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Ripton, VT: North Branch School

“Tal!” shouted Nick. “Can we hear it!”

“Of course we can hear it. But I have to get everyone all ginned up. This is a moment of great importance.” And it was, because I wanted them all to feel and never forget what it meant for one of us to cross the threshold to become a maker.

“Okay, we’re ‘ginned up’! Or whatever you call it!” Nick clamored.

“But now we have to get our thing together, man,” I said.

“We have our thing together, man!” they shouted.

“All right, all right. You’re ginned up and we got our thing together, man. But wait, hold on, let me tell you about the time Steve Hoyt presented me and the North Branch School with his first poem he ever wrote on his own. One snowy morning I arrived in the dark classroom and it was sitting–”

“For god’s sake already, read it!”

“All right. Y’all hush. Here it is.”

And I read the poem, as delicate as a gossamer thread–small in stature, monumental in its existence.

They were silent, but looked over at Steve, who was blushing and dipping his head so that his greasy bangs hung over his face.

“I’m going to read it again,” I said, and I did, according that slight poem every bit of dignity and loving attention I could.

“So, what do you all think?”

They all raised their hands. There was no more wonderful sound and sight than that class full of hands rising up because they had all been moved, that rustling and forward-leaning, smiling excitement of hearing and seeing as though for the first time.

“I think it was really great, Steve, that you wrote that and turned it in,” said Annie.

“I’m proud of you, Steve,” said Mira. “It shows a whole other side of you.”

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Updated Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

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