The games begin in late August and end in the first week of January, but for college football fans the season never really ends, does it? Even so, this second week of January seems like an excellent time to thank the readers who have read this site as I've tracked the Cardinal over the past fifty-two weeks.
In many ways 2013 was the most successful in the short three-year existence of GoMightyCard. Yes, there was lots of content that made me proud (please read my interview with Tommy Vardell if you haven't already), but I will remember this season for the heightened interaction I had with my readers. The insightful comments left here by some of you made me think more deeply about the Cardinal, and the interaction I had with others through Twitter while watching the games gave each contest an extra level of enjoyment.
Perhaps more than anything else, though, I'm grateful for the words of thanks and encouragement that I received throughout the season, and especially after it all came to a close after the Rose Bowl.
Thank you for everything.
And now comes the part where I ask for even more. Consistent visitors will remember that I teach middle school English, and last year at this time I asked readers to show their thanks by donating a book or two to my classroom. Those books were chosen specifically for a class of struggling readers who had recently discovered the joys of reading.
I'm proud to say that GMC readers responded by sending us more than a hundred books that helped to change the lives of those students. They graduated last June and moved on to high school, but almost all of them have come back for frequent visits, and each one talks about how much their time in my classroom changed them. The difference between who they are now and who they were two years ago can be summed up in two words: They read. I share the credit for that with all of you who donated books. (And by the way, those graduated students still come back to me to borrow some of those books!)
This year I received another group of our school's 19 lowest-reading seventh graders. When I told them on the first day of school that they would be reading every day, it was as if I had promised them ice cream and delivered a bowl of broccoli. When I told them they'd actually grow to love reading, half of them actually laughed at me.
It's been four months, but almost all of them have turned the corner. The look of pride on their faces when they bring me books that they've finished -- and the vast majority of these students never before finished a book independently -- is priceless, but we still need more books.
This is where you come in. Again. I will never ask you to donate cash into my PayPal account, but if you can find it in your heart to click over to my GMC Amazon Wish List, you'll find a wonderful selection of books. You might want to choose one that you loved as a child, or maybe you'll see something that one of your children has recently devoured.
Whatever you choose to donate, know that there is an eager student sitting in my room who can't wait to read it.
Thank you. Again.