Circling Back

I don’t want to scoop myself, as I’ve already written up my impressions of my visit back to the elementary school I attended, which HarperCollins will be posting on its pageturn blog. So I’ll share some of the things I did not include in that post, such as the adorable fact that the hallway leading down to the library was temporarily renamed in my honor and lined with copies of my book covers.

In the library, another welcoming display. The librarian found my sixth-grade picture in an archive (prompting nights of wonder–what else is in that archive?) and created a poster that incorporated some thankfully unscathing kid-reviews of TEACH YOUR BUFFALO TO PLAY DRUMS.

And the piece de resistance, the buffalo and his yellow pigtailed cohort, kid-painted, with the warmest welcome of all.

It’s possible my memory fails me, but when I attended P.S. 184Q, I don’t remember muffins and cookies and cold and hot beverages awaiting me, as they were when I visited this month. That was sweet.

The whole day was sweet.

It was familiar and lovely and sweet. The hallways, the auditorium, the cafeteria, the gymnasium. Our dentist’s office across the street.

Everyone warned that the school would seem tiny when I returned but given that I’m about the same height as I was in fourth grade, that wasn’t my experience. It was the things outside the school that seem to have gotten smaller–the neighborhood itself, my house, the length of the walk from home to school.

These are the children who provided photo clearances so those of you who are gasping at seeing actual faces can stop.

The teachers are all new. And lovely and welcoming and sweet. Some of them knew my kindergarten teacher, who was brand spanking new when I attended kindergarten. Ours was her first class.  I hope regards are being sent, as I remember her so clearly and so fondly. In fact, I believe this picture was taken in our classroom. (Kindergarten is the only classroom about which I’m uncertain. I visited most of the others.)

The kids, too, are new.

But there’s something universal–familiar, lovely and sweet–about a classroom full of kindergarten students. I’m so glad HarperCollins helped me adopt my old school. Visiting and remembering: the perfect way to end a year.

I’ll be back to post links to an article in NEW YORK TEACHER and on the pageturn blog, but will be taking a holiday break from new posts until the new year.

See you then.

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About Audrey Vernick

Audrey Vernick writes books for young readers.
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7 Responses to Circling Back

  1. jama says:

    Loved visiting Audrey Lane! Wonderful post :).

  2. Audrey Lane! Holy buffalo, that’s cute.

  3. Lynda Mullaly Hunt says:

    What a fantastic day this must have been for you! AND for the kids! Love “Audrey Lane.” Thanks for sharing!

  4. Mirka Breen says:

    So you CAN go home again… Lovely.

  5. Cathy Mealey says:

    I am so glad you huddled on the floor with the kids for the photo – SO much more appealing than the standard “front of the class lecture” type photo. Adorable!!!

  6. How fantastic! Now I’m imagining how amazing (and odd) it would be to visit my old school.

  7. Sounds just wonderful.

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