Sunday, September 26, 2010

That Rush You Get . . . Part 2

As if the excitement of buying all those books from the Scholastic Book Fair wasn't enough, a few days later I found myself at the local Barnes and Noble with a gift card worth over $700 in my hot little hand.

It started off innocently enough.  I was at the store to sign some paperwork confirming that our school would be  holding an event with Barnes and Noble in December.  The gift card was a result of all the hard work last years' librarian put in at her event. 

I had a short list of titles to purchase while I was there, some more copies of Twilight and Breaking Dawn, some manga, the second book of Skeleton Creek, and a Goosebumps book that had been requested.  Then the Barnes and Noble rep gave me a tour of the area where we would be setting up our event.  She showed me a copy of a local author I might be interested in having come to my school.  I grabbed a copy of his book, (autographed with a cool octopus picture on the title page) and was ready to find the other titles.  Then the rep had the brilliant idea of getting me a cart.

Oh Dear.  Barnes and Noble doesn't provide carts to the everyday shopper.  They don't even have little baskets, that I have noticed, anyway.  So she comes out from her office with this funky little dolly-type thing that is made for holding books.  Lots of books. 

Whooee.  With a book cart and a gift card for over $700, you can only imagine how much fun I had!  I got all the books on my list and about 30 more.  Seriously.  I spent over half of the card.  Yup.  That's right.  Only a little over half.  That means I get to come back.  Good.  I already have a list started.

Friday, September 17, 2010

That Rush You Get From Spending Money That's Not Yours

I just finished with my Jr. High's first Book Fair of the year.

About 3 weeks ago, I called to update the Scholastic Company with the information that I was the new Library Tech at this school and was informed that a Book Fair had been scheduled and was coming up right quick.

After the shock wore off and the panic subsided, I went for it.

A lot of work goes into hosting a Book Fair.  The library has to be closed to regular book check-out (and this wasn't much of a problem because I had been down in the textbok dungeon for the past few weeks and the library hadn't even opened yet, so what was another week?!?)  Next, all the furniture needs to be relocated to create a big, open area for all the book displays.  Then there's the matter of notifying the staff and students of the upcoming event, sending home book flyers and making announcements.

The awesome Tech that was here last year had scheduled the event to coincide with the Back to School night.  Very clever.  Parents, afterall, are the ones with the money. 

I opened the doors during lunchtime and had the door staffed with someone who could regulate the number of students in at a time.  The kids would be asked to leave their backpacks at the door and put their money in their pockets.  I sold a whole lotta erasers, pointy fingers on sticks, pencils and bookmarks.  A few actually bought books, but I gotta say, the majority of the sales are from just plain stuff.

Today I tallied up my sales and had about $900 book credit awaiting me.  Wow.  That stack of ever growing "wanted" books?  Mine for the taking.  When a parent complained that her daughter had already read the books in this library, I gleefully pointed out the stack of new books awaiting barcodes and date-due slips.

Seriously?  I racked up about $700 in sales in about 5 minutes.  I smile just thinking about it.

Now you might think that I am feeding my inner, possession-oriented child.  Perhaps.  But the fact of the matter is, this school, this district, this STATE has no money that they are willing to spend on my little library.  It's up to me.  So if I have to give up hours of my own free time to get books into eager middle-school-aged hands, so be it.  Books are my passion and it's contagious.

Now I just have to wait until the $100 I spent on my own card shows up on our bank statement.  Some of the items are for Christmas presents.  I promise!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tit for Tat

Tit for Tat.  A ridiculous phrase used to describe when "someone pays back one wrong or injury with another", according to  And it really chaps my hide. 

First of all, it's unfair to speak your mind, share your emotions, trust your soul with someone who cares about you and instead of responding to your needs, they get defensive about it, override your emotions, and throw something back at you.

Second of all, it's horrible communication, especially in a meaningful relationship.

As you can probably tell, I'm pretty steamed.  I started to write in my journal, but I got impatient with handwriting.  I can type much quicker and the delete button is very handy.  I needed to vent and as long as I play my cards right, my blog is a safe place to do it.  No, I won't name any names.  I am not "bagging" on anyone.  I feel unheard and my feelings are hurt and I need to share it aloud.  On paper.  On the screen.  Whatever.

I fully understand becoming defensive when someone doesn't like something I did or said.  It's like an instant response.  Sure.  But I think that part of becoming a responsible adult is learning how to take a deep breath before throwing something back at someone just because you're uncomfortable with what you are hearing.  Anyone out there agree with me?

I also believe that with maturity comes the acknowledgement that oftentimes one should calm down before bringing up a touchy subject.  I am getting pretty good at this.  The last time I had an issue with someone, I kinda sat on it for a few days, playing it around in my brain.  I wasn't dwelling (too much), simply formulating my stance and rebuttal before confronting them.  It worked.  I was able to approach the person calmly and lay it all out in a not-so-personal manner.  They were uncomfortable for a few minutes, but we were able to resolve the matter.  Pretty much.  It takes time to create new habits, after all.

Ok.  So let's get back to that phrase, "Tit for Tat."  What did it mean originally?  Without doing extensive research, I turned up: Origin of TIT FOR TAT (first known use: 1556) is an alteration of an earlier version of the phrase, "tip for tap", meaning a blow for a tap. (Merriam Webster online)  So, you tap someone and they punch you?  That's what it originally meant?  I nod my head.  That's how my overactive, emotional state feels right about now.  Angry.  Justified.  Unfairly treated.  Butt hurt.  (Hey.  I thought getting all this out of my system was supposed to calm me down!)  Hmmm.  It might be a long night . . .