Friday, October 05, 2007

Suprise School Visit (DC part 3)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

While I was in DC I did five school visits to fabulously brilliant children. (The fact that they liked my books is proof positive of their brilliance.) However, I must say that the most memorable was the surprise visit I did to my old fifth grade teacher’s class. The librarians and I sneakily set it up without him knowing anything about it.

They told Mr. Kuykendall that all the fifth grade classes were required to go to a reading and writing seminar in the library. He has been teaching for nearly forty years so he wanted to skip out of the seminar, but they were insistent.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

He walked into the room and glanced over at me with absolutely no recognition. (Some of you may be surprised to learn that I’ve changed since the fifth grade.) In his defense he told me later that I didn’t hold his attention because he quickly realized that every important person at school was in the library (including the district photographer). What was the principal doing at a reading and writing seminar?

Then he looked at me again, and it all sunk in.

I would have felt really bad if he’d actually had a heart attack before my presentation—and I suppose I should have thought about that before I surprised a sixty-one-year old man. But he survived the shock and had a good time listening to my presentation.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I had many good teachers, but Mr. Kuykendall will always be my favorite. He is one of those really extraordinary teachers that other teachers hate because he sets the bar so high.

He was an especially good teacher for me to have in fifth grade because up until that point I had pretty much just day dreamed through school and saw no point to changing my ways. Mr. K made me believe I was smart though. My grades went from C’s to straight A’s that year. He also told me that I was going to be a writer one day. He bought me a blank book and told me to write a story for him so that after I became a published author he could tell people he had my first book.

So he does, but don’t get excited because I guarantee you I wasn’t a child prodigy and it’s nothing that you’d ever want to read—unless you want to read bad writing in order to feel good about yourself. It might work for that.

I told his current fifth grade class all about this and they agreed that he is a marvelous teacher and thought my old class picture of him was hilarious. (Have to love those 70s shirt collars which could double as hang glider wings.)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Afterwards another teacher covered his class and Mr. Kuykendall, my husband, one of his good friends, and I went out for lunch. It was nice to get caught up and spend some time together. As far as school visits go, that one will always be one of my most memorable.

17 comments:

Lillian Syville said...

First Comment Again! Ok, Sorry. Hurray for good teachers. If i didn't have a few good teachers here and there i would've thought they were all evil

I got a new blog today, but it will problayy be as bad as the others

sorry about my spelling but i'm in a hurry

Janette Rallison said...

Don't worry. Spelling is way over rated. (Or is it overated . . .)

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Janette, what a wonderful experience. I loved the pictures and the memories of the teachers that made a difference in my life are flooding back into my mind. Thanks.

Anne Bradshaw said...

What a fun thing to do. If I went back to my old English schools, all the teachers would be long gone, if not buried.

Tamra Norton said...

Awwww, Janette--that made me get all choked up! How sweet!!!

tenacious d said...

What a great surprise for your old teacher. That had to have made his day, if not his year.

Annette Lyon said...

Best school visit EVER! I wish I could drop in on Mrs. Mixa from third grade.

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

What a wonderful surprise for your teacher. I bet you made his day, and perhaps even his year!

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Wanted to remind:

There are 23 days left and counting, ladies . . . if you have the most wonderful husband in the world, you need to nominated him!

I know there are other wonderful husbands out there. Until midnight November 30, 2007 I will be taking nominations via this email address ces@candacesalima.com. The six finalists will be posted, please send a picture with the nomination, on December 1, 2007 when voting will commence and the winner will be chosen by you. Sadly, because it would just be skewed, my husband cannot win although I think he'd be a shoe in. On December 15, 2007 the winner will be announced.

We have some great husbands already nominated, but I know there are more out there. So start nominating! Tell me about your husband and why you think he is the Best Husband in the World! That would be world . . . ladies, no geographic boundaries.

asenath said...

I love those pictures mom. :) It makes me wonder how Mr.Taylor is doing...

Chuck said...

I've often wished that I could do what you did, but I seriously doubt that Jefferson Elementary or Gladish Middle will ever have a "Librarian Day". Besides, Mrs. Gray would probably crush my ego by telling me that Al Sorenson was a finnier class clown. :(

Hasno said...

Mike (aka Mr. K) is a good friend of mine. You should know that he still hasn't stopped talking about your visit! It certainly made his year.

Anonymous said...

You go girl

Janette Rallison said...

Chuck,
I can't believe you even remember who the librarian was. I can picture the one at Gladish, but that's it as far as my childhood librarians go. You were obviously destined to be a librarian.

Janette Rallison said...

Hasno,
If Mr. K is a friend of yours, you're very lucky. He's the best teacher ever! And I still smile every time I think of my visit to Candlewood.

Julie Wright said...

that is sooooo dang cute! What a great idea. Janette , this is why you are my hero!

Mr. C said...

I know this post is from 4 years ago, but I just gave him a surprise visit today. I was in his 5th grade class back in '91-'92. He told me about your visit to Candlewood and how completely shocked he was. I love the guy!