Friday, August 22, 2014

Going Home Again

They say you can't go home again, and maybe you can't, but yesterday I went back to my old high school.

Father and son
A few weeks ago I was invited to speak to some eleventh graders at South Pontotoc High. So much has changed since I graduated in 1982. So much remained just as I remembered it.

The cafeteria was bigger. The nice ladies in the serving line asked my wife and I what we wanted, which was definitely a change from the way it was back then. Back in the day, we ate what they put on our tray or we didn't eat.

My wife and I, along with our home-schooled sixth-grader, Logan, arrived at 7:30 am. Our host, Mr. Martin Rodgers, greeted us at the office and escorted us to his classroom. The hallway looked like a smaller-scaled version of 1982, though I know it hadn't shrunk. It felt a bit nostalgic to be back in one of the classrooms where I'm sure I had a class at some point.
talking about writing

In all, I spoke to three English Lit classes and a psychology class. During the first class I was so nervous I'm not really sure what all I talked about. By the time the last class rolled around I was exhausted. I honestly don't see how teachers do it day in and day out.

Exhaustion and nerves aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and wouldn't trade it for anything. The students were well-behaved and polite. A few asked questions. A few said they wanted to read my books. A couple came by to shake my hand afterwards and thank me for coming. One hung back to tell me I made him want to read.

If I made one connection, said something to reach one person, then the day was not wasted.

My wife Sharon
A few days ago one of my old high school friends asked me if I ever thought I'd be going back to South Pontotoc as a speaker. No, I didn't, but I'm glad I did.

For more about me or my books, or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website.


  1. I am in a writer's club with Martin Rodgers; he said you were outstanding with his students and he seemed amazed that you kept their attention (especially a few of the students) so well.

    Martin is a very good writer. Press him to share some with you. You will enjoy it.

    1. Martin is too kind. I enjoyed speaking to his classes very much, though I'm not sure I did a very good job. I'm learning, though. Going from being the shyest kid in my class, to speaking to students, is a big leap for me. I was especially nervous at speaking to students of that age group, but they were very respectful and made me feel welcome.