"On My Teacher’s Shoulders" by Jeff Kelly Lowenstein: Book Tour Hits The Road
Bay Path University
October 23, 2014
“Hey, you two need to get to the book table, there’s a line of people with books in their hands!” organizer Briana Sitler says to us.
This, my friends, was a moment. I don’t know about you but I never thought I’d ever be on the other side of the table asking people I’d never met, “How do you spell your name?” before scrawling my name and a comment inside the book’s cover.
And here I am, with goofy grin, signing books at the rear of the Mills Theater at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA, basking in the glow of the first presentation on the road of “On My Teacher’s Shoulders,” written by former fourth grade student Jeff Kelly Lowenstein.
All of us have had at least one teacher who stands out in our memories. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime gift, if you’re a very lucky teacher, that a former student writes a book that features you as a prominent character.
Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, professor, journalist, former teacher and newspaper reporter, is a very accomplished man – and I’ve written plenty of posts elaborating on that. We had just finished our one-hour program in which Jeff described three major intersections in his life that involve me – and I got to add a few minutes giving my perspective about each intersection.
From the outset, Jeff’s had the idea that the story would resonate with an audience of teachers, student teachers, and students majoring in education. Heck, he’s even thought about Oprah. He spent years shaping the book, often rising at 5:00 AM to write and revise drafts, all while keeping a heavy work load as an investigative reporter. And here we are on stage, spotlights trained upon us and an audience in front of us.
Tonight, he is living a dream and bringing me along for the ride. The Bay Path University theme this year is “Own Your Story.” Jeff not only owns the story, he’s written a book about it.
Jeff is introduced by Virginia "Ginna" Freed, emeritus professor of English.
Photos courtesy of Paul Bloomfield