Last week I Skyped with a class at the Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills, Kentucky, that read WHERE AM I WEARING? I’m always happy to Skype with classes reading one of my books. I often do these Q&A sessions for $0, but payment comes in many forms.
Last night after returning from two days in Ferguson seeding a Facing Project, a package from the class was waiting on me. There were pajamas for the kids because I shared that each night after bath I have Harper check the made in label on her pajamas. There was a moleskine with an awesome quote followed by a message from Amanda Staggs, the class’s teacher.
Every gift was thought out and full of meaning. It’s gestures and encouragement like this that fuel me. I doubt my work will change the lives of the people I write about, but maybe, just maybe it changes those exposed to it. And the change in readers and audience members, may change the lives of the children of the farmers and factory workers I’ve met around the world.
Thanks for not being “grumpy about the whole situation”
Here are some of my favorite lines (some slightly out of context) from the letters:
Thank yous from each student were also included in the package. I read every single one of them. Here are some of my favorites:
I have never found much interest in non-fiction reading, but your book has made me see the good side of it.
Your book made me want to travel to places I never thought I would want to go.
… not only did it get us out of class, but it was also really cool talking to you.
When you finish watching Marco Polo on Netflix, you should watch Supernatural. It’s fantastic.
We also like when you talked about Netflix and your love for My Little Ponies.
You were so charismatic and funny and you could’ve easily been grumpy about the whole situation.
I have always wanted to travel the world, but I always though it was about seeing the sights and doing fun activities. You have made me realize thatwhen traveling, it is best to focus on learning about the different cultures.
We loved your story about … the cocaine leaves!
We’re going to keep in mind to go anywhere BUT Europe…
One of us is no longer afraid to fly!
Once you create a thing, you can’t control what that thing will mean to people or what impact it will make. That said, I was really pleased wtih many of the takeaways the students had.
I’m always a little disappointed when someone reads EATING or WEARING and simply says, “I’m going to be a better consumer!” I do think it’s improtant to be responsible consumers, but I’d rather create travelers and thinkers than consumers. I don’t want people to read my books and want to buy stuff; I want them to go places, explore their own curiosities, and never stop asking questions.
At the bottom of the Moleskine note was a p.s.: “The students wanted to sign your notebook so that you could take them with you (in some small way) on your next adventure.”
Don’t worry, I will.
Also, Supernatural is fantastic and My Little Ponies is awesome!