When I was 2 1/2, my cousin Josh and I began nursery school. Later his
sisters, my brother and our cousins joined us at City & Country, a private school high on
a hill in a suburban mansion near Detroit, Michigan.
My eight years there were idyllic.
Outdoor times were the best. In winter we could sled or toboggan down the hill
or ice skate on the pond. In warm weather we could wander around the wooded acres
after lunch. Class was almost as wonderful as the outside. In the morning we did math,
reading and textbooks, but in the afternoon we did projects. One time we made a solar
system that hung from the ceiling. Another we created a medieval village, complete with
castle and people. In third grade, a few girls wrote a daily newspaper.
Our classes had less than twenty students; our teachers were caring and inspired;
our trips to the Cranbrook Science Museum were wonderful and weekly; we had
great art, drama, dance and woodworking classes. When we got to the upper grades, we
helped out as assistants in the preschool.
No wonder I loved school.
In sixth grade, I went to public school for the first time. It was shocking. Bells
rang to tell you when to go to the next class. The halls were filled with too many students
who seemed to know exactly what kind of sweater and skirt to wear. I didn't. I was an
outsider. Still, within weeks, I grew to make friends and enjoy my teachers.
Being a college student at University of Chicago and living away from home for
the first time was grand. I was challenged in class, happy to meet fascinating new people
and serve as culture and education editor of the Daily Maroon. I also won a Prize for the
Best Essay on a Social Invention.
When I came to New York and couldn't make a living
writing free-lance articles on education, I became a teacher.
It was fun - especially when I was free to experiment with lessons and projects, go to the park and on trips.
Now I'm a substitute at Public
School 20 on the Lower east Side of Manhattan in New York City, where immigrants settle when they first arrive. Lucky
students enjoy special programs in art, dance, theatre, computers, conflict resolution,
trips to New York City museums and shows.
So, I still love being in school.
Tell me all about it,
SOMETHING ABOUT THE AUTHOR, volume 22
GREAT WOMEN OF THE 21st CENTURY, 2004 edition. http://www.SCBWI.org, Regional Chapters, Regional Advisors Bios,
Awards & Grants, Member of the Year (with Nancy Lewis):
Citation reads: "While pursuing careers of their own they have created a dynamic region
centered in the heart of the children's book industry. Together they have assembled a
great group of volunteers and launched a series of lectures and workshops, put together
Buddy Programs for those coming to NY on business and designed a guide to the city to
children's book authors and illustrators."