Mutual Assured Delight

Archive for the tag “Library”

Under the Covers


Under the vast canvas of a slighty worn black comforter, the characteristic light from a chipped silver gameboy advance sp illuminated the darkness of my prepubesent room. The screen was blank though, an odd thing for any gameboy held in the slender hands of a boy to be. No, this gameboy had more pressing duties at end. Yes, this console was the lantern that lit the way towards knowledge. Under those covers late at night I read books about magical beings an places. Hudden from a candid world( and a mother’s after bed time rage) I would dive into a sea of wonder.

More than a decade (and many strong prescription glasses) later, I find myself still diving into the paper dreams that I found at a younger age. I found myself recently at the other side of the country and found myself(lets face facts, I was drawn to it by some mystical force) at a local library. At that library, a magician was doing an event based on the national summer reading programs theme for the summer, dreams. This magian was not only entertaining, but insightful. He pointed out that there are two types of dreaming. Dreaming when you are asleep, as in dreams, and dreaming while awake. Magic and getting into an amazing book is the latter. During both experiences, belief and reality are locked on suspended animations. Dangerous dragons and magical movements happen right before the eye and in the head. We are dreaming while wide awake.
I know that I talk about this alot, but I cannot stress this enough. Hug a librarian. They are the gate keepers and the  key holders and the sandmen to dreams and fantasies beyond your wildest dream. I have been involved some way or another with the library system for as long as I remember, and it has benifited my a thousan folds over.  The library is truly a place full of dreams and dreamers.

Dreams are todays answers to tomorrows questions- Edgar Gayce

-Grant (I dream of a world where a good live action Last airbender movie is made)

Why Kids are Geeks (and why we should all strive to be kids)

Whether you adore little kids and their positive outlooks on life or you loathe their constant caffeine-like high and grubby, fidgeting hands, let’s face it:

Kids are geeks.

In fact, kids are, and always will be, the only pristine form of Geek that will ever walk the Earth. With their innate sense of being themselves, children have yet to be corrupted and trained to hide who they are, what they love, and what they believe in to fit the mold society (parents, peers, and the media) presses against us.  A child will stare at a handicapped person, not with pity or horror, but with innocent curiosity on why that human looks like a robot with their prosthetic leg or why they are in a wheelchair with a tube in their nose.  It’s this innocent curiosity that we lose as we get older when we’re taught not to stare at, point to, or question anything that isn’t deemed ‘normal’.  It’s this innocent curiosity that allows humans to grow and learn about themselves and others around them.  It’s this innocent curiosity that we need to soul search for as we get older, with more layers of security added as each birthday passes.

I love kids.  I work with them all throughout the summer, volunteering for the children’s programs at my local library and as a CIT for a day camp.  It’s with these kids that I feel most comfortable, because I know they aren’t going to judge me.  They don’t care what race or religion I am as long as I push them on the swings.  They don’t care what my sexuality or gender is as long as I help them find the book they’re looking for.  If I am kind and friendly to them, they like me.  That’s all that matters.  And that should be all that matters as we get older, but how quickly we are blinded when we are placed in the orderly line set to keep everyone organized and the same.

Humans need to learn from their smaller form, and strive to be like them in the sense of unconditional love (not unlike that of a dog’s), acceptance, and zest for life.  Sure, we want to grow up from the days of temper tantrums, but we don’t want to lose sight of the most important values to have.  If every single person showed just who they are and accepted others in the way a kid does, we’d have a lot less hate, bigotry, and anger in the world.

A true geek isn’t just an expert on their topic of choice, whether it be movies, books, comics, or other nerdy things.   A true geek isn’t just someone who reads under the covers at night to avoid an early bedtime or tries to defeat the next Pokemon gym leader before the school bus comes in the morning.

A true geek is in touch with their inner child.


(Oh, I probably should introduce myself.  I’m Rizzo, and Colin is my Musically-Inclined-Older-Brother-I-Never-Had.  I do have a real older brother, but we’ll talk about him another time.)

Circumnavigation of the Soul (Hug a librarian)

                Have you ever had one of those experiences that brings everything full circle and ultimately brings closure? You know, a true circumnavigation of the soul.  This morning I had one those life defining moments and the only set of words that could possibly explain my emotions is pure unadulterated bliss. In a very uncharacteristic move, I made the decision to run to the library. This excursion is something I used to do almost daily until I sold my soul to schoolwork and Sister Act Two: Back in the Habit.  Since school is officially out and I wore out the VHS tape, I jogged to my local library.  Like any self-respecting book work I live within two miles of a library and waited with true enthusiasm for ten minutes until the door opened. Ecstasy finally set in. I grabbed two Shonen Jumps, a copy of Nightmare inspector, and a cup of nostalgia. Pretty sweet, right? That was not the full circle.

                While I was reading, my favorite librarian popped up and began to talk to me.  Yes, I have a favorite librarian. Yes, I have a list of librarians from varying branches and schools across the nation listed from preferred to least favored. No, I have not chosen a life as a lonely cat lady man. Any who, I was asked to give a small pep talk to the new summer program recruits.  Since I have been in the program for about four/five years, it made sense that I would be able to give a somewhat eloquent speech on the joys of volunteering.

So I spoke.

I spoke about my high school experience, about the joys of volunteering and how it can help you, and why it is best to start young. I spoke about how the library shaped me and about how it impacted my decision on what to major in. I spoke about the benefits of befriending librarians ( If you are as forgetful as I am, it smart to be friends with the person who can sign out library books to you) and why 100+ volunteering hours will make colleges look at you a bit closer. I only spoke for a few seconds, but it felt like an eternity to me. I reveled in moment, seeing those four kids in the same seat that I sat in for my first orientation.  If I had more time to think, to speak, I would have told them to talk to the kids they would be seeing daily. Not just to the ones who shared that passion for reading that brought us all into that room on a Saturday morning, but to the children who were dragged to the summer reading program. It is easy to identify with the kids who choose to read on their own accord.  This is because we all once hid under the Pokémon plastered covers at ten P.M. (way past the barbaric bed time placed upon us by the parental unit) and read novels by the light of a Gameboy SP while the rest of the household slept away, blissfully unaware that a new universe was being born. No, those kids flock to books like mice to cheese. Engaging the children who found no solace in a Borders (R.I.P.) gift card is the real job of a summer reading volunteer. Who knows, maybe suggesting that the baseball player read a book by Dan Gutman changes his/her entire outlook on reading. There was a lot I wish I could have said. What I said did suffice.

                I am not a huge fan of the idea of everything happening for a reason. Existential nihilism is a concept that I am quite fond of.  However, something compelled me to get off of my ass to jog to that library. Something compelled me to stay in the library and read, despite the fact that I had things to do at home. Something compelled me to speak. That something gave me closure. The summer reading program was one of the few constants in my life from middle school to high school graduation. As I transformed from an introverted preteen with a lot of South Jersey angst to a young adult ready to take on the world, the summer reading program at the library was always there.  I am not one hundred percent sure of anything in this world. Anybody who is, is simply kidding themselves.  People are changing, right and wrong is transposable, and moments are never exactly the same. Still, I am grateful for the thing (or not thing) that allowed me to speak this morning at the library. In a time where old doors are shut and new gates are being formed, it is nice to know that some things wrap up nicely. Thank you to all the librarians who have helped me thus far, and thank you to all the ones who I will soon meet.

Sorry for the rambling. I’m a sucker for these kind of things.


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