T.L. Zempel, a retired teacher of 27 years, used her experiences working with middle school students as inspiration for her debut novel, Finishing School, a comical look at daily life in a public middle school. Ms. Zempel's book shines a spotlight on the what-ifs regarding the disconnect between student motivation and the expectations placed on teachers. You can read more about Ms. Zempel, including her columns on life and teaching, at her author website tlzempel.com. Ms. Zempel currently lives in Colorado Springs, where she is working on her follow-up writing venture, a series of short stories that feature the same four characters in perpetual conflict with each other and with their circumstances in life.