Friday, March 02, 2007


The Welcome Banner at Monroe

SO LAST THURSDAY (February 22) was my birthday. It was pretty uneventful, as far as birthdays go. I never limit my birthday to a “day” but celebrate the whole weekend.

ON THURSDAY, I had the African American Read-A-Thon at Monroe Elementary School where my Tio Genaro is a vice-principal. It was very nice; a lot of the kids remembered me from last year. I sold about ten books, mostly to teachers and office employees. There were the usual author questions: Where do you get your stories from? How long did it take you to write your book(s)? Did you ever think about giving up? But there were several highlights throughout the day:


The whole assembly (100+ kids & teachers) sang “Happy Birthday to Me!” (nice :).


Admiring Fan (smiling shyly): You’re my favorite author.

Me (cheesing from ear to ear): Really? Did you read my book?

Admiring Fan (smiling coyly & shaking her head)

Me: So, how can I be your favorite author?

Admiring Fan (giggling & shrugging)

Me: You better read my book – when you’re older.


While talking to a 6th grade class about how I was called names when I was a kid (nerd, square, teacher’s pet, goody-two-shoes, four-eyes) because I was a good student, and how I used my words to fight back, I kept seeing this one girl (who wore glasses) turning to her seat-mate elbowing and giving him looks of “Nah.” I knew she was experiencing the same things I had so it was great to witness that connection. Later, the co-teacher in the classroom bought two copies of Boricua Morena: Memoirs of a Humboldt Park Girl and raffled one off. She told me that everyone was fighting to win the book and one of the girls won (I was hoping it was the same girl); afterwards, she passed the book around. More than the fact that they were fighting over my book, I was thrilled that they were fighting over a book, especially in this day and age.

Listening to second graders reading in Spanish -- better than I! I was in awe.


At least 10 kids asked for my autograph. Now I know what it feels like to be Jennifer Lopez & Jennifer Hudson – OK, not really, but close.


I got Starbucks gift cards from both my kids (WHOO-HOO!) I know, it’s sad the things that make us happy as “mature” adults.

On Friday, the staff at my office had a surprise brunch for me.

On Saturday, my sister and I were going to go partying (not how we used to party in the old days) with our daughters (yes, with our daughters), but there was a snowstorm. Sorry, I’ve never been the adventurous type.

And on Sunday, like the Lord, I rested.


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