Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nerdfighter Surprise

Let me set the scene of the surprise.  It started with a twitter message. A message that started with an address request, a hint at a surprise and ended with "no back talk." That just made laugh. It's serious when someone says "no back talk."

I am recovering from some yuckiness. Not the flu--at least the test, that I think a former student must have invented, the test that requires the longest q-tip on the planet to be inserted into the darkest depths of one's nasal cavity--that test was negative the first week I was sick. Thankfully negative, but I was still sick. I don't like to be sick. Who does really? I missed a week of school.

When I returned to school the package arrived. Magic. My poetry club students were in my classroom when I opened it.The box reminded me of something checks used to be mailed in--that rectangular, heavy cardboard shape that would fit a stack of newly printed checkbooks--well, wide checkbooks, but it's a similar shape. I read the return address and saw that the package had come from John Green's office.

My cheek muscles were feeling the smiles.

Why couldn't I have long fingernails? I had to hunt for a scissors--it only took a minute. I cut the packing tape and opened the box. Sound did escape from my mouth. I squealed. I admit it. There is no shame in joy. I happy danced. I caught my poets off guard and they were concerned until they saw me laughing, saying "wow! wow!"

I love these kinds of surprises. I love that this artist* shared her work with me. I love how well the necklaces and magnets are made. I work with resin on domino necklaces and collage. Air bubbles are tricksters. I love how these pieces are packaged--cleanly, elegantly.  I love the art card behind the bottle-cap necklaces: brilliant. Love received. Love at work in the world--that's what this surprise brought to my mind--that and I wondered how am I sharing surprise and joy with others?

I shared the box with my son in car line during pick-up. His first words, "SO, do you get all the magnets?"

He loves them too. Thank you, thank you ! We settled on a fifty-fifty split. I'm keeping my half at school. Several of my students are among the more than a million Nerdfighters now online.   The world is wide and wonderful.

*Note to the lovely and wonderful Danica:  I am behind in my official thank you noting and though I have a pay back package in the works, it's not quite finished yet.


  1. I could use the line "no back-talk" in my life. That line alone could be worth writing every day! (That and so much more, I'm already getting from this!) I love your passion in front of your students, Lee Ann! I also admired the voice in your writing and the weaving in of details. Why couldn't I have long fingernails? definitely stayed with me. Great post!

  2. Love this post! The magnets are amazing but I really loved hearing your voice in it.

  3. Cool. Cool. Cool. Love this and the fact that you happy danced in front of your students. Little surprises like this are one of the JOYs I look for every day.

    By the way, you didn't post your link on TWT. Just "Nerdfight surprise this chilly Wednesday morning" that was enough to send me here, but others might need the address :)

  4. Nerdfighter surprise was definitely enough to send me here, too. I love how you share your excitement with your students. Mine certainly give me looks that clearly say, "Who is that crazy woman?" when I get a package of bookmarks or troll dolls or pins from authors. I can't imagine the happy dance I would do if I found those awesome buttons.

  5. Lee Ann,
    There's nothing better than a surprise package. It's amazing how quickly it can lift our spirits.


  6. What a wonderful surprise...especially because you got to open it in from of your kids and share the joy. I need to look into these magnets!

  7. Wow, what a neat surprise! I love that you weren't ashamed to "squeal" and "happy-dance" in front of your students! They need to see those moments of real joy, especially joy that's related to books!