Instead of attending NESCBWI this year, I ran around the woods teaching kids about compassionate listening and communication skills with creative puppetry. Yes, this is the sort of silliness I do for a living and, oddly enough, it works! Taking a ton of either behaviorally mature or behaviorally challenged kids and presenting them with situations slightly left of center often brings surprising results and always *ALWAYS* inspires me. Nothing is quite so impressive as a child creating something magical out of the world, answering tough questions with honesty and undisguised ego and id. I got to see greed, excitement, compassion, quiet contemplation, that spark of understanding when the penny drops, and that incredible smile that sweeps the face when they are rewarded for getting the right answer. I am blown away every single time.
I'm very grateful for all the tweets at #nescbwi11 that kept me in the game and grinning at everybody's "popcorn" moments and sharing favorite quotes, but truth be told, I was pretty happy where I was: jogging through the woods with a script, a bag of goodies, a puppet, and a goal.
Today I'm sore, but smiling.
Happy Monday! Go be inspired!