15
FridayMay 2009

Things are pretty quiet around 826 this morning, and the dust of our twenty-four-hour whirlwind is beginning to settle. Two cups of coffee didn’t seem to stir up the creative juices, but the excitement of four amazing events should carry us through this blog. Ready to get started? Let’s do it!

1. YPSI HIGH BOOK RELEASE PARTY

The release party for our annual in-school publication is always one of our favorite nights of the year, and this one was no different. Readers of our newsletter know that we asked for, and GOT (thanks, anonymous donor!), a video camera recently, so look for a posting of the event on our youtube channel in the coming weeks.

There was much excitement, an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, and even some cheering:

Trudy Adams, teacher extraordinaire, along with 826michigan volunteers Sam Weiss, Katie Jones, Lauren Walbridge, and Jared Hawkley, poured out thanks and congratulatory warm fuzzies; special guest Dave Eggers gave an excellent and inspiring speech; and then, the much anticipated moment: students opened their wrapped books, and finally got to see the culmination of all their hard work:


Published authors Ashley, Jasmine, and James see the book for the first time.

James Simmons, Karl Wright, and Craig Swope gave excellent readings (again, video coming soon), but Katie McIntyre stole the show with her heartfelt and tearful reading about the time she spent at a juvenile detention center. Cookies and cupcakes were consumed, books were signed. Buy your copy of the book at the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair or online in our store.


That’s Dave’s back in his brand-new Ypsi High t-shirt.

THEN …

2. AWAY WE GO PRE-RELEASE SCREENING!

We rushed over to the Michigan Theater for the special pre-release screening of Away We Go, which readers of this blog have certainly heard about. Okay, here’s the deal. We were fully prepared to tell you how much we loved it even if we didn’t ACTUALLY love it. But guess what? WE LOVED IT. WE LOVED EVERY FUNNY, SAD, TOUCHING MINUTE OF IT. And so did the other seven hundred or so attendees, judging by the guffaws and thoughtful silences.

Jeff Meyers, 826michigan workshop leader and film critic for the Metro Times, led a Q&A with screenwriter Dave Eggers, who discussed writing the script with his wife Vendela Vida, making the movie with Sam Mendes, and the wonderful (truly, truly) cast.

THEN …

3. THE VIP AFTERPARTY!

We ran over to Zanzibar for the VIP party where we ate delicious foods, drank magnificent cocktails, and engaged in even more stimulating conversation.

THEN …

4. COFFEE!

We went home, got a few hours of shut-eye, and returned to 826michigan bright and early this morning to have coffee and bagels with Dave and about twenty or so of our irreplaceable volunteers. We discussed tutoring, education, anecdotes, and petted the Volunteer of the Month (who happens to be a dog). Dave, as ever, inspired us all with his insights on working with students and 826’s important place in the community.

Twenty-four-hour periods like this do not come without a list of people to thank! Many thanks to Trudy Adams and the brilliant students at Ypsi High! To Focus Features and the Michigan Theater! And, as always, to Dave Eggers, a man we are proud to be associated with.

AND THEN …

We took a nap. Well, not yet, but trust me, it’s coming.

Liberty Street Robot
Supply & Repair
115 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 761-3463
Detroit Robot Factory
1351 Winder
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 818-0255