Wow, what a hectic weekend. Okay, so here we go on the update:
Day 24 - Friday, March 12:
I presented my speech "String Theory for Everyone" to the monthly gathering of Central Indiana Mensa (CIM). It was well received, and I sold several copies of String Theory for Dummies (as well as one copy of Heroes and Philosophy). I kept enough from the sales to restock the sold books, but donated the profits toward the CIM scholarship fund.
Day 25 - Saturday, March 13:
Amber and I spent Saturday morning at a public meeting on proposals to improve mass transit in our area of Indiana, where we encountered our state senator and various other local officials. An interesting (if slightly long-winded) time was had by all, but it was interesting to be involved in discussions relating to the public sector ... and a bit startling how many of these people now recognized Amber and myself from the newspaper article that morning!
In the afternoon, I went to Muncie with Elijah to see the interactive science show, Doktor Kaboom! I had an interview set up with the Doktor before his show, for the About.com Physics site. That morning's Anderson Herald Bulletin had a picture of him on the cover, because apparently he had performed at Anderson Community Schools the day before. I took the front page of the newspaper to him, as well as a copy of String Theory for Dummies.
Now this is a bit of a key point, because I personally suspect that a month ago, I wouldn't really have thought to have brought him a copy of the newspaper. If someone had suggested it, I probably would have thought, "You know, that's probably something he'd like to have." Instead, as soon as I saw his picture on the cover, I thought, "I should take him a copy of this." Part of the goal of this project - making the act of giving instinctual - does seem to be taking place, at least on some level. (The gift of String Theory for Dummies is always mildly self-serving, of course, since I do hope that people will like it and review it.)
Also, my sister's birthday is coming up on Monday, but she was in town visiting on Saturday, so we announced her gift to her. Instead of the normal token (and cheap) gift that we normally get, because we're unable to think of anything else, we decided to get her YMCA swim lessons with her one-year-old daughter. It should be a very nice bonding experience. (I thought of this while watching the group ahead of Elijah at his YMCA lesson finishing up. Again, that instinctual giving thing is kicking in!)
Day 26 - Sunday, March 14:
I'm a major geek. I mean a really big geek. And once a month, I get together with my geek friends to ... you guessed it ... roleplay. That's right, some full-on old-school roleplaying. The game varies - at the moment it's a Mage: The Ascension campaign, but we've been playing regularly for about four years now, I think. (Twice a month for a while there, until several of us got lives.)
So, as part of the 40 Days of Giving, it occurred to me that it would be nice to treat my geek buddies to lunch. I bought a couple of pizzas and some appetizers at Art's Pizza in Anderson, then drove it down to Indianapolis for the game. There was much appreciation, since they don't have Art's in Indianapolis, and so we're frequently deprived of it.
For the record - Amber thought this was a lame give, but I'm sticking by it.
Day 27 - Monday, March 15:
This morning ... dreadfully early this morning, especially given daylight-saving time ... the family loaded up and drove down to Panera Bread, where we had placed an order for an assortment of bagels. We got our order for take-out and drove it back across town to Eastside Elementary School, where we had already gotten permission from the principal to provide the breakfast to the teachers. We set them out in a break room off of the cafeteria, then left ... like nocturnal bagel-wielding elves.
This one, honestly, made me feel pretty good. Both my parents are teachers, and I spent 5 years teaching, so I know there's nothing that provides more satisfaction in that tough job than when you realize that someone actually appreciates you. Hopefully this helps start their week off right!