Requested by Jana

THE TIME I GOT SUPER MAD AT BJ NOVAK

I typed this up in notes to be able to have the patience to communicate my thoughts, so here you go @cvlop61 ! Thanks for the list request!
  1. Please note that my anger was almost certainly misdirected, and I'm sure this was all something started and decided by a publishing company, or something like that. I don't know anything about being an author.
  2. BJ Novak is a treasure, and that is my real true belief.
  3. Please also note that this was two years ago. I am not mad at anyone anymore, but I was really mad at the time because I was in the middle of my education to be a teacher, and I was really beginning to see the problems in public schools, and how funding is so unfair.
  4. Many schools are at a disadvantage, which sets teachers and students up for failure. The US public school system needs serious help.
  5. Perhaps my anger should only ever have been focused on the politicians that have let our nations children down.
  6. But here's what happened:
  7. When The Book With No Pictures came out, there was a video contest. The grand prize was an appearance from BJ Novak, and a $5000 school donation for books.
  8. First of all, a video contest already places many schools in the country at a disadvantage. As funding dwindles, many schools have axed media center resources. Some schools don't even have librarians, and the students can't always check out books because of it, let alone record a video.
  9. Second, I don't know how this contest was mainly advertised, but I heard about it on Twitter. Having access to Twitter requires computer access or a smart phone, which means some schools maybe never even knew about the contest at all.
  10. So from the start, the schools who were most in need of books, were the ones who were least likely to win a donation.
  11. I was amazed when I heard that the winner of the contest, was none other than the elementary school that my children will attend if I have children while I live in this house. My first thought was actually "BJ Novak is going to be like a mile from my house... I wonder if I can catch a peek of him."
    I didn't.
  12. My second thought was "That's a shame."
  13. I'm not trying to say the students didn't deserve a nice visit, or a fun assembly, or that they shouldn't be getting books. Children should have every book they ever desire.
  14. This is the top school district in the state of Florida. This is a school in a firmly upper middle class neighborhood*. I don't want to call my neighbors entitled, but you should see the complaints they make up in the neighborhood Facebook page.
    *also, savvy people who bought at the right time in a growing area!
  15. I live close to the county line. I know that there are schools just minutes away where students depend on their free breakfast and lunch as their meals for the entire day.
  16. I know there are schools around the country where students don't feel safe, don't have desks, who's parents are incarcerated...
  17. At this elementary school, students miss class because they are on a family trip to Croatia. At other elementary schools in the area, students miss school because they have to take care of their baby sister.
    These are both true stories from my internships.
  18. It just got to me that this nearby school was getting a donation for books, when I know that probably all they need to do is ask parents for donations or volunteers for a fund raiser.
  19. I've spent time in local schools that have very little parental support. Either because the parents are too busy trying to make ends meet to worry about a bake sale, or just that they don't care.
  20. I'm sure BJ had not much say in the way the contest worked, or who the winner was (it was a voting thing). But I'm definitely sure no one did any research to decide if maybe another school needs this (maybe a second donation to a sister school?).
  21. I know this contest brightened a group of children's lives, because the video of BJ reading to them exists, and they're so happy, and laughing uncontrollably.
  22. I just didn't like the fact that someone's name and face who I respect was being used in a way that resulted in the furthering of a divide.
  23. I've processed it. When I can finally get hired somewhere, it is my goal to do whatever I can do to help.
    Hire me 🙏