Canfield, OH

Canfield is about as close to Pennsylvania as you can get without entering. First I visited Woodside Elementary which has a very cool principal, Tony Russo — I could tell he was a special guy right away. He sat through both of my assemblies, very welcome but unusual behavior for a principal! I wonder if those kids know how lucky they are to have a principal that involved in their day-to-day activities? The kids were full of giggles and had just the right attitude for poetry. I could tell that right off too. Turned out that they had been up to their necks in proficiency tests all week and my visit was their treat for a job well done. How about that for making me feel special? Had I known in advance, I would have brought a cake or something to really make it a party.

After the school visit I met with 80 teachers at a local IRA meeting hosted by incoming president Gerry Coates. I know that many kids have no idea that their teachers have lives outside of school and think that they in fact sleep in their bottom desk drawers. But, teachers do have free time (however limited by school responsibilities) and many of them occasionally spend a few of these free hours learning. I gave a little talk at their meeting after which some went home with miniature daffodils as door prizes. I went to bed dreaming yellow dreams, of blossoms and sunshine announcing the arrival of spring.

But Spring seemed like a far-away dream indeed when I woke up to three inches of fluffy snow this morning. Oh, well. When the time is right, I expect Spring will finally show her true colors.

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