It's so easy to forget things from elementary school, it was a loooong time ago. But every once in a while you stumble across something that makes you smile and reminds you of bits and pieces of such an innocent time. A time of development, a time of learning (oh wait, that's still happening). Maybe it's just where certain things in your life started, an interest was instilled, a seed planted deep inside that would one day bloom. I stumbled across an old book cover, and when I did I remembered how much I enjoyed the book series as a kid. In my elementary ALPHA class we were asked to read a certain amount of books, a point system that most schools in the county used. I can't remember if we were allowed to choose the books ourselves or not but all I know is I ended up reading Bruce Coville's series again and again.
Years ago while going through storage boxes at my mother's house I found a t-shirt I had designed for a school project based on one of the books. I had painted my own version of the book cover on the t-shirt with puff paint (super popular in the 90's), it glowed in the dark similar to the title of the book. It was a nice find. I can't say I remember much of the books, I think there was one intense scene as the kids stood outside of the teachers house and witnessed that he was an alien, other than that it's a blur. Curiosity almost makes me want to order the books and read them again, just to experience what I did as a child, relive the magic. But then again at 30 years old I don't think I want to regress to reading elementary level books. I guess I'll just wait until my daughter is older and read them together. As I stared at the book cover it made me think, was this when I realized how much I like books and stories or did it happen long before? Was this when I found an appreciation for sci-fi? Was this when deep inside the seed was planted to become an author?
One thing I remember vividly from this time period was one of my ALPHA teachers, Ron Wilder. He was creative and knew exactly how to motivate the kids, he could draw, he could play an instrument, he had high tech equipment in the classroom (laserdisc player), and above all he taught us how to dream and let our creativeness inspire each other despite the fact the other kids at school put us down for being different, for being nerdy. ALPHA was a seed, and I thank my parents for making sure I was enrolled in these special classes.