Hi Mary,
What a delightful surprise to receive your message. It sounds as if 
retirment is treating you well. I will have to check for your books since 
now I know they were written by THE Mary Johnson. I envy your time free to 
travel and do so many things. I'm so glad things are working out well for 

As you might guess, I'm still teaching. My husband had to retire earlier due 
to health conditions. Between that and the recent losses in our pension 
fund, I've had to postpone retirement for a while. (I'd hoped to go at the 
end of this year.) It's mostly ok. I love working with students, but I have 
two little granchildren now and would like to spend more time with them, 
too. As I'm sure things changed in your school, we spend lots of time 
"gathering data" now - a nice way to say testing. As with most things, a 
little is fine, but there is a trade off when we have to spend so much time 
on it.

The American Fellow program really sparked my interest in history so I went 
back and got my graduate certification in public history (about half of a 
master's - just couldn't manage the whole thing.) I work with both the local 
museum and the Wisconsin Historical Society on how schools can use their 
collections. As long as I was still teaching, I also decided to submit a 
proposal for one of the new LOC lesson plans this spring. They accepted my 
lesson on Women's Contributions during World War II. It is something I've 
always wanted to do; my mom was a Navy nurse and I love reading the women's 
accounts on the LOC's Veteran's History site. This lesson process is like 
the American Fellows experience except it is all online. We have a Google 
Group and share ideas and suggestions that way. I've enjoyed it, but miss 
actually meeting the people in our group. As always, though, the people are 
fantastic. The leader of our group is Leni Dolan's AMFellow partner - 
Kathleen Ferenz. I've learned about all sorts of things - like Google Groups 
and Google Docs, and Flickr. I'd never heard of them before. It certainly 
keeps me learning.

It's exciting to hear you've written two books. I've always wanted to do at 
least one. But I guess that's famous last words for a lot of people. I'm 
hoping to eventually write a nonfiction juvenile biography on a local 
person. We'll see how things go.

Kim Wardean is also still teaching here. She is an amazing team leader and 
Nationally Certified teacher - we are so lucky she's stayed. Her boys are 
all growing up quickly with two in high school and one middle school. (They 
were babes when we were in Washington.) I will pass along your greetings. 

I've also wondered what has become of the rest of our group. I was so sad to 
hear of Leni's passing. Hopefully all others are well. It is still fun to 
keep in touch with Judy Graves and Elizabeth Brown. And now you! Keep in 
touch and give my best to Linda if you get the chance. Take care.
Patricia Solfest
Altoona Schools 
839-6030 (317)

-----Original Message-----
From: "Mary J. Johnson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 08:43:48 -0600
Subject: Re: Students writing Wikipedia entries

---------------------- Information from the mail header 
Sender:       American Memory Fellows <[log in to unmask]>
Poster:       "Mary J. Johnson" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      Re: Students writing Wikipedia entries

Hello, Patricia!

It was fun to see your name come across my email, so I thought I'd just 
write to say "Hi" to my fellow 2000 American Memory Fellow! I retired from 
full-time librarianship in 2005, but I still say "Yes" whenever anyone asks 
me to train others to teach with primary sources. We have a regional program 
here in Colorado (, and they do great work, so I 
always enjoy helping with their workshops. A couple of years ago I also did 
tons of training for teaching with Colorado's Historic Newspaper Collection 

I have my second book for Linworth coming out soon--in two to three weeks, I 
think--and it was both fun and a pain to write. It's called _Primary Source 
Teaching the Web 2.0 Way_ (not my choice of titles). I learned so much 
during the writing, especially about Web 2.0 tools, but already I feel 
totally behind the curve. Without an actual student population to work with 
daily, I feel that my expertise could be open to question. Oh well, I do 
hope that educators at a beginner to intermediate level when it comes to 
using Web tools will find it useful. 

Other than that, retirement keeps me incredibly busy. I travel a lot with my 
husband, who is an oil painter, and I read, work out at the Y, study 
Italian, write a Primary Source Librarian blog, and spend far too much time 

I'd love to hear how you are doing! (BTW, I, too, have received more than 
one totally garbled message.)

With fond memories,

P.S. Linda Thompson is still teaching, but she has left the social studies 
classroom to develop and teach middle school courses in digital media. I 
think she's having fun. 

Mary J. Johnson
Education Consultant
875 Golden Hills Rd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80919
Ph: 719-528-1906
Fax: 719-548-8352
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Primary Source Librarian Blog: 

On Wednesday, April 22, 2009, at 07:33PM, "Solfest, Patricia" 
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header 
>Sender:       American Memory Fellows <[log in to unmask]>
>Poster:       "Solfest, Patricia" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject:      Re: Students writing Wikipedia entries
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>Hi Judy,
>I received this email from you with an interesting header but the message 
>itself is garbled. This is the first time it has happened with one of your 
>emails. The message is all random letters and numbers. Just thought I'd let 

>you know. Thanks.
>Patricia Solfest
>Altoona Schools 
>839-6030 (317)