Friday, June 25, 2010

Fun and Surprise

May 17, 2010 at 9:00  AM and Nancy and I  finish running through the regular check list before we leave for Sherburn Elementary School in Sherburn, MN:  TV, projector, screen, sound, tote with dvd player and equipment, wagon, posters, easels, props, bag with sales supplies, books, snacks, and water.  We're excited about doing five performances for about 260 kids in K-4.

As we walk into Sherburn Elementary, we see the first of the surprises, a poster of welcome messages from students. Nanc snaps a picture and says, "What a great way to welcome us!" As you see, I'm just grinning, totally unaware of more surprises to come.

Then Mrs. Neppl and nearly her whole fourth grade class surprise us in the hall as a special greating, which thrilled Nanc and me to such a degree that we forgot to take a picture. The principal, Mr. Harbitz, takes the time to introduce himself and say hello.

Mrs. Neppl takes us to the library where we will perform and let's us know we are in for a bigger surpise during lunch. With the help of some students, we hurry to carry in our equipment and then set up the screen , projector and sound system. As we sit down at a library table with a number of teachers and prepare for lunch, Mrs. Stenson (right) introduces me to her mother Ruth (left), who happens to be my Dad's first cousin who I've never met. What a surprise! Mrs. Stenson specially brought her mother from Burnsville just to meet me and to see the show. 

Mrs. Stenson takes a picture of her mother Ruth (Barsness) Midboe with Nancy and me.

After lunch, FFA President Maggie Prunty introduces me and I begin the first of five half-hour shows.

After each show, another group is immediately brought in and settled.
Since groups are mixed K-4, I try to appeal to the variety of ages with fun details and illustrations on the big screen. Question time follows each show and questions range from what chores I liked on the farm to how the remote sound system works when there is no physical connection. I've learned to never underestimate the potential difficulty of questions from children of any age. That is what makes performing for them so fun.

After I perform for two and a half hours, we pack up and  say goodbye to everyone. We actually hate to leave. Everyone has been so kind.
We thank those who dedicated their time to make the event a success, including Mrs. Neppl who arranged the event, Mrs. Harries, who allowed us to use her library for the show, and my second cousin Mrs. Stenson, who brought her mother Ruth to see us.
Of course, we always thank all staff members for allowing us to be part of their students' education. It is a privilege we do not take lightly.

Mrs. Neppl (in back wearing dark sweater) 
arranged for volunteers to help us load our equipment.
Sherburn is another one of Minnesota's great small town schools, characterized by the friendly, helpful staff, the open, inquisitive nature of students, the model behavior of students, and the  feeling every student and every visitor get walking in the door, a feeling  that says, "You are welcome and you belong."

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