Dear Jodi Dodson,

Thank you for inviting me to apply to be the pencil when you hold your second annual literacy conference for teens in March. I don't know if I am sharp enough to be a pencil. But I will try to help you recruit one to wear the pencil costume.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

Maybe we could get a basketball player.

Maybe we could get a dancer. Maybe we could take nominations for someone to dress up in your pencil outfit. They could just send a note to me or find you at

I know you have been teaching at Valley Middle School and now are at South Middle School. And you are co-leading this reader conference with Eileen Zygarlicke, who teaches English at Community High.

I think your literacy conference for teens makes sense. You had 130 show up last year. You think you will triple the attendance this year! Well lots of luck. There has to be someone who can stand up straight and be a pencil.


Meanwhile, it looks as though we will be celebrating snow around the Forks. The Greenway Ski Day is set for Saturday at Lincoln Drive Park. People can pick up cardboard for the sled races at the Ski & Bike Shop. The Park Board is promising a snow-filled day of fun. And the Southgate Grill is serving up chili at noon.

Next Monday, that's Feb. 6, Red River will kick off its Snow Week.

Instead of moping about not going south, this is the week to buck up and enjoy winter. Right here and now. There are no wasps. The curling club has new facilities. There are lots of cars at Red Ray bowling lanes.


Well, Groundhog Day is coming up Thursday. I am not sure how we should celebrate. I guess we should be kind to the pigeons fluttering around the underpass on South Washington Street. And we should be kind to the deer that are wintering in south end neighborhoods in Grand Forks.

And I suppose you know about the Chinese New Year. Celebrations begin Saturday to welcome the year of the Rooster.

Your friend, Marilyn.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.