The state had also set aside land for the enjoyment of the people.
—Georgia, by Elmer D. Williams
She crossed the room to the mirror and patted her smooth hair approvingly.
—Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
What a whirlwind tour this morning. Petal’s a real Georgia state traveler. Mention any significant site around our fifty-eight thousand square miles of adventure and she’s been there.
Today she finally came out of a recent fog and mastered the art of class discussion domination.
I love to yak. I love the kids to yak.
Petal screamed ... I’ve been to Brasstown Bald a lot! The highest mountain in Georgia! I ran up it! Three miles! Straight up hill!
Her eyes were popping out of her head.
Hoover, sitting behind her, put his face in his hands.
I told Hoover if he loved Petal to just go ahead and tell her. We’re cool with that. Hoover loves her. I could tell on the first day of school.
Petal asked have I ever been to Blue Ridge?
No. But I hear it’s real quaint.
Hoover put a finger to his head as if he was shooting himself. Petal has a way of making you … you know.
Petal was fascinated about why people hike the Appalachian Trail and how long it takes if you do it in one hike. How long is the Appalachian Trail!
Tempest asked if there was Wi-Fi on the Appalachian Trail.
Oh! Oh! Todd! Petal was jumping out of her seat. Her right hand was wiggling off the joint.
Tempest said Butts County was above the Fall Line.
Hoover was rolling his eyes. Any second he’ll flop on the floor and assume the fetal position.
Petal says that she’d love to go to the Okeee-feno-keeeee Swamp! Are we going on any field trips in this class? She said that one time she was at some place where she almost stepped on an alligator! Her foot … was like … five inches away from it!
Now the class was really squirming. Why won’t Petal shut up!
Oh, God! Cumberland Island is awe-some! They have a bunch of wild horses down there! Has anybody else ever been to Cumberland Island!
Why, Petal, I asked … all this fascinating fascination with the outdoors?
She screamed, Can I go to the bathroom!
Petal scoots toward the door … in that peculiar way teenage girls walk quickly, stiff-leggedly, with their arms stuck to their sides. Hair waving in the wind.
The class clapped.
We continued reading out of the book. Have you ever wondered how deep the ocean is off Georgia or why you can walk far out from the shore before the water gets up to your head? Did you know ... the most important part of the agricultural economy of the Piedmont region is broiler chickens?
I was starting to get sleepy myself.
Petal was gone for a long time, doing whatever, probably checking her make-up.
And after a while we admitted. We missed her.
Next Entry ... September 2: Teacher High On French Roast!