I was Everett Ruess for a day, visiting some Language Arts and Social Studies classes at work. And a funny thing happened: Squirrelly middle schoolers were interested in history.
They asked questions. They listened to what Everett had to say. They clapped after I read "Wilderness Song." They sat forward in their chairs and LISTENED.
It wasn't normal middle school behavior to be sure.
For my part, it was really fun reciting some ER poetry, letters, and famous quotes. I felt like a rock star when I walked down the hall: Kids would say "hey, there's Everett Ruess. I found him."
And the one thing that really strikes me from this experience is that some of the kids who saw my presentation -- were only a year away from beginning to "pull an Everett Ruess."