(Note: Sorry for the previous post and then removal. I also run the school blog for one of my classes, and we use WordPress. I was signed in under this blog and posted her article on the tragic plane crash that killed most of a soccer team. Great article! On the wrong blog.)

Well, holiday mateys, we’ve come to the end of the holiday season. Now begins my LEAST favorite time of year that was once made sweet by coaching speech contest, but alas, that is no more. We leave the holidays over-partied, overfed, and maybe a smidge hungover, some of us with renewed spirits and resolutions, others of us jaded from resolutions past and determined to just get through to summer.

Whatever your mood today, there’s still time for one last little ghost story.

San Diego Spirit

In 2011, I was hired by the Muscatine Community School District as part of a new project-based learning initiative called G-Squared. The idea was to create a project-based school-within-a-school to give students the option of a different style of learning.

My team and I had the opportunity to fly out to San Diego and visit High Tech High, a project-based magnet school, and participate in in a jam-packed weekend of project-based development. For those of you who aren’t in the education field, the idea behind project-based is that the students and teacher use long-term, multi-step projects to learn concepts instead of worksheets, tests, and homework. The idea is that students create real-world things that are actually useful outside of the school (a website, a video, a database, a performance, an art piece, etc). It really is a remarkable place.

As part of our training, we got to visit the school on “Exhibition Night” where all the students displayed their projects in each classroom. In a science room, the students had built a model town and run a lighting and electricity system through it. There were hand-made books of poetry and lots of artwork.

However, this first incident happened that afternoon on the day of the Exhibition. We were given carte-blanche to wander the school and observe classes, and the building itself was very warehouse-like. There were big spaces for performing and gathering, and smaller ones blocked off for displays and more traditional classrooms. In the more industrial-feeling part, there was a small hallway off of a bigger room that turned at a weird angle. My colleagues and I were walking through and stopping to admire some art installations on the walls.

I was staring fixedly at a painting when I felt a hand on my elbow. It was without a doubt a hand. It had individual fingers. Just a gentle touch.

I turned and started speaking, thinking it was Amy, my coworker, because she had a habit of putting her hand on people’s arms as a talking point or a reassuring gesture (even though I had just met her).

But there was nobody there. My group had moved far down the next hallway and nobody was close to me whatsoever.

I tried to shake it off, but it was pretty weird. So that night, we came back for the Exhibition. We wandered around all of the displays until we came to a classroom where students were showing a documentary. “Oh, you have to see this, Amelia, it’s right up your alley,” Laurie said. So I went in for the next showing.

It was a documentary about a student team of ghost hunters! Apparently the building had a haunted reputation. They didn’t uncover much in their nighttime investigation, but there you go. I had no idea whatsoever the building was known for the paranormal, and the paranormal tried to make contact with me. I excitedly told the students after the video, but they kind of blew me off weirdly. Disaffected teenagers, or jealous that I was the one the ghost wanted to talk to ? 🙂

Well, thanks for coming on this journey with me through Christmas, the New Year, and the paranormal. I would love to hear any personal stories out there, so feel free to leave a comment or contact me via Facebook or Twitter. Also, if you love ghost stories, check out Jim Harold’s Campfire wherever you find your podcasts. As Jim would say,  “stay spooky!”