May 28, 2010

Flat Harrison's Visit

In 1964, Jeff Brown published his children's book titled "Flat Stanley." Illustrated by Tomi Ungerer, the book describes the adventures of Stanley Lambchop, a small boy who is accidentally flattened when a large bulletin board falls on him. Stanley now finds he can enter rooms by sliding under doors, can be used as a kite, and visit friends by mailing himself in an envelope. Brown continued the adventures of Flat Stanley in a series of books, but the concept of a flat little boy has also continued through school projects.

The first Flat Stanley Project was started in 1995 by Dale Hubert, a third grade schoolteacher in Canada. Beginning by reading the book, students created paper Flat Stanleys and took them on adventures - keeping a journal of the places and activities. The journals were given to others and were asked to add their own adventures with Flat Stanley. Variations of this concept have been used in classrooms throughout Canada, the US, and the world.

It was through a school project that Flat Harrison came to visit Wilmington, North Carolina. A third grade class in Alabama read the Flat Stanley book and the children cutout and colored their own flat person naming each one after themselves. Afterwards, each child mailed their flat person to a friend or relative asking them to take the flat person with them and take photos of the places and things that they did together. A journal or diary was to be kept documenting the visit. The flat person, photos, and journal were then mailed back to the teacher, so the class could discuss the travels and adventures of the students' flat people.

If you have not read the original "Flat Stanley" book, Stanley does not remain flat forever. Tiring of the attention Stanley is getting, his younger brother Arthur uses a football air pump to return Stanley to his old self.

— Dan Hardison

Flat Harrison's Journal:
Read or print PDF

May 15, 2010

Where the Water Falls

Haiku and image by Dan Hardison
Photo: Fall Creek Falls State Park, East Tennessee

Simply Haiku, Autumn 2009, vol 7 no 3.

May 7, 2010

Waters of the River

My being
is as the waters of a river;
passing through time and change
and creations of God
and man
that line my way.
Ever changing, ever moving,
pursuing paths
not always of my choosing . . .
traveling at a pace
not always of my heart's desire,
toward some obscure horizon;
some uncertain destiny.

Like the river,
I am moved by powers
I cannot command;
sometimes to linger
in desolate and ugly places
'til I become
a part of what they are . . .
and their look
is on my face . . .
Then suddenly to be swept
past things of beauty,
things of worth,
too fast to grasp . . .
too fast to comprehend.

My life
is as the waters of a river
and I cannot change my course.
Perhaps, there was a time,
somewhere in the beginning,
but not now.
So I will take the path I must
toward whatever seas await me.

Jim Metcalf
From his book “In Some Quiet Place.”

Photo by Dan Hardison
Tellico Plains, Tennessee

Also available:
Read or print PDF