Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lakenheath American Middle School

It was a busy two days and both early starts. On the Friday I was telling at the American Middle School situated at RAF Feltwell. The Kids were taking part in their annual 'British Day' and as well as hearing stories about some of the more cruel Kings of England from me, they also took afternoon tea, experienced life as a medieval monk, met Henry VIII, played cricket, re-enacted the Norwich Cathedral riots of 1272, had a go at being a town cryer and experienced much, much more besides!

Heightened security at the base meant that the morning was a bit rushed and it was straight into my storytelling sessions, so I didn't have much time to look around. But even driving into the base was a unusual experience. Its the first time that I have had to show my passport to armed guards in order to get into a storytelling venue. And driving through the base to the school was like experiencing a little bit of America and what struck me most was how neat and orderly everything was, but I suppose this has more to do with it being a military base and not anything inherently American. I'm pretty sure they have their fare share of litter problems too. The school was also just like you see in American movies; each room had its own American flag, announcements for staff and pupils were made over a pa system throughout the day and there was a schools counsellor. The other thing that stood out was the amazing level of hospitality. Many of the mums seemed to have baked for the occasion and there were all sorts of muffins and a vast array of different types of doughnut!

But for all those differences to the English schools I tell in, the one constant was the pupils: twelve and thirteen year old Americans are no different to twelve and thirteen year old British kids; they all provide certain challenges, but at the end of the day are great to work with.

Kim was not with me on this outing and so I had to work hard to find out my own interesting fact and the best I could come up with was courtesy of a healthy eating poster made by one of the pupils. It recommended that in order to say healthy you should... drink prune juice to thoroughly cleanse your colon!

Thanks to all the staff, volunteers and pupils....

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