Sunday, January 28, 2007

Boots on the ground (or in the air)

I spent the week subbing at two libraries. Monday through Wednesday I was at a high school librarian helping seniors with their research papers on "social issues." Tuesday morning skies were dreary and full of rain. As I walked across the teacher parking lot towards the building, I reminded myself to watch my footing on the rain slick sidewalks and pavement. I successfully negotiated the puddles and closed my umbrella as I reached the shelter of the school's entrance. As I took my first step onto the large rubber door mat to walk through the door, my left foot slipped away from me as if I had stepped onto a sheet of ice. Crash! There were ONLY hundreds of students and substitutes pouring through the opening at the time. General alarm and exclamations sounded around me and I could only think, "Oh God, have I crushed someone?" Then one boy reached down and grabbed my arm and the next thing I knew I was vertical again. Gadzooks, high school guys are strong. I think I was actually airborne for a few seconds. Amazingly, no harm done except to my dignity.

Thursday-Friday I was at my old library. The kids in 3rd grade and up still remember me, or I should say, remember Dragon. They all ask about him. He was with me and was very pleased to see his old friends. Sadly, his manners have not improved and their happiness to see him only reinforced his cheeky and obnoxious behavior.

The lesson for 5th grade was Bluebonnet Book Jeopardy which was great fun. Each table was a team and each team took turns picking a category, "Settings for $20, Alex" or "Events for $50." Sometimes they knew the answer right away, sometimes there was much pondering and guessing. With 20 books on the list, it is a challenge for the kids to read the minimum 5 required in order to vote, much less all 20.

Then we hit this question, "Three kids set out to restore this missing item that belongs to Zeus in this book." Twenty-four hands shot into the air before I even finished reading the question and twenty-four kids shot to their feet making that "Ooo...ooo...ooo" sound that indicated they knew the answer. I think two chairs fell over as their occupants rocketed upwards. Table 3 got the answer right away, "Zeus's lightning bolt in The Lightning Thief!" I was so moved to see and hear their passion for this book.

Later as the class checked out books, one of the boys told me that his parents had driven him all the way to Austin, Texas to see Rockstar Rick Riordan when he was signing at Book People some months back. "I got both books and he signed them!" he told me. I told him that I get advance copies of books to review sometimes and I had received a preview copy of The Titan's Curse and it was a fantastic action packed thrill ride. At that moment, I realized 48 eyes had just zeroed in on me and 24 voices said, "You have Book 3?" I think the mob was starting to move in my direction when, just in time, their teacher yelled, "Time to line up and go back to class."

I'm telling you, being a librarian can be dangerous.

7 comments:

Erin said...

I laughed out loud reading that! Especially the last paragraph. :)

Michele said...

Oh I'm insanely jealous of you having book 3 already... Great anecdote, though !

sprite said...

You have Book 3?

;)

MotherReader said...

Great storytelling. I felt like I was there. Esp at the "48 eyes had just zeroed in" part.

Anonymous said...

My roommate neary had a conniption fit when I read her this post. We're talking mega jealousy here. She picked up book one in Arizona and has been waxing poetic about it ever since.

-Entling no. 2

Jen Robinson said...

Thank was a big risk you took. Texas kids, not less, and the third Percy Jackson book. Wow!! I have to get on more review book lists.

Jackie said...

oh, that was funny!