Sunday, April 27, 2008


So last you heard, I wrapped things up at my job on Friday after a pretty eventful Thursday which included The Most Amazing Opportunity Ever. I am here, at McDonalds, paying $1.50 an hour for internet service, to fill you in. But my husband did just send me the following text message:

"Internet guy will be here Tuesday morning to install."

Which pretty much made me want to drive home and cover his face with kisses. I don't even want to think about how much money this is going to cost us. On Friday, I had more than one local internet salesperson literally laugh at me when I asked them if they offered coverage at our address. One guy even said, "Yeah, that's just the price you pay for living in the country." Oh country living, you are lucky you're so cute.

But I digress. And may I beg for your patience? Because to get to TMAOE, I need to bring you up to speed on my latest career goals and plans. Here we go...

I was accepted to graduate school (hooray!), but as I started to think about the logistics of it more and more I began to wonder if it was the wisest thing for me to do right now. I mean, if I really want to be back in the classroom and teaching, I should do the thing that will get me there quickly. And that's not grad school right now. So, grad school is moving to the back burner but not gone completely. What I am going to do is enroll in an online certification program that will have me certified in less than a year AND will allow a school to hire me upon my enrollment. Which means that I could be teaching in a classroom THIS FALL. In fact, I know of three open positions at a school that I really admire and will be turning in my full application tomorrow. In the meantime, for the summer I have some part-time work lined up.

If you're not a faithful reader, I just spent the last six months working at the best Cancer Center here in Abilene. The doctor who runs the oncology practice and his wife (hereafter known as Dr. and Mrs. Whirly, because they are human tornadoes of goodness) are amazingly generous folk and have their hands in pretty much everything philanthropic here in Abilene. Mrs. Whirly is especially busy and many of us who know and love her have wanted her to have a personal assistant for quite some time now. Guess who she asked to fill the position for the summer? Yup, yours truly. I've had the chance to work with her during my time at the Cancer Center and am really excited about working for her and being able to help her this summer. If nothing else, I know that it will not be boring!

Mrs. Whirly is involved in a number of artistic organizations here in Abilene, including The National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature. On Thursday afternoon, she mentioned that one of the many items in her crowded schedule that night was an exhibit opening at The NCCIL. When I asked what the new exhibit was, she told me it was for David Macaulay's newest book, The Way We Work.

And I promptly freaked out. One of the core curriculum books that we used for Trinity's 4th grade Ancient Egypt unit was David Macaulay's Pyramid. It's just one in a gorgeous series he did concerning the architecture of famous structures.
This book is fabulous and my kids always enjoyed his incredible ink and pen drawings. After I finished freaking out Mrs. Whirly said, with a grin, "Well, I need one more person for our table so, Leslie, you just come on!"

This was a somewhat formal, somewhat exclusive, members only event and I had front row seats. Literally. The Whirly's table was smack dab up front. And as Mrs. Whirly led us to our table and figured out the seating she indicated where I should sit, where she and Dr. Whirly would sit and then uttered the words that made the evening officially TMAOE for me, "And then the author can sit there." And she pointed to the seat next to me. Oh. My. Lands. I would be sitting next to David Macaulay for the duration of dinner and whatever else was to come. All I wanted to do was pull out my phone, call Rita, and scream the news to her. But I didn't. I simply took a deep breath, smiled broadly and managed to utter to Mrs. Whirly, "Wonderful, what a treat!"

Y'all, it was fabulous. Mr. Macaulay is a brilliant, funny, and humble man. I managed to not spill anything on me, dropped my knife only once, and orchestrated what I hope was an intelligent and witty dinner conversation. I asked him all about Pyramid, inquired as to what inspired Motel of Mysteries, and he told me about the six year process of writing this latest book. It's not coming out until October, but this exhibition does an incredible job of outlining what it takes to bring a book like this to life. Mr. Macaulay's sketches cover the walls alongside finished pages of the book that came directly from the publisher. It's pretty great to live in a town that has access to something like this. I'm only sad that I can't organize a field trip for my beloved Trinity Lions...


  1. Anonymous10:50 PM

    Holy cow!! What an awesome and soooo-fitting opportunity for you! ;-) Girl, some things just fall into place in life and some things are meant to be. Sounds like the latter - I can't wait to hear where this all takes you.

  2. Firstly, I must confess that I read too quickly and kinda blurred "the most amazing opportunity ever" and "I am here, at McDonalds" and I thought "WHOA. Girl's goals have changed." and then I kept reading...

    WHOA. David MacCauley? I loved Cathedral and Castle to death, and thanks to The Way Things Work, my husband would like us to own a woolly mammoth. Enjoy your time Directing the Whirl - you'll be amazing!

  3. Austin Elementary????? I applied too! :D

  4. Wow! Meeting a real author!

  5. Anonymous7:39 AM

    It is so fun to see you right in the middle of your element!! I can truly imagine just how wonderful it must have been.. things like this don't happen for no apparent reason. Be aware.. of good things to come!!

  6. Did you get your application in????? They took the job listings off last night.....please say you got yours would be so fun to be colleagues!


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