Saturday, February 12, 2011

The first became the last

On the final day of my first trip to Wisconsin, I visited my first Wisconsin school.

Not only the first chronologically according to the original schedule, but the first I booked, nearly a year ago.

Yet that 31-state blizzard had other ideas for us.

Luckily, both the airline and the school (Elvehjem Elementary in Madison) were flexible, and we flipped the visit from the canceled snow day to the tail end of the trip (from 2/2/11 to 2/10/11).

I’m so glad we did. This was a bright school—enthusiastic, attentive students and warm staff make for a great combo. At one point, to illustrate a point I was making, I ask kids to name things that happen at night. Certain responses are common, of course: we sleep/dream, owls/bats come out, moon/stars come out, trick-or-treating. But this time, one girl supplied a hilarious new addition: we drool.

Plus the kids had a super surprise for me. Every student in several classes showed up in their secret identities:

(Note: The school gave me permission to post this photo because the parents of each child pictured had already given the school permission.)

Plus I was told that the great-sport principal had been planning to come dressed as Superman himself...but he, too, was foiled by the blizzard (discouraging a drive to the costume rental shop). Too bad. That would've been a first!

The kids had spent some time with my books before I arrived and some will get to spend more time with them, thanks to their orders:

I packed in a lot on this Wisconsin trip, even (to my own surprise) the Packers. As I sat waiting for my return flight on a much more uneventful travel day than same time last week, I calculated the total miles I had driven those past seven days: 766.

Could’ve watched three Super Bowls in that time…

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