Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of speaking to the 6th grade students at Independence Middle School -- my first school visit of the year.
This is what the cafetorium looked like before 400 students and teachers streamed in . . .
What a great group of kids! After listening to my talk, "6-1/2 Ways to Survive and Thrive in Middle School," they all turned to our son, Jake, who was sitting in the back row. And because it was his 16th birthday, 400 exuberant voices sang "Happy Birthday." It was a blast!
That evening, the amazing Lisa Petroccia, media specialist (and a character in my novel), arranged for me to sign books at Barnes and Noble in conjunction with the school's book fair.
It was wonderful. The choir sang, students played clarinet, teachers arrived as did the principal, Ms. Bonino (also a character in my novel). And lots of friends stopped by, too. (Hey, Deborah!)
The best part was having a chance to chat with the kids while I signed books. And they got to meet Hammy the Hamster and shake his paw. (Hammy is a stuffed toy.) It was a fabulous event!
Then my favorite guys in the whole world came to pick me up.
(Jake, pretending to be me, Dan and Andrew)
We took Jake out for a late celebratory dinner at the Melting Pot. I mean, you only turn 16 once. And what better way to celebrate than with 400 6th graders singing to you, um, I mean with a plate of desserts to dip into warm chocolate?
Love you, Bud!
And now, for the obligatory cute dog photo . . .
Benji (aka Butthead)