Another first-time state on the 50 States Against Bullying campaign brought me to New Mexico for stop number thirty-three. Upon entering La Cueva High School, I immediately took time to read some comments on their #ReasonsWhyYouMatter notecards.
As many of you know, my favorite part of being an author is speaking to readers. But many of you don't know, or don't believe me when I tell you, that I get major stagefright. I enjoy myself once I begin, but leading up to it is Anxiety City. Especially when I watch the students start piling in! Here's an unposed photo of that moment. And I do believe you can see the fear in my eyes.
But they were great! Nothing to fear here, dude. (There never is anything to fear, and knowing that is how I get myself to show up to each school rather than faking a flat tire.)
I love when members of the faculty, after the presentation, remark that they were a little surprised and impressed by how attentive the students were for so long. I take that as a compliment, and I think it's partly because the students can tell I really enjoy speaking with them (once I get over my fear of them, of course).
While I didn't make it into the women's restroom myself, I was told about a message scribbled on a tile in there and the responses written around it. While I don't condone writing on walls, I still had to send someone in there to take a pic.
Little comments of positivity make me so happy!
It also made me happy to see Jessie and Chris post themselves proudly wearing their #ReasonsWhyYouMatter wristbands.
Before I headed to the airport, librarian Gerri Barnhart took local YA author Shea Berkley and me out to lunch.
We ate delicious New Mexican cuisine at El Pinto.
Gotta love photobombers.
And here's what happens after I fill my belly with totally legit pinto beans.
So now I'm in the airport, waiting to head to my next state, and contemplating why two girls at La Cueva gave me this.
But still, I really do appreciate it!
It's creepy, but I appreciate it.