I’m right here

Hi everyone,

On a day like this I look forward to twelve hours of computer time less a break for lunch with an old friend. As I sit here in my pajamas, I imagine many of you at your keyboards, too, maybe still in your pajamas or gowns, yawning into the day while the coffee is making.

I’m always glad when you check on me to see what’s up in my corner. I’m on the computer many hours every day Monday through Friday so I get to watch you wake up from East to West. We’ve been talking back and forth for so long that I’ve become familiar with the sleeping habits of many who come by on a regular basis. Normally I wake up to a few notes that come in from Europe and early risers along the east coast, and as the day progresses I note when others join in as the sun moves across the country.

As you know, I usually post whatever is on my mind and/or new in my life. Sometimes a lot of you click on my note, sometimes not so many, but you know I’m here and I think about you as I go about my work and life. Thanks! I hope you have as good a day as I expect to have.


Paid for in rupees

Hi everyone,

Here’s what arrived in my mail yesterday, all the way from HarperCollins in India in five days. I was impressed! I am grateful to my contacts at Collins, Romila Saha and Abhijit Dutta, for walking me through the process.

I am proud to have my poem (“My Book!”) appear in a text in India for students who are learning English. Following the poem are lists of questions and activities for the teacher to use.

Teacher Appreciation

Hi everyone,

Tonight in Springfield is the annual Teacher Appreciation Banquet. I don’t know what the attendance will be but it’s generally in the 850-1,000 range. It was my idea, twenty-three years ago, to have a banquet each year to remind teachers how much they are appreciated, provide the community with an opportunity to meet and celebrate their teachers, and demonstrate to students that teachers are highly respected. I helped run the banquet for the first seven years. Nancy Graff, her staff, and I formed the core team and we reached out to as many others as we needed. I haven’t played a role for a long time but I almost never miss the event. I even have a special tie that I only wear once a year to the Teachers Appreciation Banquet.

Each year at the banquet a teacher of the year is announced from among five finalists. For many years I used to sit on the committee that interviewed all nominees and selected the five finalists. Tonight one of the five finalists for Teacher of the Year teaches at David Harrison Elementary School so I have an extra incentive to be there! Way to go, Kevin Zimmerman!

Good way to end a week

BULLETIN: Happy Easter to those who celebrate this day. Happy Sunday to those who do not.

Hi everyone,

Sandy Asher poses outside her Lancaster City Home. Photo:Shahan

I heard from Sandy Asher yesterday with not one but two nice pieces of news. First, Sandy’s wonderful picture book, CHICKEN STORY TIME, has been nominated for the Kansas Reading Association’s 2018 Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award! Way to go Sandy! If you haven’t picked up a copy of her book, you need to pronto.

The second piece of good news is that SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK, the play that Sandy wrote based on poems from my collected works (at the time), is about to be performed again, this time at The Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, PA on May 19. I’ve seen it performed more than once and love it each time. It opened with its world premier here in Springfield at the Vandevort Theatre in 2004. I don’t know how many times it has been performed. Maybe Sandy will remember. I believe it was also performed in Europe on one occasion. If I’m wrong about that, it makes a good story.