That was a great 7.25 mile run. Not because I revel in humidity and live for the times when sweat just drips off my forehead as I untie my shoes, but because I had some time with Lina, Andrius, Joana, Jonas and all the rest of Ruta Sepetys's vivid characters. While I should be listening to a middle grade novel from my Newbery contender reading list, I am secretly not. All fingers point towards my friend and YA lit mentor, Alicia Abdul, on why that isn't happening. It's Alicia's fault I bawled in the middle seat on the way to TLA while reading Jeff Zentner's The Serpent King. It's her fault this is my second Ruta book. And her fault I read every Jason Reynolds book last summer.
What I am to elementary, Alicia is exponentially more to High School. She is amazing. She knows her literature. She understands her audience and she is so perfectly organized. Me? I feel so scattered and overwhelmed when I am with her. She loves cute dresses and always looks adorably professional in them. Me? I love my converse, headbands and frequently do not even match when I dress for school. No surprise that my favorite spirit week day is "Mismatch Day." Twice Alicia and I have presented back to back about new books. I'm up there literally doing a chicken dance and racing through my presentation while Alicia has hers down to a science. In my humble opinion she's a Mary Poppins of secondary librarians.
So when she asked me to write a guest post on her blog you can only imagine the heart palpitations. What would I write about? After several failed attempts I finally put it to rest to take a day off. I started to write about a dream I had a few nights ago where I was offered a significant pay raise to move to a public library position. Boy did I struggle. I love my job but it's always nice to have a little extra cash. I woke up in a pool of sweat before I made my final decision. However, as much as I love all libraries, I'll tell you now that I haven't finished making even a dent on the difference in the lives of my students at Castleton Elementary School. So if that dream becomes recurring, I know what number door to pick.
Then last night on our way home from New York City, I began to read aloud essays written by successful candidates to Hamilton College. I awoke this morning with an idea for a post and you can read it all here:
I may not have thought to put those words down on paper if it had not been for Alicia. I could have said no to Alicia--it is summer and a busy time for me personally and professionally. But I'm not good at saying "No" (possible future blog post topic?). I also could have gone the safe route and written a review or again, just said "no." But like Joe Pucci, I reflected on myself, took the leap, said "yes" to a superstar colleague and went for it.
Side note: Between Shades of Gray is so good. I have both the audio and print versions so I can read it anytime I have a moment to spare. Alicia and Ruta are buds and I was thrilled to fangirl her at TLA in April.
Just me swooning over Ruta at TLA.
If you read the blog post, here are a few more (food) pictures from yesterday's jaunt to the city:
|We always take a selfie on our way down|
|Who can resist a NY bagel? YUM!|
At Momofuku on the Upper East Side
|The leap of the day!|