Celebrating (a bit late)

(I’m posting this on Sunday morning under the category of Better Late Than Never. I wanted to put more than just words in the post so I needed to wait until I was near a computer…)

This post is part of a group of posts from teachers around the country who are celebrating our weeks by sharing them in these posts. Click on the image above to see what others are celebrating this week.

This post is part of a group of posts from teachers around the country who are celebrating our weeks by sharing them in these posts. Click on the image above to see what others are celebrating this week.

1. It was Nerdy Book Club’s second birthday on Sunday and we celebrated with the list of nominees for the 2013 Nerdy Book Club Awards. I knew this was coming, but I didn’t know what would be on the list until Donalyn posted it. I will admit to sneaking a peek at the post before everyone else got to see it (don’t judge). What I didn’t see was everything Donalyn wrote at the beginning of the post as it ran on Sunday morning. I cried when I read it. Good, happy tears. I have recounted where and how my involvement with Nerdy began years ago (usually starting with my parents reading to me and me getting my first library card – right up to Donalyn and Colby calling me to see if I would help with the site). I have explained to countless people at conferences and bookstores and libraries what the site is and is not – and usually that involves me explaining how a community blog works. But it’s the word COMMUNITY that makes me tear up. Nerdy is part of my everyday life. It’s in the subject lines on my emails, in my text messages, on my calendar and to-do list, but it isn’t something I do. It’s something that I am part of. And I celebrate this every day. So, yes, Donalyn, I feel good about this decision. Every. Single. Day.

2. I had nearly the perfect day on Monday (only nearly because we had to go get flu shots – I’m happy to avoid the flu, but I generally don’t like shots). My son and I went and crossed a whole ton of things off our to-do list, then rewarded ourselves with a visit to the “Big Library” in Harrisburg (the East Shore branch is significantly larger than the branches we usually frequent that are closer to home). We settled up some fines (we’re human – and sometimes those bookstacks take longer than we think they will) and went searching for Nerdy nominees in the stacks. While we were there we got to see two of our favorite library employees – and then we left with an epic bookstack to go have some lunch at a cool diner up the street.

IMG_20131202_124216  IMG_20131202_123055

3. Tuesday started our #nerdlution goals. I’m proud of myself for sticking with most everything this week. I wrote every single day this week (not necessarily all online), I spent some time reading and on Twitter, and I made it a point to exercise almost every single day. Yesterday’s exercise was my favorite: walking around Logan Square in Philly. Runner up: moving furniture around in my classroom. (I just moved my big heavy desk across the room and then back, but it was enough.)

I love seeing what everyone else is doing, too, and being part of this community. :)



4. My ALAN books came in the mail this week and I was delighted to take them to school to share them. Granted, the immediate disappearance of SMOKE by Ellen Hopkins (with not one soul admitting to borrowing it – hence leading me to believe it has gone the way of every other single Ellen Hopkins book I have ever had in my classroom…just much faster) just proves how much my kids have become readers. So does the way they swarmed the front table and looked at the books, picked them up and flipped through them. I made them fill out tickets to be drawn for the titles they wanted to read so that kids in my classes past second period would actually have a fighting chance to borrow some of them. A couple of kids decided make sure the odds were ever in their favor by filling out extra tickets for the same titles. I filtered out the extras, but most of them were lucky enough to get drawn first anyway.

I loved being able to give books to my students with their names on the stickers and see their faces when they got them. Yay! I have already gotten back several from before Thanksgiving so they can go to the next lucky winner.

But my favorite celebration of my student readers was the one who is reading Alan Sitomer’s Caged Warrior ARC first. He got it before first period and when I saw him for class, he informed me in the most serious tone of voice I have ever heard that he needed to have a copy of this book to keep. I tweeted about it to Alan later that day and made this student’s eyes go wide with amazement when I showed him Alan’s reply the next day.

alan sitomer caged warrior tweet

I love the buzz of book conversation and looking over shoulders and reading the backs of books when I have so many new ones for them to look through.



5. I got to see some talents of my students that stretch beyond the classroom this week. I have some incredible artists who spend time in my classroom – I’ll share the commissioned work of one sometime soon, but the Dalek picture and haiku showed up on my board during clubs this week and I had to share.

20131204_094540Along with that, I got to start my adventure of helping with the high school musical. (No caps. We will probably sing “We’re All in This Together” at some point during rehearsals. And by “we” it will really be “me.” They will probably just look at me and shake their heads.) Auditions were on Tuesday after school and I could remember being on the stage doing auditions for my high school productions. The view and experience is really different from the other side of things. I will say though that we have some incredibly talented students and I’m so looking forward to working with them and the director Elaine Cramer. The show we’re doing is The Wizard of Oz. I’m still on the hunt for a good Toto (one that doesn’t actually require being fed or walked) so if anyone has any leads…

To that end, I also got to enjoy most of the chorus and band concerts on Thursday evening. What a joy! I think that the highlight had to be when the band played music from the Harry Potter score, but a close runner up was a fascinating piece called “Old Churches” that sounded a bit like wind chimes to me and B.


6. I look forward to Saturdays because I get to reflect back on all of the scribbles in my calendar and notebook and cultivate which moments make it into my Celebrate posts. The best part is that I seem to always have more than I would be able to put in any one post. There is nothing more joyful than this. 


8 thoughts on “Celebrating (a bit late)

  1. So happy I got to read this and hear all about your celebrations this week, Cindy. Although I seem to comment just sometimes, I have loved the Nerdy community since you all began it, and feel like I finally found people who love books and reading as much as I do! I love your adventure to the ‘big’ library-fun to hear about, and to hear all the parts of your life like helping with the high school musical. That should be a great time. Have a great next week, too!

    • I’m not big on stats but we have waaaaay more clicks than comments. You’re definitely not alone. :) As for the community, I absolutely feel like I’ve found my tribe in Nerdy – and it’s a far bigger tribe than I could’ve known!
      I’m excited about the musical. Rehearsals don’t start until January so I have a while until the real adventure starts.
      Every week brings its own adventures. Looking forward to whatever this week brings. Looks like helping with the book fair at B’s school and the Scholastic Warehouse Sale, decorating our Christmas tree, and sorting the yearbook fundraiser candles. And snow. :)

  2. You have had such a great week! I love the spontaneous artwork and haiku. It is so fun when those kinds of things show up. I was in musicals in high school and loved them. It is great that you are able to help out with this one. Also, I am so glad that I have found the Nerdy Book Club community. The work that you, Colby, and Donalyn do is so appreciated by so many.

    • Doing these posts reminds me that there is joy in every week; you just need to be looking for it. :)
      I never had big parts in the musicals – though Mom reminded me of a time when I sang as Mary Poppins in elementary school. I’m a much better actress than singer so I did better with roles for the plays. I think it’ll be a good experience.

  3. Cindy, just reading all that you accomplished during the week exhausts me. This, however, is what makes you the great teacher that you are. I know that your students appreciate all that you do for them.

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