Friday, March 30, 2012

A Very Nerdy Evening

I continue to marvel at the depths social media has improved and inspired my teaching life. Twitter has allowed me to learn from teachers, authors, and librarians all over the country and even the world. No longer is professional development limited to a conference here or a meeting there. It's happening every day, just a computer or smartphone away.

Wednesday evening was one of those moments that I realized social media has done more than just help me learn to be a better teacher. It's helping me to do things and meet people I'd never be able to do and meet otherwise. I had a nerdy good time at dinner in Ann Arbor with some Michigan members of the Nerdy Book Club (one drove in from Chicago) and... Jennifer Holm. Yes, the Jennifer Holm who won three Newbery honors and writes two of the coolest graphic novel series in the world: Babymouse and Squish.

She was giving a talk at the University of Michigan on Thursday and because Colby Sharp is probably the coolest teacher in the state of Michigan, he arranged for a small group of us to have dinner together at a restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor.

Not only is Jenni one of the nicest, sweetest authors you will ever meet, but being surrounded by teachers and librarians who are just as passionate as I am about what they do was such an empowering feeling. We laughed, talked shop, and of course, discussed books.

I think one of my favorite moments of the evening was when we were sitting around a table at a bar in downtown Ann Arbor, surrounded by students that attend a university known as the Harvard of the Midwest (depending on who you ask), and here we are, extolling the virtues of Babymouse. We're not talking about the current political climate of the Middle East or the brilliance of Tolstoy. Nope. We're talking about a tiny mouse with curly whiskers who wished they were straight. And you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.

One of the most memorable moments from the evening was thanks to one Brian Wyzlic and the dedication he shows to his students by becoming Edgar Allan Poe... literally. He went so far as to come to dinner dressed as Poe... and he and Jenni admired each other's work:
Hey Edgar, don't look so morose all the time. It's impossible to be unhappy reading Babymouse.
Oh the things teachers will do for their students. 

Anyway, I want to thank Colby Sharp, Mr. Schu, Kristin Mcilhagga, Brian Wyzlic, Julie Rick, and of course Jenni Holm for making it such a memorable evening - even if it was a school night and I was a walking zombie all of Thursday. It was oh so worth it.
Jenni signs a very special picture for Mr. Poe... I mean Mr. Wyzlic
Priceless picture - signed by Jenni Holm and graced by Babymouse
We might all be Nerdy, but this is one cool group of book lovers.


  1. That looks like an absolute blast! You're a rock star.

  2. How fun!! I'm so glad you had this awesome opportunity to hang out with an author and fellow book lovers.