Sources of Joy: On My Teacher’s Shoulders Off The Presses and Into the Envelopes

The materials to send the first batch of orders for On My Teacher's Shoulders.

The materials to send the first batch of orders for On My Teacher’s Shoulders.

The journey of On My Teacher’s Shoulders, the book I wrote about learning from fourth grade teacher Paul Tamburello at three different points over the course of 30 years, just keeps on going.

As readers of this space know, we’ve gone in the past six weeks from planning and holding a launch event at Pierce School, the elementary school where I attended and worked as an apprentice teacher and where Paul taught for 34 years, to figuring out where and how to actually the print the book we’re sending to the kind and generous people who ordered them.

Ground Zero for this endeavor: the Harvard Book Store, a venerable independent book store in the heart of Cambridge’s Harvard Square.

With the help of dear friend Amy Kantrowitz, Dunreith, my lovely wife and our international marketing director, located the Espresso Book Machine.

As you’ll see, this remarkable piece of machinery cranks out high-quality books in very short order.

We’re talking minutes.

Our designer Russell Weller and Harvard Book Store connection Jamie Dondero coordinated around making sure Jamie had the file he needed, and, even during the height of the holiday rush, found time to print our first run of 100 books.

Well, almost 100.

Jamie spearheaded the printing of the first 95 copies, then made sure that Paul was available to come in and film the final five copies being produced.

You can see get a sense of the store and see one of the copies being made here:

Having secured all of the copies in a pair of compact boxes, Paul returned to the New England Region Book Fulfillment Warehouse in Watertown, aka his house, and set to work.

Assisted by dear friend Pam Rivers, he used the envelopes, tape and padding he had purchased to get close to two dozen copies from the first batch into the mail before the Watertown Post Office closed, then doubled back to buy a couple of boxes for the orders of multiple copies he sent out today.

Some of the books have already arrived.

Knowing from, learning from and becoming friends with Paul over the course of five decades has been one of my life’s more important experiences.

Bringing to fruition the idea of writing a book that chronicles that relationship has been the realization of a long-held dream.

Calling people together who have loved and nurtured me the site where so much of the learning happened to celebrate the completion of the project and launching it into the world has made the dream even sweeter.

And now working with Dunreith and Paul to print and mail of the books to folks who have ordered them is, if possible, even more delicious.

Each step of the beautifully unfolding journey takes all of us to new, uncharted and exquisite territory.

I don’t where it’ll end.

But I do know I’m excited for every step of the way.


3 responses to “Sources of Joy: On My Teacher’s Shoulders Off The Presses and Into the Envelopes

  1. I just received the book, and it looks great. An accomplishment you should be proud of. I hope it gets the readership it deserves. I look forward to spending time getting deeper into the story.

  2. I read On My Teacher’s Shoulders! A moving account. I could almost taste the bagels and Chinese food you deliciously describe, but what hit me the most powerfully was Paul’s statement of his intention to retire. I didn’t see it coming. When I read “How much have I accomplished, what’s my place in the pantheon of my school’s history? More Importantly what’s my place in the personal pantheons of the hundreds of fourth graders whom I’ve taught, advised, disciplined, and eaten lunch with for the past 33 years,” I wept. Wept deeply as I pondered the same questions for myself, now 26 years into my work at McKinley, probably to complete about 33 there myself. I’ve put so much in; what has come of that? Earlier today I revisited a poem that I wrote on the subject a dozen years ago, and I started to put pen to paper for a new version. Thank you for the stimulating and enjoyable read, and thank you for all you do (and to you, Paul, also!).

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks, Dave. I’ve passed on your moving response to Paul, who was honored by it.

      I appreciate your support and look forward to talking with you about the book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s