Students Sitting Still all Day - Could You? †

A physical therapist observes the effects of restricted movement on middle school students. “I’m doing anything I can to pay attention…It’s useless, I checked out forty-five minutes ago…50% of the children are fidgeting and the rest are…slumped over their desks…I was planning on observing the whole day. I just can’t do it. I decide to leave right after lunch.” As a chronicler of the adventures of ElsBeth Amelia Thistle, the young Cape Cod witch with a family legacy to defend the natural world, I knew ElsBeth would be upset about this. No, she'd be mad. The article continued: “All people in decision-making positions for school policies should be required to sit through at least one school day

ElsBeth Rallies Embattled Classrooms †

We caught up with ElsBeth after her day of classes at Mid-Cape Middle School and talked about her campaign to “attack the attack on fun in school.” “I just wanted to help,” ElsBeth said. “Our teachers work so hard. But they have so many things they have to do that have nothing to do with teaching. A lot of the fun of learning is lost – for them and us. “All I did was figure out how they can use the stories of the exciting adventures my friends and I have had in order to meet what they call Common Core and STEM requirements, which seem to be a big deal. “I learned STEM means Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education, and is particularly to help girls learn these – as if we needed mo

A Short, Short Story Inspired by ElsBeth

Cecelia and Sun Tzu † A drab drizzle unwelcomed Cecelia when she awoke to another day of sixth grade. To strike back at a doom that seemed to stretch to next June, she snatched up her gay new tartan beret before she’d even gotten to the bathroom to brush her teeth—hopeful that a bright nonchalance was her best attack on a future that included Ms. Hallsworthy at 8:15 roll call. “I shall defend the erosion of vibrancy,” she declared to her teacher’s looming presence, as she seized an umbrella in the stand by the door. But she set it back to heed the call to breakfast for necessary fortification, and she marshaled her lengthening thoughts for a more strategic campaign, while gnashing molars

Meeting Kurt Vonnegut, Neil Gaiman Influence ElsBeth’s Authors

How did you get started writing? Chris: I have always written, since grade school, particularly poetry, and was often asked by schoolmates to edit or write things for them. When I was fifteen a student asked if I’d write a poem for an assignment he had. It was selected and published in the school literary magazine under his name, which was fine with me. I still like the poem. J Bean: Like Chris I began in grade school, but in high school ran into the dreaded grammar teacher and my mojo disappeared. Somehow I resurfaced in university only to be told by my professor that one couldn’t make any money writing. A single parent at the time with mounting bills and a wild little boy to help grow up,

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