I’m in my typical Monday semi-coma, reclining in my recliner (that’s what it’s for) and trying to motivate myself to, like, eat dinner or clean something or read something or do anything but stare at my computer, but the following is still true, and I’d like to take a moment to celebrate it: tomorrow is the last day of the first quarter, meaning I have survived the first quarter of my return to teaching.
If I can make it through the first quarter, I can make it through the first semester. And if I can do that, I can finish the year.
I’m still not sure if I want to do this next year again. I don’t know if this is a “permanent” return or just a single-year thing; we’ll see. But the first quarter didn’t kill me. And right now, I’ll take that.
The following things are all true; I am finding that I’m terrible at evaluating how these shows actually go, and this one was more mixed than most:
Attendance was pretty good; they announced about a thousand people through the door at the end of the show, which was a couple hundred more than last year, I think.
Weirdly, there were a lot of empty booths, which I don’t think was the case in previous years– any booth that was empty had a placard on it for someone, which means there was a last-minute cancellation. This time it looks like a lot of them just didn’t sell for some reason.
I sold half as many books as I’ve sold in previous years.
I paid for the table, which is always the goal, and there’s $150 in my pocket that wasn’t there on Friday.
Despite the poorer-than-usual sales, there were three other authors there who I’m friends with and know from previous shows, and I outsold all three of them, and in two cases pretty considerably.
Damn near every single person who came up and bought a book mentioned that they’d bought books from me at previous shows and were back for more, which is always an awesome feeling. One person came over to apologize for not having gotten to my book yet, but he wanted me to know he was still going to read it. Dude, I left a Salman Rushdie book on my unread shelf for a year once. You can make me wait. The book ain’t going anywhere.
The exception to the above was a guy who I talked to for five minutes who then bought every book I had except for Searching for Malumba.
Unrelated to the con, but fun: there was some sort of car show in central Indiana somewhere on Saturday, and the whole way down we were surrounded by Corvettes and classic cars driven by people who almost certainly didn’t know each other but figured out that they were all going to the same place and so fell into caravans. It was pretty cool. Also cool: passing six Corvettes in a row on the highway when you’re driving a Kia Soul. 🙂
So, yeah, pretty spectacularly mixed, yeah?
I was planning on taking a year off from this show– I love Kokomo-Con, and I’ve been three years in a row, but there’s a more writing-focused three-day con in Louisville on the same weekend that I’ve heard all kinds of good things about and I was planning on checking that one out in 2020. However, next year the Kokomo-Con is moving a weekend deeper into October, so it’s possible that the shows won’t overlap with each other next year, in which case I’ll need to decide if I want to/am able to do two shows in two weekends. So I’m not reserving my 2020 table just yet, and we’ll see what weekend the Imaginarium ends up being next year.
I have three siblings– two girls, who are identical twins, and a boy who I think is the youngest– all in the 8th grade and all in my classes. I have two of them, one of the girls and the boy, in the same class, and the other girl is in a different group.
They are almost astonishingly different kids. I’ve had siblings before, and twins before, who I had trouble telling apart conceptually more than I did physically, if that makes any sense, because they acted so similarly. There is no way I could mistake any of these kids for one another. Even the twins have such different carriage and body language that unless they were deliberately trying to act like one another or standing perfectly still I can’t imagine ever having any trouble telling them apart.
Of the three, the boy– let’s call him, oh, George, because I need to call him something– is the most challenging. I like the kid, and I think he likes me well enough, but he’s got some problems with focusing that go a bit beyond what my average student is like. Most of the time I can keep him on track, but there are times when no one is going to be able to keep him on track.
One of those happened earlier this week, and his sister suggested I call their mother about it. I had actually just been thinking about that and said that I would, then got distracted by one of the other ten thousand things going on in my classroom. When I turned around, I realized she was on my class phone in the back of the room, and she was waving me over.
Oh you did NOT just call your mother on your own brother. Without permission. No way.
Yup. Sure did. She finishes her conversation and hands me the phone, and I consider making a bigger deal about what she just did than what her brother had been doing, and decide oh, fuck it, this may as well happen and just take it. I tell Mom I had been planning on calling her during my prep, leaving the words “… until your daughter forced the issue” unsaid, and we have a brief and reasonably pleasant conversation and she asks to talk to George. Who, for some reason, is glaring at me.
Dude, I didn’t call your mom. Talk to your sister over there. I normally find “stop snitching” culture deeply obnoxious but she totally just ratted you out and if you choose to take revenge later today once I’m not around you go right the hell ahead.
And then I’m treated to the intensely pleasant experience of watching this kid’s entire face and demeanor change as he takes the phone and has perhaps a two-minute conversation consisting of nothing but the words “Yes, Ma’am” and “No, Ma’am” before handing the phone back to me and being perfectly courteous for the rest of the day.
(Actually, this is one way where all three of the kids are the same. I am more likely to get a “Sir” out of these three than any other kids in the building. It’s not perfectly consistent but it’s a damn sight more frequent than I’m used to.)
So, yeah. Combine this with the parent who I called last week and was in the building eight minutes later to have a brief conference with me and her son, and calling parents can, once in a while, actually be a good thing.