5.21.2008

A perfectly mindless night

I have always appreciated the energy that is required of teachers. But today, I have a new appreciation -- or I guess I should say -- I have a specific appreciation. Over the course of the last two days I gave 23 booktalks at the local middle school. The booktalks were 20 minutes long -- and I talked about 20 books. I have a specific appreciation for teachers who give the same lesson plan several times a day, and who talk all day, and who are 'on' all day.

To give an example of how grueling it was for me, by the end of the second day, my arms were shaking so much that I actually hit my teeth with the microphone several times, my feet were swollen, and I had a massive headache by the end of the day. My voice held out fairly well (mainly because I was drinking so much water that I had to go to the bathroom every hour), but toward the end that was shaky too. Most of my books featured characters that died (a fact that I didn't really notice until the end of the second day...but there was a nice variety nonetheless) so my crackly voice was somewhat appropriate. Then I went to work to cover the reference desk for the last hour of the day, and help the after-school crowd. One of my colleagues said I was making a cameo appearance at work -- she didn't know how right she was!

It was worth it. The media specialist received so many wonderful comments, as did I. There was so much buzz about "the librarian and her booktalks" throughout the school. By the end of the first hour on the first day there were kids coming into the media center asking if their grade got to hear the booktalks. There were many requests at the media center for certain books, and questions from kids who weren't regular library users about how to find their public library, how to get the books, how to get library cards, etc. The teachers were especially grateful. They were grateful that a librarian would take the time to visit their school, and help them generate excitement about reading over the summer. Some of them mentioned that they heard about some books that might tie into their curriculum, some of them mentioned that their non-readers were talking about some of the books they wanted to read over the summer, and all of them mentioned that their kids were listening intently. Even though not all the kids live in my service area, and I know I won't personally see them all at my library, I am confident that the readers and non-readers alike left feeling excited about the stories that await them this summer.

But. I am completely out of shape when it comes to being on my feet, talking, and being 'on' all day. I am 'on' all day at the library, but this is a completely different pace, and I'm pooped. Happy, but pooped. Tonight I did nothing but mindless activity -- mindless games, mindless eating (air-popped popcorn - not the worst choice, but it was mindless eating), mindless television, and mindless blogging.

I guess it's okay to have a few completely mindless nights.

3 comments:

Kelvin Watson said...

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Kat said...

Well, Kelvin, that's not what I'm really about on Oranges and Peaches. I just found that I enjoy writing -- not something I'm especially great at, but I love the process of composing posts. It's cathartic. I also use the blog as a prompt/reminder to search the Internet for topics I wouldn't regularly search, and to use search engines that I don't use as often. And, while I haven't actually asked anyone why they read my blog, I don't think it's to find new stuff. Have you noticed? Mostly what I write about is stuff that my readers already know about!

For some reason, I'm going to let your comment stay. I did check out freegamesonline, and most of the games require plugins that I don't have, and aren't really very sophisticated. Not that typer shark or text twist are prime examples of sophistication, but they seem to have been designed with a little more thought.

Plus, while I realize your comment may very well be a form letter, it's a pleasant way to plug your product. I'm slightly intrigued. Mainly, I'm intrigued because I had this wave of guilt for thinking about deleting a perfectly polite comment. Weird, huh?

Kat said...

So, yeah, my DH just confirmed this is spam. There are tons of programs that do this automatically. I did suspect, but was willing to believe. I guess I'm gullible.

Oh well.