So I was sitting in the way top balcony of the Fox Theater in Redwood City, watching the charismatic owner of the theater desperately kill time while people were trickling in and I hear him say, “Ms. Guthrie? Are you here? Your student Ann is looking for you.”
I look at my wonderful husband who was dragged to these shenanigans, and said, “Did that just happen?”
By the time I stood up, the owner was on to something else, but I waved my hands and said, “Ann! I’m up here!” I knew only five people could hear me, but I was still in shock, and my voice was incapable of yelling thanks to my fifth and sixth period classes that day.
“I can’t believe I just got called out at the Tour de Nerdfighting event!”
I posted my last post just in case Ann was checking Tumblr during the event, since that’s really the only way we keep in touch.
A little bit about Ann. I was Ann’s substitute teacher for the last three or four weeks of the school year last year. In the few weeks I was there, I was warmly welcomed into the classroom and Ann and I in particular hit it off. Through what I considered small gestures, I apparently made such an impression on Ann that she was so looking forward to seeing me at the Nerdfighting event! I’m so lucky to have met her and I’m so glad we have kept in touch. I’m also glad that my Nerdfighter-related Tumblr posts piqued her curiosity enough to get her to love and join Nerdfighteria. Ann is just full of awesome.
I was able to meet up with Ann after the show, and after tons of hugs, we caught up a bit. It was so great to see you, Ann! I’m glad Aleisha found me to help find you. :)
As for the event itself, it was so great to see John and Hank in person and watch their interactions on stage. My favorite parts were when John was explaining parts of his book, and then answering questions from the audience. I love Hank and his music and everything, but the English teacher and literature nerd in me just adores the way John thinks, talks, and writes. What I loved most, and what Joey was most impressed by, was that John talked about his books as if he were talking to intelligent adults. Even though his books are labeled “young adult,” he realizes that even if his audience is largely high school students, they are capable of understanding words like existentialism. And even if they don’t, they’ll make the effort to find out. They are capable of understanding what he means when he says, “I wanted water to be a large part of the story; the thing that takes life away, but also gives Hazel life. That’s also why I sent them to a drowning city.” He didn’t go on an explain every detail the way a teacher does to a class that doesn’t care about literature. He just knew it was enough, and that some of them had probably figured it out on their own.
We didn’t stay for the hours-long signing line. We were in the balcony and therefore would have been last in line, and we’re old, and we hadn’t eaten dinner, and our poor dog had been alone for much of the day. However, my full of awesome husband snuck out during the show to buy me Looking for Alaska since it’s the only book I haven’t read (even though a passage from it is one of my favorite passages in existence), and a DFTBA t-shirt.
The event was amazing. John and Hank, you are amazing. Thanks for the fabulous show and for celebrating knowledge. As a teacher who hears regularly that being smart is a bad thing or used as an insult, I love that Nerdfighteria is a place for smart kids to go and be praised and feel welcome.