#CTTW: You Changed the World a Little Bit

This is another one of those rare posts that isn’t supposed to be funny (as opposed to my posts that happen to not be funny because I’m just not that good a writer). You would think this one would be a hoot since yesterday I went to the dentist to have a crown put on and I totally misunderstood the whole process. It does not, in fact, result in me being named the Queen of anything. In fact, it resulted in the dentist breaking the tooth he was trying to fix and then having to pull the mother fucker out of my head in four different pieces.

You would also think this post would be funny because I’m now on really good drugs (see story above). Sadly, if I’m this bizarre when I’m supposedly sober, I should be awesome while high. I’m not. Instead, I make tree sloths look like steroid-abusing Olympic athletes.

But here is the serious post: you changed the world a little bit. You, my good internet people, answered the call and filled in the gaps. When I was given twenty copies of Fahrenheit 451 to give to my students for World Book Night, all of you took to the internet and sent gift cards for me to buy extra copies for the remaining students. I not only ended up with enough to give to every student, there are about five leftover copies on my desk that I give to new students coming in.

One student was actually in the facility with me last year and remembered being given last year’s book, The Book Thief. He said it was the only book he’d read at the time, but that he’s read “way more’n dat” since then. His face lit up when I handed him this year’s book.

Other students told me a much more heart-wrenching tale. Several told me that they read it one time just because I was nice enough to give it to them, and that it was good enough that they had to read it again. MANY students told me a different story:

“If all those people on the internet bought this book for me, the least I could do is read it for them.”

You. You did that. And I’m clapping for you right now.

I Swear I Don’t Ask for Much

I admit it, I am incredibly high maintenance, but not in the usual way. I don’t wear makeup and I don’t have one of those really annoyingly-cliched shoe fetishes that all the popular women seem to have. I actually think high heels are of the devil. But I do realize that I have certain needs that I insist are met, in a timely fashion, too. It’s gonna get ugly if I have to wait to use my own bathroom, and there are whole bags of potato chips in our house with my name written on the bag in Sharpie marker. The kids just somehow know… don’t touch mama’s chips.

But I do try to balance out the complete all-about-me-ness by being a good person when I can. I brake for squirrels if no one’s behind me and if it won’t make me spill my margarita. My “I own a business, so I need an iPad” tablet’s memory is almost completely full because of all of the kiddo apps and The Wiggles music downloads. And I always throw my change in the little slot on the drive-thru window to make sure it goes to Ronald McDonald House instead of making my purse sound like a one-horse open sleigh.

But today, I’m sitting here with my hand out, hoping you might want to help. If you don’t want to help, I’d love for you to pass this post on to someone you know, someone who doesn’t eat live kittens like you obviously do.

I’ve blogged before about how I’m a teacher in the coolest, most elite private school in the country. Okay, it’s actually a maximum security juvenile detention facility, but that makes it all the more exclusive. For the second year in a row, my classroom was chosen to be a World Book Night donation site. That means the WBN organizers are giving me a set number of copies of a great book for me to pass out to my students. The book will become theirs to keep. The first thing we do is write their names in the book, because it’s theirs and for many of my students it’s the first and only book they own. This year, I’m receiving 20 copies of the incredible, world-changing book, Fahrenheit 451.

We’re a 48-bed facility.

The rules of WBN are 20 copies of the book, and that’s it. And due to the nature of our facility, I have no way of knowing how many youth will be housed in my school on April 23rd. So I’m asking for help.

If you are at all interested in giving one copy of the book, I would love it and I would even write your name in it (but not your address, because that could just lead to problems that nobody wants). If you want to help, I can accept an email gift certificate from Amazon or Barnes and Noble for the paperback edition of the book. Then, if I don’t actually need your copy, I can either a) refund it to you or b) use it to put towards for a classroom set of the novel… your choice. If you wanted to send an Amazon certificate for just the price of the book, I could also purchase any new book for the school library if I didn’t need any more copies of the book. I will be happy to email everyone back the online receipt once the book is purchased, which I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure the right accountant could use on your taxes since we are one of those 501c(3) deals.

If you are interested in helping or sharing this, email me and I will give you the details. And thanks in advance for the book and for not running over a squirrel!