The Flaming Toilets of Norwood (and other stories)

Got your attention with that title? I had a very nice two-day visit in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The kids at all four schools were great.

At Landon School, I got a tour of the gardens (see above). They have an azalea festival each spring and the school grounds really are beautiful. The school was having spirit week, as well, so a lot of the boys were dressed up in togas for Greek mythology day in honor of my visit. Many bed sheets gave their lives to make this occasion possible. Thanks Suman the librarian for hosting me.

I then went the Norwood School in the afternoon. Sue the librarian told me I had to see the boys’ restroom. I told her I didn’t really need to use the restroom, but she said, “You need to see it anyway.” Um . . . okay. It turns out the kids had a restroom decorating project a while back. The girls decorated the boys’ restroom and vice versa. Sure enough, the restroom is a travel destination. It is decorated with skateboard ramps and danger signs and (yes) flame designs around the urinals. I almost took pictures, but I thought that would be too weird. You’ll just have to take my word for it. As far as school bathrooms go, this one was pretty cool. The presentations again were great. Very enthusiastic kids.

After the school day, I got in my rental car and drove to Bucks County, north of Philadelphia. Long drive, but the weather was nice and the countryside was pretty with all the trees in bloom.

Wednesday morning I visited Holicong Middle School. The kids had made some amazing projects and decorations in honor of my visit. I got to meet a lot of the classes individually as they came through the library, and they had great questions. One teacher had done a class project with similes and other literary devices from the Lightning Thief, which they displayed on paper lightning bolts on sticks. During my presentation, the kids would cause a thunderstorm and shake their lightning whenever they applauded. Pretty neat! Thanks to Liz for coordinating the visit. Here’s an article about the visit from the local newspaper.

I ended my visit at Unami Middle School. The kids there had also done some amazing artwork. They had held a contest to design t-shirts for each Camp Half-Blood cabin, so I saw quite a lot of demigods walking around. It turns out orange is also the school color, so that worked out nicely. You can see the artwork above. Thanks to Holly for providing me a flash disk with the pictures.

I have many more cool pictures I’d like to share as soon as I get a chance to scan them, so stay tuned for that.

Now I’m home for a day before I head right back to Pennsylvania for a librarians’ convention. Yes, that wasn’t good planning on my part, was it? But honestly, at this point every day I get to spend at home is priceless.

Next week, the tour begins! Remember that tour details can be found on my web calendar. Hope to see some of you on the road.

Rick Riordan