Yesterday I returned again to my old high school. Last year when I went it was a huge deal for me. I walked the hallway of my memory and visited the feelings of my high school years. Yesterday I felt no need to do that. I did however share with a new group of grade nines my high school experience and my feelings of failure, stupidity and defeat that defined my high school years. Much of that was my own fault but it also was the fault of a system that allowed me to under perform. I am so over that and so strongly believe in an individuals ability to achieve what others may deem impossible. What better group to preach that to than Grade nine kids. Last year I also battled the rampant cell phone presence and we addressed that before I came and there were no cell phones in sight.(not even mine)I had a wonderful two hour writing workshop with a quiet but yet responsive group of kids just bursting with thoughts, creativity and the passion to write. I saw myself in several of those kids and I hope they saw something of themselves in me. I took Lionel back for a visit and he and I told our Simonds High story. Funny how an old pillow still resonates so much of my 17 year old self. My friend Jane and I made a plan to have joint custody of Lionel and trade off every year so that we would always stay in touch. Lionel has lived with me for almost 43 years. He has been loved, played with, slept on, thrown around and ignored. His neck is floppy and he has very little stuffing still in his head. He is stained and missing buttons. He has small holes but still has his trusting expression. I could go on about the changes in me in the last 43 years but I will not. I will only say that again I stood in a classroom in my old high school as a retired teacher and a published author ,both things I dreamed about and believed impossible when I walked those halls as a student. In your face ghosts of defeat and failure!!!