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#28237 - 20/04/05 12:15 AM Torey's Visit to Boone, North Carolina, USA
Anonymous
Unregistered


At long last! Sorry for the delay. Now bandwidth is settling down, I will put up the pictures of my wonderful visit to Appalachian State University and Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Dr. Michael Marlowe, who is in the Education Department, was my host during the visit to Boone. I arrived after a long flight from Montana and he picked up and drove me to Boone, which is quite high up in the Appalachian Mountains. I'd never been to this part of America before. The drive was very beautiful. Here is a view of the mountains from the road to Boone.

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When we arrived in Boone, I checked into the Broyhill Inn which was not only my hotel but also the conference center where my workshop was going to be held.

Dr. Marlowe and I then went to spend a couple hours with his special education class at the university. They have been reading my books as part of their coursework, so we had an interesting question and answer period.

Then out to dinner at the Mellow Mushroom, Boone's pizza and "hoagie" place. Hoagies, I discovered, were what we call "sub" sandwiches in Montana or "baguettes" in Britain.

The next morning Dr. Marlowe took me to visit Grandfather Academy. This is a charter school which part of a self-contained program for young sex offenders between the ages of 8 and 15.

I arrived before school started and was met by staff and teachers who put on a lovely party to celebrate the US publication of my book TWILIGHT CHILDREN, which was officially happening that day. Most amazingly, they had a <i>cake</i> baked to look like my book!

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And here I am, proudly showing off this clever bit of baking!

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After enjoying our coffee and cake, the staff talked to me about how they were trying to implement methods I'd used in my books here at Grandfather Acadment and then we had a general question and answer period.

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Soon it was time for the children to arrive. There are four classrooms with four to eight children each. In my time there I was able to visit three of the classes. I started in the classroom with the oldest children who were between ten and fifteen. They produce a school newspaper and as the class had recently read my children's book THE VERY WORST THING, they interviewed me over the book for their paper. From there, we went on to have a very thought-provoking discussion about some of the issues raised in the book.

Next I went to visit the 'middle' children who were mostly between 10 and 12. This classroom too had read THE VERY WORST THING and they had done some wonderful art projects. Again, we talked about the book and some of the issues which the children found particularly meaningful. Then they showed me some of their interpretations of the story. Here is a lovely owl picture one of the girls drew for me.

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And finally I signed autographs in this class.

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The last class I visited were the youngest children, who were between eight and 12 years old. I had a lovely time here. Everyone was very lively and excited about my visit! Their class had read THE VERY WORST THING aloud and they had lots and lots of questions. In fact, I stayed so long we almost missed lunch!

Everyone in this class was so generous. They decided all of their own that I should take home pieces of their work to remember them by because we had had such a good time. And I was deeply touched because I know everyone chose to give me work which was very precious and had taken extra effort to do. So I have put all their work up on the wall in my office at home. And here is a picture showing off my new gallery.

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#28238 - 21/04/05 12:04 AM Re: Torey's Visit to Boone, North Carolina, USA
Anonymous
Unregistered


The day I had arrived was beautiful and sunny and warm - about 60F/16C - but there was a surprise in store for us the next day, as it began to snow. The view from my hotel window was very different!

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That evening Dr. Marlowe and the Special Education deparmtment at Appalachian State University hosted me to a wonderful dinner at the Gamekeeper Restaurant. This is a beautiful rustic lodge very high in the hills above Boone (and what an exciting drive the small, twisting road was in the snow!) We arrived to cosy open fire and wonderful food.

Here are Nancy Mamlin, Professor of Special Education, Dr. Marlowe and Richard Culatta, Chair, Department of Language, Reading, and Exceptionalities, enjoying pre-dinner drinks with me.

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We were treated to a very special dinner. The restaurant had closed to customers in order to host our group and they prepared a lovely meal with choice of salmon or chicken. It was truly top class food.

Here at my table from left to right are Dr. Marlowe's wife, Doug Herman, the principal of Grandfather Academy and his wife Jennifer and Jarrod Werts.

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After dinner came the very exciting trip back down the mountain road to Boone, as the snow had continued heavily all evening. In the car Dr. Marlowe and I talked gloomily about how we might have to cancel the workshop because no one would be able to travel in the snow. He told how this had happened to them before when they had a speaker and a hurricane came through. The conference ended up being just the speaker and about six staff members from the Department of Education. I hoped that wasn't going to be what happened to me!

Arriving at my hotel, Dr. Marlowe dropped me off and bid me good-bye. As I came through the doors of the hotel, I saw immediately that I wasn't going to have to worry about talking just to the staff of the Department of Education, if it kept snowing, because I was greeted by a large contingent of US (and Canadian!) members from this message board - the "THBB'ers"! They were all waiting for me in the hotel lobby!!

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#28239 - 16/05/05 11:05 AM Re: Torey's Visit to Boone, North Carolina, USA
Anonymous
Unregistered


(I haven't forgotten this. Time and bandwidth have stopped me, but stay tuned . . . !!)

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