Conspire to Child: In 5th grade. I had a teacher who to this day remains one of the most influential people in my life. Her name is Barbara Fechter.  Her class felt like a mixture of birthday party and book club. It made me feel present and self-confident. One of the many creative things she had us do was to pick an and to write our own book with a voice and style that mimicked the author we picked. I chose Shel Silverstein and the book was, as you might expect, Where the Sidewalk Ends.  It was a creative awakening for me.. First, the content of the book itself. I loved the lyrical bounce of the poems and the unusual mix soulfulness and irreverence or "benevolent mischief". Shel himself had a certain unspoken emotionality that spoke to me like Jerry Garcia would later in my life. In part, because, like Garcia I saw myself in his writing - and in a more profound way, because his writing connected me to the world - he had deep insights and emotions that he delivered in little mischief-filled, delightful limericks. Shel Silverstein stirred a creative and emotional wake-up call in me that has informed the core of who I am to this day. I've taken great pleasure in spearheading #ConspireToSmile but bringing these Shel-like rymes to life might have been the most fun part of it for me.  I hope you and your kids have as much fun listening as I did creating them.  I think my sons thought I'd lost my mind when they heard me recording myself barking like a dog.  #Conspire to Smile - R. Reinhold Genauer