Tuesday, May 12, 2009


May 12, 2009

The incredible staff at Jane Long Middle School keep surprising me with their love and kindness. I went to the end-of-school awards ceremony last Friday

Pause for a moment of explanation: I have asked all of Erin's friends to think of
me like a favorite aunt and invite me to any aunt-worthy occasions, like performances, award ceremonies, or birthdays (for example), since it makes me feel very fulfilled to see Erin's friends and share their lives.

expecting to see all the usual suspects hauling in the awards. I wasn't disappointed. Erin hung out with the coolest kids, all of whom really groove on taking care of their business at school. What I wasn't expecting was to receive awards for Erin: a certificate for making the honor roll every time this year and another for maintaining above a 92 average in all her classes for the entire year.

Last night, Erin joined some of her classmates as they were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society at Jane Long. I just know she would have burst a seam. It was so her kind of event: a little pomp, a little circumstance, a lot of photo ops and hugs. Very meaningful to me and Walter, and bittersweet, as well.

Besides these two surprises, other folks have taken the appeal to Let's Do It! to heart. Last week Rachel Atwell sent me this email (and a photo saluting Erin, Christi Thomas, and another child that got lost somewhere on my hard drive. . .Rachel can you send it again?):

I'm an Erin fan from London (you might remember me from the Erin Project- I was the London girl who sent you the picture from the London Marathon last year!) and in a couple of hours time I will be a running in a 5km race for Cancer Research UK.

On Saturday, Clayton Sue and Ellen Benson did the ultimate: a mother/daughter triathalon, and sent this pic with the following message (which coincidentally leads me to ask the following philosophical question: which takes more guts, competing in a triathalon or letting a friend post your photo on the web in spandex and no make up? Either way you are super in my book!) :

Ralph has been working on a design that represents Erin that maybe we can use for different things and he tried it out on us at the tri. The butterfly is actually an E and a B for Erin Buenger. The antennae is supposed to look like an upside down cancer ribbon. Anyway, we thought they looked great!

I also received a link to a video that Rose Eder thought Erin would appreciate. I include it here because I think we will all appreciate it:

For any of you book-y types, I have added a link to my current reading selections on the left ribbon (you can roll the cursor over the book jackets so that you can actually see the titles, authors, and book summary). Comments and suggestions welcomed!


  1. Thinking of you and Erin.

  2. Great book choices, Vickie. You inspire me almost as much as Erin does! I have this fear, though, that you read voraciously, in big gulps, like Erin seemed to -- I once was like that, but decided a few years ago (under the influence of a dead English educator named Charlotte Mason) that if good authors were worth reading, it was worth spending some time "in their heads" and with their characters (at least for fiction). So I have forced myself to slow way down. Now, I take days to finish a book. Oh well -- I guess there are no quizzes here!

    Jan M.

  3. Congratulations Scholar!
    Loved the video! My favorite movie!!! Sooo do Fa La Me do Ra!

    TA DA!

  4. I LOVE the butterfly design with the E and B!

    I am so proud of Erin and you and Walter for her induction into the NJHS.


  5. Dear Sweet Vickie, you make my brain hurt with your book selections. Please, for the love of Pete, read some trash! How do you make it through these great works of literature? Better do you expect ME to make it through these great works of literature? Really? Ever hear of Patricia Cornwell? Sandra Brown (I don't actually read Sandra Brown, but anyway...) Trash woman!

  6. I love the EB butterfly! It's beautiful and very clever.

    Thanks so much for your kind comment, it really meant a lot to me. I work so hard at what I do, so failing that class came as a big shock to me. I've never been great at math, but I didn't think I was this bad! However, now that I've had a few days to think it over, I'm a bit more accepting of it - there's nothing I can do to change it now, except to try harder in the fall in order to catch up and get a much better grade! So, I'll think of Erin and "ACHIEVE" ... either that or "WORK MY BUTT OFF!", as I'm sure Erin did often in order to ensure that higher than a 92% average!

    Thanks so much again. And also, kudos to you for knowing who Death Cab for Cutie is! Despite their macabre band name, their music is actually quite soothing and "chill".

    Hope tomorrow is a great Humpday!

  7. Jan,

    Your observation about the dangers of churning through is why I read three at a time. I try to have one non-fiction book going (always a very slow read), one classic going (often a slow read, as in the case of Middlemarch, which I've been reading for a few months), and just so I don't get frustrated by my lack of progress, a modern quickie (in this case one of the books about the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. . .although D'Anna I also roll in Patricia Cornwell, Anne Perry, and the others of their ilk, just for fun). Looking forward to your suggestions in the future.

  8. Oh, I looooove books! I cna't wait to add some of your books to my list. How did you install the gadget?

  9. Have you read The Kite Runner? It was excellent. I usually read 1 book at a time but occasionally have a back-up book in the van. I especially like series books that keep the same character from one to the next. Is your detective one a series? I might have to borrow it and promise I would try not to misplace it!

  10. Hey Vickie,

    I love the butterfly and am glad that Erin was honored for her amazing brain. I love the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books, I've read them all and grab them as soon as they come out. They are fun. You should pick up City of Thieves if you get a chance - great read.

  11. Hi Vickie,

    I will send you the picture again when I get back to the Uk from South Africa next week!

    All best,


  12. Hi, Vickie:

    I love the EB Butterfly--ingenious! I am reading I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. It is delightful and a great reward for a semester done.