I’ve seen my other friends do this, on the advice of Newtown High School teacher Lash Ashmore, so here goes…

Hi, I’m from Newtown, Connecticut.

Newtown has modern conveniences — supermarkets, Starbucks, an Interstate highway. But it also has small-town charm. People go to the Town Hall to watch movies for $2 and buy sandwiches at the General Store next door. The landmark is a gigantic flagpole where two busy state roads intersect. There’s only one fast food chain restaurant in the entire town. Two schoolteachers honored the town’s history by rebuilding a historic inn, 23 years after it was destroyed by fire. The ice cream shop of choice is called The Ice Cream Shop, and when it closes for the winter, it simply hangs up a sign that says, “Gone Fishing.”

When I last visited Newtown, I not only met up with my friends, I also visited my teachers at my elementary and middle schools. Most of them were still there, and they still remembered me, 12 years after I had moved away. I ended up talking with Mr. Bird’s class, explaining why computers crash and teaching a few Chinese characters. I’m not sure when I will be near Newtown again, but when I am, I will visit.

And to Mr. Bird’s class of 2001: “guinea pig” is 豚鼠.