Meredith alumna Macy Allen Cole, ’17, who served on the planning committee for Meredith’s “A Month in Blume” celebration, had the opportunity to meet legendary author Judy Blume at a recent conference.
Cole, who teaches sophomore English at Enloe High School, attended the Key West Literary Seminar in Key West, Florida. She was selected to receive the KWLS Teacher and Librarian Scholarship, which funds conference fees and lodging for teachers and librarians from across the United States.
While attending the conference, Cole was able to meet Judy Blume twice.
“I first ran into her by chance at her bookstore, Books and Books, the morning before the scholarship winners were to have a picnic lunch with her,” Cole said. “I wanted to pick up a copy of her novel Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret in hopes of getting it signed at lunch, but she was standing at the checkout counter. As I went to check out, she looked down at the book, smiled and let out a laugh before asking if I’d like for her to sign it.”
Cole was one of the 20 scholarship winners who met with Blume at the Key West Public Library, where they also toured the archives.
“She was welcoming and humble about her successes,” Cole said. “She wanted to have an opportunity to meet and talk with everyone who was there.”
The seminar topic this year was sports and literature, and Cole plans to bring what she learned into her own classroom.
“There was one book, One Goal by Amy Bass, that’s about a high school soccer team in a failing mill town in Maine winning the state championship in 2015,” Cole said. “Immediately, this story stood out to me because while it’s a story about a soccer championship, it’s more so about Somali refugees revitalizing this town and the quest for the state championship bringing together people from different backgrounds.”
Cole plans to use the book in one of the classes she teaches.
“I currently teach a sheltered ESL English class where half of my students are English learners from all over the world, mainly from Mexico, Central America, Puerto Rico, Eritrea, Sudan, and Tanzania,” she said. “This book is relatable to these students and discusses important themes and social issues, but it’s also a story about high schoolers and soccer.”
Photo caption: Meredith alumna Macy Allen Cole (back row center in denim shirt) is shown beside author Judy Blume in a photo taken during the Key West Literary Seminar.