Images from the Write-a-Thon and to Celebrate I Want to Buy You Coffee, a Book and Dress You Up in a Limited Edition WoFo T-shirt

WoFo’s semi-annual Write-a-Thon was held on Friday, December 9th.

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In case you’re new to the blog, the Write-a-Thon is an event I host at the high school where I teach, that affords students the opportunity to cultivate creativity and flex their writing muscles in a relaxed, non-threatening, and (hopefully) inspiring environment.

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w3Sometimes it’s hard for me as a teacher to believe that I was once a confused, angsty, insecure, acne fighting high school kid myself.

But I do remember, how in 9th grade I found interest in the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. I mean, I hated high school but I liked English class and I liked writing.

Amidst the plasticity of high school life, writing was one of the few things that felt real to me.

However, one day after my English teacher publicly praised me for a small narrative piece I wrote about an innocent Salem woman falsely accused of being a witch, some jerkhead in the corner of the classroom called me a faggot.

Why?

Because I could write? Because I did something well? Because that’s what 15 jerkheads do?

It sounds so silly, so juvenile now but jerkhead’s words stung deep.

So deep that for a long time I only wrote when instructed to. And when I did write, it was dispassionate drivel. I stopped reading Emerson and Thoreau. Told myself that those dead white guys didn’t know what they were talking about and redirected my time and energy  to being “cool”.  Whatever the definition of cool was in 1994.

As a teacher,  I know my students are more worried about being cool then discovering and strengthening their voice. I also know adulthood comes fast and hard and that before they reach their 35th birthday many of my students will become repressed, voiceless adults.

And I know from experience that the longer you suppress your voice the harder it will be to find it.

I want to thank everyone who has visited my website, shared the website and donated to the WoFo efforts. With your support I’m proud to announce that today we will be donating $500.00 to the Special Olympics of New Jersey!

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Your support has helped young writers discover and strengthen their voice today. And because of you, a nervous 9th grader just turn to the jerkhead in the back of the room and told him to shut the hell up.

Thank you!

But wait… there’s more!!!…

To quote the esteemed Mrs. Ellen Griswold, “It’s the holiday season and we’re all in misery!”

Yes Mrs. G, it is the most wonderful time of the year.  A time of freezing rain and traffic and hordes anger soccer moms willing to kill you for the last Hatchimal on the shelf.

So to extend the good will of the Write-a-Thon, and in an effort to remind us all to take a chill pill ( yes, that’s what the cool kids said in 1994)  and enjoy each other just a bit more this holiday season,  I’m sponsoring a little contest with a long name…

“The I Want to Buy You Coffee Because You’re Awesome Contest”.

Why coffee? Because as an avid coffee drink nothing unlocks the chains that fetter my fragile soul then an unsolicited cup of coffee.

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A little visual in case you weren’t sure what a cup of coffee looks like.

So here’s how it works…

  1. On your personal Facebook page upload a picture of you buying/offering someone other then yourself some coffee (coworkers, friends, family, strangers)
  2. Include a brief explanation on why you bought this person/people coffee
  3. Include #WoFoActs with your picture and explanation.

The contest deadline concludes on Friday, December 16 at 11:59 pm EST.

The picture that gets the most likes before the deadline will win an awesome Write on Fight on Prize Pack!

The WoFo PP (…it’s all about the acronyms baby!) includes a limited edition WoFo t-shirt, a book you desire ( you tell me what you’re in to.. with in reason please… and I will gift you a book on that subject), and of course, coffee.

So there, have a great weekend, don’t be a jerkhead, go buy someone coffee and unfetter their human soul.

Be well,

Jay

 

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