Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Favorite Fosston Teaching Day wasn't in Fosston

Last year, I was in charge of the yearbook/newspaper.  We were the Greyhound Gazette.  I loved every minute of the newspaper.

My favorite day was when we went on a field trip to Grand Forks to visit the Grand Forks Herald and UND.   Before leaving, the kids complained.  They thought for sure that the day would be "lame."  They wanted to go shopping instead.

Uhhhh, no?

As we piled out of the bus, I could tell the kids were not impressed.

Little by little, as we went through the archives, marketing, and advertising departments, the girls started asking more questions.  We ended up visiting some reporters.

We fell in love.

One of the reporters I recognized as Ryan Bakken.  He started out as a sports reporter for the Herald and little by little he started writing more human interest columns.  He asked us where we were from....

I answered "Straight Outta Fosston..."  The girls gasped in embarrassment.

He broke out in pure laughter.

I explained to the girls that Mr. Bakken had written an article about the local smash hit the previous Spring.  

The reporter at the next desk squealed.  "Fosston!"  It was Chuck Haga!  He had taken the stories of the Fosston crop circles. 

From that moment, we were in love with the Grand Forks Herald.

It was hard to leave to go to UND.   Bobbie Duchamp, the graphic artis,t just started showing us her new layout for the next day.  The stories of the food editor had us salivating for the recipes featured in the next day's paper.

We toured the campus of UND and ate for free at their dining center.  The girls were bursting with laughter at the various organizations one could join.  And aghast at others.

"Mrs. Aakhus - did you see that sign?  There's a club for lesbians."

"Yeah - you're going to see a bunch of things when you go off to college that aren't in Fosston.  It can be overwhelming."

I explained to them about the various gay bashing found on sidewalks in the Spring.

After lunch, the girls tried and tried to talk me out of visiting the school paper on campus.  I wouldn't budge.  They were so glad that I didn't.  They hadn't realized that their writing skills could be a job to support them during their studies.

The drive home was filled with sleepy juniors and seniors.  Laughs snuck up on their cheeks as they re-lived their teacher rapping with the Grand Forks Herald reporter.

"Oh Mrs. Aakhus, you actually rapped with Ryan Bakken."

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