I spent grades three-through-five in “Multi-Age” a class that spanned three classrooms opened up into one. My friend Janine likes to Throwback Thursday and periodically post our class pictures to Facebook, and her latest got me thinking about that time. Multi-Age was a very progressive class: we sat in a big circle every morning and talked about anything that felt important that day. Many of us, including me, changed our names for the duration of the three years. I wrote my chosen name on my papers, my friends and teachers used it, and I didn’t shed it until middle school. Maybe that name and how I got it will be the subject of another post. We were treated like mini-adults in that class, which made it hard to go home after school and be just a kid again, but I loved it.
It wasn’t for everybody, of course. Some of my classmates needed more structure and look back at that time as the class where they fell behind in math and never caught up again. For me, those years were marked by a wonderful freedom and sense of discovery. We had elective time every day and I could usually be found at the Creative Writing Table furiously crafting stories with the other word-lovers. Stories with titles like Henry the Runaway Bed Creature and The Dog Olympics, though sadly I no longer have copies of those stellar works.
Whenever someone finished a story, they would grab a hat labeled PRESS from the middle of the table and yell out “Hot Off the Press!” then pass the story around to our friends and teachers who would read and admire it.
Publishing is not so simple these days. But I am very happy to be able to yell “HOT OFF THE PRESS!” this week, and hope you enjoy the results.
And you can watch me reading my story “The Prisoner” in the brand-new San Mateo County Library virtual Story Cafe. The story was originally published in the Fault Zone: Uplift anthology (available for sale on Amazon.) Many of my writer friends from California Writers Club are getting their turns in Story Cafe and I recommend checking those out, too. I even got to edit some of those stories for different books in the Fault Zone anthology series. You could think of the Cafe as a grown-up virtual version of my Multi-Age Writing Table.
So, why not take your mind off the news and your worries for a bit and enjoy some story time? Let me know what you think in the comments. I hope to have more to come soon!