Thursday, April 14, 2016

A day in Houston

On 4/12/16, I spoke at three lively schools in Houston:

  • Hogg Middle School
  • Alexander Hamilton Middle School
  • North Shore Senior High

All three put me in big auditoriums, my favorite kind of space to speak in. (You know what they say about Texas...)

At Hogg, the student who had written and planned to deliver the introduction for my talk was out, so another student bravely stepped up...and aced it. It's hard enough introducing someone considerably older than you...even harder when you have not met that person before. Kudos to Josiah. And to Mary Chance, who took a chance on me, with enthusiasm. And to Emily Guyre, a Hogg mom who has worked hard for the students of her community and who took notes during my talk...on her true middle school fashion.

At Hamilton, thanks to superfan and super educator Anthony White, Batman himself stood guard.

At North Shore (so big I drove around the entire building and still could not figure out where the entrance was), Jeff Derrickson impressed me. He'd never organized an author visit before, and complicating things, he chose to hold the event at night...meaning he'd have to attract an audience rather than force students to attend during the school day. And he got 125 people to show up. He said he was hoping for more; I told him he should be proud: he drew a bigger turnout than some more experienced, more urban venues.

They offered superhero cookies and kryptonite punch:

But you had to be dressed for it:

I especially loved these posters encircling the grand lobby of this sprawling school:

Parading passion in this place of pride (the school entrance) seems like a heckuva motivator. It turns students into stars.

I believe all three of these schools are home to a comic book club. I can't imagine having such an opportunity when I was in middle school.

Thank you yet again to Anthony, Jeff, and Mary for inviting me spend a bit of time with your engaged communities. Hope to be back again soon.

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