Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Faculty Voices: Marsha Wilson Chall

Recent School Visit—Brookfield Academy, Brookfield WI (suburb of Milwaukee, locally pronounced Mi-WAW-kee—Go West, Young Ls!)

DAY 1: Drive, not fly. Lots to transport:
  1. Large dog prop with doggie disguises.
  2. Small suitcase for stacks of demo-drafts, F&Gs, galleys, puppy masks (child disguises), train   whistle, bottled water, two Fiber One Bars. 
  3. Box of extra books, just in case. 
  4. Corgi-sized purse.
  5. Other clothes (author disguise)
Dinner half-way (Osseo, WI): Subway. Young adult customer walked two blocks to save gas. Subway employee-friend says that didn’t save her much. Reminder—fuel up now.

Snack Stop Somewhere: Travelers’ Oasis. Small Turtle-Pecan Cluster Blizzard on premises. Read all greeting cards.

Arrival: Sheraton Brookfield. Complimentary membership in Sheraton Club (private lounge, business center, comp water/soda, daily Happy Hour—what? ).

Room: Well-appointed overlooking outdoor pool area—what? February.

Evening: Sanitize room (my problem—own it). Lay out toiletries and undergarments for morning, prep in-room coffee system, Fiber One Bar. TV Lite, low volume. Fractured sleep.

DAY 2: Primary School. Lost. Arrive 10 minutes late. Make morning assembly anyway. Saint Rene, Library Media Specialist, does FAQ about me with kids. Check into library. Equipment/Set-up successful. Four presentations. Three bathroom breaks. Sign books. Kindergarteners perform One Pup’s Up in puppy masks. Happy day!

Later: Sheraton Club Happy Hour! Comp appetizers—WI mozzarella sticks w/ marinara sauce; phyllo-wrapped asparagus. One wine ($4, not comp). Sated.

Much later: Not sated. Room service Veggie-wrap. Fade to black.

DAY 3: Upper School. Not lost. Morning assembly. Two hours meet-n-greet students. Great questions both ways. Boy named Ferris after namesake wheel. A sign! Wanted to write about Ferris Wheel for years. Lunch with Saint Stacey, Library Media Specialist, and teacher with artist-son. Publishing-Hamline-SCBWI talk (ΓΌber-active WI chapter). Love Brookfield Academy. Thank you, thank you!

Return to Hotel: Gift shop. Buy souvenir snowflake hat. Shop owner works 12 hour shifts. No reliable help. Consider hiring on, esp for Sheraton Club’s comp appetizers. Not too great tonight—basic veggies/dip and meatballs. 

Homeward Bound: Night driving. Good Roads. Until…BLIZZARD. Snowblind. TRUCKS! Exit to Tomah? Pull over. Hazard lights. Pray. Wait. Pray. Road reappears. GO.

Later: Find Fiber One Bar. Demolish.


DAY 4: Dog. Laundry. Husband. Thank you notes. Notes of thanks.


  1. Nobody does school visits better than Marsha Chall - the energy, the fun, the drama. How lucky those students were to have you visit. Very informative too, about how exhausting those days can be.

  2. Thanks, Claire. I'd love to attend your energetic, fun, and dramatic school visit--let me know when!