Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Today I Saw Myself At the Bookstore

(Alternative Title Un: Channeling, Fist-pumping and Bitches - Oh My!)
(Alternative Title Deux: Today I Spent Way Too Much Time Picking Out What To Wear To The Bookstore)

"Hello, lover."

That's one of the things I'm going to say in my head when I officially see my book at my beloved Barnsey later on today. Because today, I'm going to visit my book at a real bookstore for the first OFFICIAL time.

(Although you can buy it from Amazon too...but if you do buy it from Amazon, don't be afraid to post a review...don't be afraid at all. Just click on the little button and type in phrases such as "fabulous!" or "essential for all teachers" or "I laughed until I cried - everyone should read this book!")

Now, I say the first OFFICIAL time because, as those of you who follow me on Twitter or have joined my Facebook posse of amazing peeps probably already know, this is not the first time I have seen my book on display at Barnsey. You see, I was told that my book would be released on September 1st. That is today, in case you are not near a calendar. I, armed only with my teacher-esque need to write important dates and times in my planner thereby attaching meaning to them, assumed this meant my book would appear for the FIRST TIME in book stores today. I also thought it meant that all the pre-ordered copies of my book would ship today. Or at least that is what I have been telling people. I mean, that makes sense, right? Why else would there be this big, ominous date looming in my head for the last six months. Clearly, I was wrong.

I now think the date has been looming in my head as a catalyst for many, many anxiety dreams. Many. Some of which involve me standing naked in Times Square whilst people judge me. So yeah, maybe that's
what the date is for. Nudity dreams. (And not good ones.)


Moving on...

I first discovered that I was wrong about the BIG DAY on Sunday, when Mr. Mimi and I decided to saunter to our favorite, local Barnsey in order to engage in one of our favorite past times...improving our minds through books (read: drinking enormous chai lattes and drooling over the photos in travel books while simultaneously planning our theoretical trip around the world.) (cough cough) As is my way, I nerdily typed "It's Not All Flowers And Sausages" into that little kiosk/computer/information thingy because the thrill of seeing my book pop up on the screen is a force greater than I. I have very little impulse control. So, as is his way, Mr. Mimi waited patiently at my side waiting for my moment of crazy to pass.

(insert me typing)
(imagine me waiting...goofy smile on my face)
(insert some toe tapping from Mr. Mimi)
(searching)
(searching)
BAM! There it is! On the screen - It's Not All Flowers And Sausages....IN STOCK.

In. Freaking. Stock.

(Insert Mr. Mimi and I slowly turning to give each other a ridiculously wide eyed incredulous stare, pausing for a moment before simultaneously turning and hurtling ourselves down the escalator in search of the correct section.)

It was Sunday, August 30th. A full two days before Tuesday, September 1st! (Not that I'm complaining but still...I so was not wearing my My-Book-Comes-Out-Today-Outfit.)

We flew around the corner and there it was. Right there on the shelf. Five whole copies. (gasp!) Was I actually sharing a shelf with Jonathan Kozol? THE Jonathan Kozol?

I die.

Or rather, I start ugly crying a little. Seriously. I cried a little. Then I took a picture with my camera phone. Then I carried several copies to the front of the store and plopped them down on the prominent New Arrivals table for everyone to see. In that order.

And as I stepped back to admire my book (MY BOOK!) sitting on an actual table in an actual Barnsey, I thought of one of my friends. (Do I get a chorus of "Aaawwws"?)

Last year I had a very shy friend. Very shy. In fact, we shall refer to him as Mr. Shy. Mr. Shy was, well, he was shy...I think we've already established that. You get it. Enough. Well as is the case with most shy people (geez, I'm really beating a dead horse with this shy thing, aren't I?), Mr. Shy was reluctant to share in class conversations, volunteer answers or participate in anything that drew too much attention to himself. So of course, on publishing day, Mr. Shy NEVER wanted to read his story out loud. I let him say, "pass" but made a mental goal to try to get him to read ONE story to us before the end of the year.

Now, I am not a shy person. I know. You're shocked, right? But I do understand how hard and scary it can be to get up in front of other people. (Remember, I do feel a bit as if I am about to be standing naked in Times Square whilst people judge me...and my book of course.) So I worked hard with Mr. Shy all year to get him to see that he did have value to add to our class. I wanted him to know what he thought and felt and accomplished were important to our class. Together we made a little action plan to slowly get him to try to participate more. I was like Pep Talk Sally with this kid. And it worked. Not because everything I try in the classroom works, but because I think he was finally ready to take the risk. Plus, I have always found that little ones are- sometimes surprisingly and always amazingly-supportive and caring in the most crucial of times. The day had come when Mr. Shy was ready to read his story to the class.

We gathered on the rug, anxiously awaiting his tale. He read in a confident and clear, although quiet, voice, never forgetting to show us the pictures. It was wonderful. He closed his book, basked in our applause, and then walked over to hand me his writing. And as he made his way back to his spot on the rug, he (and I swear this actually happened) fist pumped and muttered, "Take that, bitches!"

So, later on today, when I go to visit my book, a book that I still worry about sharing from time to time, I will channel Mr. Shy, silently pump my fist and say, "Take that, bitches!"

26 comments:

Mrs. Stianchi said...

Don't freak out Mrs. Mimi, but I actually got the book delivered from Amazon over a week ago (!) but I read it right away! It is now currently circling around with a select group of "Super Colleagues." All I can say is...wow, I literally "LOL"ed throughout your book, thinking "Oh man, I didn't know that happened to other people." or "Hey, was she secretly in my room?" Mrs. Mimi, it was FAB! It's funny that our schools and experiences are so similar when I teach in a very different climate than you (read: upper middle/upper class families who often look at me like I have 3 heads when I suggest THEY check their kid's homework NOT their nannies!). It just goes to show...money doesn't buy happiness!

As I was contemplating who would love the book yet be discreet enough about leaving it lying on top of their desk, I thought of photocopying a few sections and sneaking it into the mailboxes of our own Fanny Pack and Miss Know It All....and then it dawned on me: They would either a) have NO idea that I was giving them a giant hint, b) complain they have something ELSE to read, or c) burst into a teacher's room IN THE MIDDLE OF A LESSON and proceed to tell the teacher all about this funny note in their box

{sigh...not worth it}

Rebecca said...

I will move all copies I see in my local Barnsey and Borders promptly to the front of the "Back to School" and "New Arrivals" sections of the store :) Kozal, you can stay in the education section. There's a new story-teller in town. :)

SeƱorita in the City said...

Congratulations Mrs. Mimi!

Arielle said...

Ahhh! That's so exciting, congratulations! I can't even imagine what that would feel like. Woohoo! =)

-Arielle
morethanamermaid.blogspot.com

Mimi said...

Mrs. Stianchi - Seriously, you are lovely. And fabulous. And totally right! Glad you enjoyed the book!

ChiTown Girl said...

Congrats!!

John Spencer said...

Congratulations! I'll be picking up the book some time soon!

Kelly's Ideas said...

very cool - that is a huge feat.
Way to go.
Kelly

Mrs. Maslonka said...

Mrs. Mimi,
I am sad to say that I will be filing an "Oh No" report with you regarding my local Barnsey. I went tonight after grad school to get my copy. I looked on the "new" table, the "new in paperback" AND the education section and no Mrs. Mimi! So I go to the kiosk and ask the girl who proceeds to look in all the same locations and tells me to "wait here". About 10 minutes later she finds me with your book in hand. It was...are you sitting down...IN THE BACK!! It had not even been put out yet and she only brought out O-N-E copy! I am distressed, but will now be calming myself with a nice glass of Cruzan and lemonade and your blog in book form. Congratulations and here's to many more successes for you!

Fidgety said...

Good Luck with your new book!

Karen P said...

I dropped by by local B&N last night and I don't remember exactly where your book was, but it was in the first section as I walked in (I am the parent of a 2nd grader, details I don't remember;) ). Your title jumped out at me and I picked up the book and read the back cover and though it looked pretty marvelous; enough to have me seek you out today online! Do you think it would be an appropriate gift for my 2nd grader's teacher? I would love to give her something to laugh about (although my Jeni probably provides enough of those opportunities). Thanks again and I will at least have to go back and get the book for myself.

Stu said...

Since I work part time I'm going to run to my local Borders tomorrow and search out your book. I'm excited...a real, honest to God teacher publishing a book.

I'm so impressed. And I'm going to drop names at school..."Yeah...new book. I read her blog, ya know."

This is the closest I've gotten fame since I was...well I'll save that for my own blog :)

Congrats, Mrs. Mimi.

Lisa said...

I got my copy over a week ago too, via Amazon. I really enjoyed reading it, and I laughed out loud too. I have also passed it on to colleagues that I know will love it as well! Congratulations!

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

I can't wait for some quiet time to enjoy your book! Karen P - I think it would be a great gift for your child's teacher! What a thoughtful parent! :) I bought a copy for my best friend who is also a teacher.

Mimi said...

Thanks for all the love friends!! I hope you aren't disappointed!

Karen P - I think it would make a great gift. (Of course I'm going to say that.) But I would have loved something like that from a parent.


THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU - this would NOT have happened without loyal readers like you all.

Roxanna said...

Congratulations Ms. Mimi, from your fellow Kaplan author. I definitely feel you on the hysterical-countdown-until-the-book-comes-out posts. Last school year I spent all my lunch periods looking for subtle changes in the Amazon page for SEE ME AFTER CLASS... Good luck with your book. I can't wait to read it.

Maestro said...

After I finished my Masters, I used to like to go to the university library and see how many people had checked my thesis paper out. This, however, is way cooler. Congratulations.

Noelle said...

I was very excited to receive your book as a belated birthday present from my ever-so-thoughtful husband (the fact that I sent him info on how to preorder it may have had something to do with it!). I am savoring it as my current book for Silent Sustained Reading this quarter. My students may wonder why I'm not so silent as I laugh my way through! I hardly wanted to put the book down the other day as the bell rang to dismiss class. I look forward to sharing your book with my colleagues. Although we teach high school, there are so many similar situations that arise, and I'm sure they will enjoy it as much as I am. Congratulations!

C. A. T. said...

http://readingyear.blogspot.com/2009/09/celebrating-teaching-day-one-its-not.html

Ms. Mimi, you're hot!

osprey94 said...

Mimi, I just discovered your blog and I love it. As a fellow elementary teacher,30-something woman and organizational fan(atic), I just have to say that we are long lost best friends. Really! Also, I will buy and read your book ASAP.
One more thing - as I was reading about your love for post-its, sharpies and clicky pencils, I realized that you might be someone who understands my obsession with the SMELL of scotch tape. As you would say "Am I right or am I left?" It smells heavenly.
Anyway, I love your writing and I HEART you!

amazeingteacher said...

Hey Mrs. Mimi! I love your blog and your book! Totally fab! My question for you is...now with your book out you are a sort of celebrity or at least your name and location are now identified. What do your colleagues and administrators think of your blog and book? Do they find the humor in everything as quickly as I do? Did you have any hesitation about revealing that information since you were mostly an "unknown" person with just the blog?

Thanks for all the laughs, keep 'em coming!

institutrice said...

Bon Jour, Mme Mimi! I saw your blog mentioned in the 9/5 Fresh Choice Literacy e-newsletter, and your title intrigued me. When I typed in your URL, up came this post about publishing a book! (I am SOOO jealous!!!) I found your book @BN (aka Barnsey) the next day and haven't put it down since. (Except when I was reading in public, and people started staring because I was laughing and "YES!"-ing too much.) Well, until I finished it, that is. I swear, it was like reading about me. I thought I was the only one who hates assemblies and who teaches til the last day of school - because at my school, I pretty much am! (When my current principal, Principal Pretty, started a few years ago, within the first few weeks of school she made a comment like, "Oh, and I heard you teach til the very last day!" and giggled. Nice! And of all things, why did Previous Principal choose to tell her that??) I mean, isn't that what school is for? Teaching? And Learning??

Tenure, field trips, doing things myself (thank GOD we are allowed to make our own copies!!), cleaning the room... All Yes! Yes! Yes! Or should I say, Oui! Oui! Oui! (Or does that sound too much like wee-wee-wee, since I know how much you hate pee. ;-)

I think all us Super Colleague-types need to get together and create our own school. Let's show 'em how it's done! I am tired of carrying people like The Fanny Pack (who in my case is my grade partner called Fashionista).

Thanks for telling it like it is.

Cristal said...

Milk just spewed out of my nose reading this post!!!! I would've DIED laughing at that comment! Can't wait to pick up a copy of your book this weekend! :)

Patti said...

Mrs. Mimi, please tell your publisher to make a Kindle edition. When my father-in-law gave me a Kindle recently I resolved that yours would be the first book that I actually paid for on the thing. I've gotten by for a little while on samples and freebies, but I want your book on my fancy device. Because on my fancy device I can make annotations and bookmarks and then copy them to my computer where I can color code them for sharing with others so that they, too, will buy your book. Plus all that saving a tree stuff. Please, I want to buy your book but I am trying to save the planet at the same time! Thanks!

MrB said...

I just finished reading your book, and discovered your blog. The only thing I could think during the whole book was, "OMG! She's me!" Ok, ok, a few discrepancies here and there, but on the whole, you have described my own second grade classroom, down to the mouse poo!

I, too, have a grammar-challenged Weave of a vice-principal, a Bacon Hunter reading "specialist" (notice the liberal use of sarcastic quotation marks? *ahem*) and a system that's broken with too much testing. I will be sharing your book with everyone I know, and assign it as required reading to my interns (we can't call them student teachers anymore.)

Thank you for this awesome professional development resource! *grin*

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