Monday, November 22, 2010

What's Your Happy Dance?

Find The Nerdfighter Happy Dance Project here.
Do you have a happy dance? Young adult author extraordinaire, John Green and his awesome, gifted brother, Hank, have happy dances. Their tribe, the Nerdfighters, preserved and shared their happy dances a few years ago on YouTube. I am a Nerdfighter--perhaps the oldest Nerdfighter in all Nerdfighteria. Seeing an elder's happy dance is rare. Last night, this elder happy danced at the ALAN cocktail party.

Did I dance because I was swimming through a room of young adult authors? Book buzz all around me. Nope. Did I dance because I got the rare treat of re-connecting with and talking to ">Elizabeth Thomas, an organizer of Brave New Voices and an amazing performance poet. Nope. Well, to be honest, yes, Elizabeth did give me twinkle toes, but I wouldn't call it a full out dance.

She was not the impetus for the spontaneous outburst of happy dancing that left my hair standing straight up. What did? It goes something like this:

I was walking across the room for refreshments when I heard, "Ms. Spillane?" Good Lord I thought, there's not a student here is there?

Standing before me was Chuck. Charles Warren. Chuck who was in my 9th grade Global Technology English class at University High School nearly 10 years ago. Chuck, a member of the robotics team. Chuck, who was the only boy to give his teachers Christmas presents. Tall Chuck who, even then, stood more than a head taller than me. Wow.

"Ms. Spillane!"

Bear hugs ensued. Then Chuck turned to me and said, "I want to introduce you to my fiance. She's going to be an English teacher."

He's marrying an English teacher my stomach fluttered.

"Mindy, this is Ms. Spillane." Handshaking gave way to more hugs. "Mindy, this is the teacher that turned me into a reader." Wow.

I danced and danced, Snoopy feet, swirling fists, I laughed and Chuck grinned. He's a reader!



  1. Love it! I found out about this through Wendy Pantoja who is my Clinical Coordinator for my FLVS internship. I was in a mtg with her today, and she was like--"I saw you on the internet today in a blog I follow, do you have a boyfriend named Chuck?" I was like, O.O...."yes, why?" And then she proceeded to show me your FABULOUS blog and OUR PHOTOS! :D I'm showing this to Charles first thing! It was a absolute pleasure meeting you and I would love to stop by and visit your classroom sometime (perhaps when Charles comes to talk to your students about reading? :D). Virtual hugs, Mindy

  2. Awesome! I'm delighted you found your way here. Wendy Pantoja is an amazing teacher. How lucky are you that she's overseeing your internship with Florida Virtual School! You are welcome in my classroom any time.