I'm not going to try and say I had a terrible time as a kid or anything. I experienced lots of fun and excitement and good, wonderful things. But when I left my small-community non-traditional homeschooly type school, with my obsessive love of reading, my total lack of experience with any pop-culture, and a name that almost no one can pronounce (I mean really? A "w" AND a "j"? In the same name? Super.) tucked firmly in my back pocket, things did not go well.
In case you haven't already realized this yourself (and who am I kidding, of course you have), the name Dwija has lots and lots and lots of name-butchering opportunities attached to it. Lots of ways other kids can have a little fun at your expense. And because I was a little, I don't know...awkward? Socially inept? Yes, both of those...I really didn't know how to deal with it all and my stilted, frustrated responses only served to make things worse. I was, most decidedly, uncool.
So yes, there were some rough years. Not the worst by any means, but I do know what it's like to be on the receiving end of taunts and jeers. That the idea of bullying makes my blood run just a little cold and covers my arms in those not-at-all good goose bumps.
Based on her most recent project, something tells me that my friend Pia knows a little bit about bullying, too. A fellow UD alum, a mom, a teacher and a writer, Pia is the kind of woman you'd want your daughter to be. I wish we'd known each other better in real life back when we could have. But I was busy, you know, being an idiot, so....here's the next best thing!
Pia has written a book! This 12 page quick and fun read is described by her publisher as "an age old story told in plain black and white", refering to it as an "edgy, punk rockish book", which it totally is. Click here to read more about it and Pia's amazing tutoring efforts.
It also comes with a 7 track disc which includes a tutorial, songs, videos and more. Super fun, I tell ya what!
Don't you just love it when you can witness a person go after and achieve their dreams? Pia's on a roll with that these days (ahem- losing 40 pounds and looking like she's all of 19 years old again, which she probably didn't want me to mention but OMG SHE IS TOTALLY MY HERO) and I just want to give her an enormous virtual hug right now.
You can virtual hug her too by liking her facebook page and checking out her sample lesson plans, too. Be sure to snatch a copy of the book with included disc for yourself here (and peek at the very first book she ever wrote, too) AND AND AND take a gander at this awesome piece that NBC 5 did about her. With video and everything!!!
5 links! All at once! They're worth it. Click 'em and show a wonderful lady some love.