West Palm Beach

I’m looking at the date of my last post and can’t believe it has been that long since I made an entry. All the experiences that have gone un-noted! Shame on me. But factored into the equation was getting my taxes off to the accountant, learning power point and starting a new novel. And summer. Lots of summer outside to enjoy.

After a two week power point intensive, I was finally able to convert from overheads to a projector and arrived in West Palm sans transparencies. It crossed my mind to bring them as back up — but I was sure if I did, I’d chicken out and use them. Good thing I was prepared — there wasn’t an overhead projector in sight at either location. I had to ask for one out of the closet to project writing exercises on the wall. Is the overhead going the way of the typewriter?

Not without some glitches, the first day with reading teachers the projected image was smaller than it should have been. But the teachers were enthusiastic and the day went great. I couldn’t believe how many of them were new to the job! Probably at least a third of the 350 or so in attendance. Many thanks to Diane Babcock and her co-workers for making the day go so smoothly for everyone. Michael jumped in at the end of the day and we ran a model slam for the folks, which was a shouting good time. Hint to future slammers, if you are up against a humble, soft spoken man with a slight african or Hatian accent reading Langston Hughes, “I’ve Known Rivers,” you don’t have a chance. Sit down and enjoy.

The second day was at a beautiful arts center here. A small breakout session in the morning to write and then a performance (the slides went much better) in a theater to die for. Guilded with velvet seats and 3 balconies, it was a sight to behold from the stage. Of the 900 or so teachers scheduled to be there, maybe half showed up, with many drifting away after the district folks stopped talking. Poetry phobic or anxious to get to their classrooms or families? Whichever, it was okay, because those who stayed were such a warm and welcoming audience it didn’t matter.

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