Touring Tompkins High School

For the past two years, I have participated in a luncheon/discussion with teachers from China that has been sponsored by Second Baptist Church. This year they asked me if I would be willing to give a tour of Tompkins HS and explain how the education system works. Our counselor, Mrs. Clark, spoke with the Chinese teachers about our special education program and graduation requirements. They were very interested in how our classes worked and wondered how many of our students went on to ivy league schools. 🙂

The teachers were very impressed with the fine arts area and even got to slip in and observe a few minutes of the drum line practicing for their upcoming fall program. I did notice them covering their ears when they walked out, though. I guess they weren’t use to the loud sounds. 🙂

We walked down to the athletics area so they could see the gyms and Natatorium. When we walked into the wrestling gym, they weren’t exactly sure what it was used for. So, my friend and I gave a quick wrestling demonstration. I’m hoping there are no pictures of that floating around somewhere. 🙂

I loved showing off our gorgeous library. They couldn’t get over how large and beautiful the library was. They were also very impressed with the interactive wall. One teacher even played around with it for a minute. We truly are blessed to have such an amazing building and amazing programs at Tompkins High School! #ProudFalcon

Here are my new Chinese friends and their host:


Summer library travels…

For the past few years, I’ve tried to make it a priority to visit as many libraries as I can during my family’s vacation. My family does get a little annoyed with my constant excitement when I see a library or library sign during our travels, but I think they are slowly getting used to it. 🙂 I enjoy seeing how other libraries use their space, organize their materials, and promote their programs.

Cimarron, New Mexico:

Cimarron is a small town in New Mexico that has a population of less than 1,000. We visited this town on three different occasions and I was excited to see that the library was open during my last visit.


They have a nice collection of books and audio books to offer patrons and still even use a card catalog to locate materials! Since I was reading Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, I had to see if the library had it…and they did!

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My favorite aspect of this library is that they have a bookmobile that serves the northern rural areas of New Mexico. There are only 3 bookmobiles in the entire state. The bookmobile maintains a monthly schedule and travels 3 weeks out of each month/12 months a year. I was so excited when the librarian told me that it was currently “home” and that I could take a look inside. It was like Christmas in July!

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The nerdfighter in me was excited to see John Green in their bookmobile collection!

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Philmont Scout Ranch, New Mexico:

Philmont is a high adventure and training area for boy scouts. My son attended a couple of sessions this summer, so of course I had to check out the library. The Seton Memorial Library houses Ernest Thompson Seton’s personal library and is available for visitors, participants and staff to view books about the south west, Philmont and the areas surrounding Philmont.



Imagine my surprise when I noticed that they also used a card catalog!


Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona:

As my family was leaving the Grand Canyon, I noticed a small library and insisted that we stop and check it out. The Grand Canyon Community Library has been open since 1932. It is actually a branch of the Flagstaff city library. The library is located about 200 yards from the South Rim of the Canyon as is open to residents and visitors.

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The library also had a huge geological map of the Grand Canyon on the wall and I just couldn’t resist the #selfie opportunity. 🙂

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Somewhere in New Mexico:

I didn’t have a chance to go inside this little library, but it was just too cute to not take a picture.

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Although these were the only libraries I was able to visit on vacay this year, they were impressive! I’m already looking forward to next year’s family vacation…to some libraries! 🙂