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Posted by: thepinetree on 01/12/2010 12:03 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 01/14/2010 07:37 AM
Expires: 01/01/2015 12:00 AM

Laura Ingalls Visits Little School in the Big Woods~by Brett Loring

Arnold, CA.....“Ma” was proud of Laura’s recent visit to her grammar school alma mater. Hazel Fischer alumnus and daughter of a current Hazel Fischer teacher, Margeaux Gallo appeared in character as Laura Ingalls Wilder to share with students about her childhood until age 18.  “Laura” talked and sang with student audiences at the school. She shared about her life on the prairie, living in the woods, and about becoming a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, much as Hazel Fischer once did here in the early 1900’s. The dialogue with the young Miss Ingalls paralleled what many students have learned or will learn in Social Studies. .....

Laura’s interaction with the student audience piqued her own 1800’s curiosity when second graders made reference to “i-pods” and “Wii’s.” Laura could not fathom that young people would avoid the great outdoors to simply fixate on an “electronic box!” She also found it astonishing that children might possess more than two sets of clothing as she remarked that she owned merely the current dress she donned and then “a slightly fancier one” for church.

Students seemed to mentally wrestle with the time warp as they interfaced with Laura, trying to distinguish between the character and the performer. After a sharing and question/answer session about her childhood, which included student inquiries ranging from, “Are you the real one who wrote the books?!” to “Have you lived in a log cabin?” to “Have you changed the color of your hair?” Margeaux shared about her debut in public performances at her school, University of the Pacific. She talked about opportunities for students to get involved in acting and other venues of public performance. This opportunity was made possible by funding from the Wintercreek Foundation which promotes the Arts as one of its areas of outreach.

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