by many of your students.

I just listened to Cornelia Funke's Dragon Rider read by the actor Brendan Fraser. He's fabulous with voices and even sound effects. I was captivated.

Carla said...

How very fun! Those sound like very welcome little ghosts! I constantly wonder how my first students remember me...they should be finishing college now. Did any of them choose to study science? I'd so love to know!

Carla @

Anne Spollen said...

That's cool that they remember you! I'll bet you were one of those really fun teachers the kids never forget.

And previous incarnations of ourselves can be interesting visitors. Sort of like reminders.

Anonymous said...


How cool that you are going to have someone perfom your story.

storyqueen said...

Jessie- My fifteen years ago me is probably still older than you are now! (She was very sleep deprived, as I recall....)

Karen-Yay! I'll be mailing it either Friday or Saturday, depending on the daily craziness.

Yat-Yee-Yes! richer. I like that.

Tricia-I heart Brendan Fraser. Don't even get me started on George of the Jungle.

Carla-I just found out my former student is finishing his PhD. Dang it I am old.

Anne-I usually get visited by little dork me. Teenage me and young teacher me don't tend to visit as often.

Susanne-Yeah, I wish they would record it for me....maybe.....

Christina Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christina Lee said...

OMG that is sooo great!!! You must feel so honored- and dang it if every single time I come here I don't make a note to order one of the Good Knight books for my son. GRRR *note on pad*

Solvang Sherrie said...

Earlier versions of you...I like that. I think each decade of my life I'm a different version, without really planning it that way. Strange how it works that way.

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks for sharing your earlier versions. Sometimes I get story ideas when I think of mine, but I haven't written any of those down yet.