Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 32- Tell someone they are awesome

Tell someone they are awesome.
Done 1-18 (Yes I know it's early but I really needed to change my mood that day)

Yes, it's back, but Be Nice to a Stranger has been renamed to PROJECT NICE!

I think the name is a little bit more catchy.

I'm excited to start this back up again. Mostly because there were things I didn't get around to doing the first time around. This one I've been meaning to do for a while.

As you all know, I am a teacher. There are some people who I see every day and never speak to. There is one teacher, I've never even said hello to. But every time I see him working with a kid, it makes me happy. Watching him makes me want to be a better teacher. No matter what time of the day it is, he always seems genuninly interested in what the student is saying. He's constantly moving from kid to kid to make sure they fully understand the material. He's what a teacher should be doing.
He's also a first year teacher. He's still hopful and happy. Please keep in mind I"m not saying that teachers stop being hopeful and happy after the first year, but the zest for job demisinshes a little. Reality slowly creeps in.
I love my job and I can't really imagine doing anything else, but am I as opimistic as I used to be? No way.
But watching him work with a kid, reminds me of the kind of teacher I was and who I wish I could still be.

So I told him that. In a lull moment, I walked over to him and told him that watching him work with other students makes me want to be a better teacher.

Instant smile. We chatted for a few minutes. I got to know one of my co-wokers and it made me feel all warm and mushy inside. And that was just how I felt.
Anyone who is new at their job needs constantly reassurance that they are doing the right thing.

Would I do it again: Sure.
Time: 3 minutes
Effort: None
Cost: Nothing.

How's Project Nice going for everyone else?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

name change and New blog

The blog has been changed to a new address.

Thank you for following Be Nice to a Stranger.

I am doing it again for another month and this time I'm asking other people to join in the fun.

You can find the new blog here: Project Nice 2.0

Please follow that blog instead of this one.

All the old postings of Be Nice to a Stranger can be found there as well.

Project Nice will be starting February 1 2010.

Thank you!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Project Nice's LOGO

I am the first to admit, I have pretty awful Photoshop skills. I used to be kinda OK at it, but that was three year ago and I can't remember how to use the program. So I made possible logos.

Please take a second and tell me which one that sucks the least. Or if you are participating in Project Nice and you have a shred of artistic skill, and you want to make a logo, that could possibly be the greatest thing ever!

Just a few more days until Project Nice starts up! YAY!

Option 1
Option 2
Option 3
Option 4

Option 5

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Month off

Well it's over, being nice to people. I don't have to be nice any more and the instant I stopped, guess what happened?

Some of you might think, "She's so awesome she continued being nice anyway."

Nope. But I'm flattered you think that of me.

Nope. I reverted. Take this facebook Status update from January 1st.

Dear King Douche Bag, if you are an able bodied adult, please do not push your way into the elevator filled with strollers and elderly people and then yell on your cell phone. No one cares you're meeting your friends at the mall, we (the people in the elevator) know you are at the mall, because we were ALL at the mall.... Thank you. It's nice not having to be nice to people like King Douche Bag

Here are some more updates via Facebook:
January 4th

Dear Winter, I'm over it. I'm over the snow and it's prettiness. I'm breaking up with you. It's not me, it's you. You're cold and depressing and I get sick whenever you come to town. Good luck- Erinn

January 6th

Wish I had something clever to say. But sadly I'm too sleepy and sick to be funny.

January 14

I am the most tried human being on the planet. Daughter's asleep already, I might take a cue from her and go to bed. Now. right now

What have I learned? I am the crankiest person ALIVE!!!
Seriously, yesterday I yelled at student so loudly the rest of the class peed themselves a little bit.
Ok that was a joke and a hyperbole but still you get my point.

I need to be nice to people.

But why?
1) It gives me a focus and easy attainable goals.
2) It makes me think about something else that isn't HOW COLD I AM. I hate winter and the arctic wind isn't helping much.
3) The most basic answer, being nice to people makes ME feel good.

So I'm going to start it back up again. Being Nice To Strangers will start back up February 1st and continue until my birthday March 2. It's another 30 days.

But this time it's going to be a little different, this time I'm asking for help.

I'm asking people to do 7 nice things for people during February. They will have 28 days to do 7 nice things and write about their experience.

My goal: Turn this whole thing into a book. Show doing how nice things can be very easy and brighten up someone's day.

Not that I'm trying to start up a whole movement or anything but I want to change the name too. From be nice to a Stranger... drum roll please.... Project Nice.

What do you think?

If you're interest in helping out during February and you have NOT already approached me about it... Please leave a comment below.

More info to come soon.

I'm off to design a cool logo with my subpar PhotoShop skills.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Be nice to a stranger month wrap up

31 days of being nice, I'll be honest, there were a few points when I didn't think I was going to make it.
It was never being nice that was the problem, it was coming up with creative and cheap things to do for 31 days.
Do you want to hear the stats?

29 different acts were completed. Being nice to a neighbor was repeated twice, as was buying something for a cashier.

Total cost $57.50 including donating to charity (NOT including buying a gift card for a family in need) $82.50 If you include that.

Total number of days that it cost me something out of pocket? 14 days
Average cost $4.

Total number of days it was FREE to be nice to someone? 17 days (You would think I could have just subtracted to figure that out, but instead I counted. A part of me is very ashamed of that)

Total amount of time spent doing the nice acts: 3 hours, 12 minutes and 30 second. Or 192.5 minutes
Total amount of time in the month of December: 44640 minutes.
Total percent of time in the month of December being nice to people .04%

The total number of people I called/ asked for help to figure out the math on that one: 6
3 math teachers
1 writer
1 Scientist
1 husband

Total number of people this blog impacted that I know of: 227. I told about 150 people about Puppy Sized elephants (all my students and several other people)

I state "that I know of" because the thing about blogging is, you NEVER know who's reading it. I had a grand total of 72 comments over 31 days, I had 22 separate people comment on the blog. Clover and Whofan were the two who commented the most, making up for 20 of the entries. I was the biggest commenter with 12 postings. Comments are the only way a blogger knows you've read it. Comments and followers are the lifeblood for bloggers. Please keep that in mind. There could be lots of other people out there I've made an impact on, but I don't know. Comments make my day just as much as the deeds might have made yours.

Favorite acts of kindness:
Buying coffee- because someone BOWED to me
Buying Medicine- What a HUGE impact that one had on some many different people.
Puppy Sized Elephants- there was an instant smile from every person I told it to.

What I learned:
Being nice is easy, blogging is hard.

I didn't need to be nice to everyone (my students can testify to that one ;-) ) but all I needed to be nice for 30 seconds a day. When I looked at it like, it took a lot of the pressure off.

I am extremely lucky. This experience has made see how blessed I am, to have amazing and excellent friends who are super supportive. Also I am extremely lucky to have the good life I do. People are struggling out there and it isn't just something that's happening far away in some distant country most people can't pinpoint on a map. No, there are people struggling a half a mile from my house. The homeless man and the gentleman who couldn't pay for his meds, both of these event occurred at the strip mall near my house.

I changed my thinking every time I left my house. I was constantly on the lookout for something nice to do. I was little bit more aware of people around me. They stopping being 'things that were in my way' and became people, humans, with all the feelings and emotions I have.

Every action I did, I stopped and thought, "was the good enough to blog about?" Often times, I said "No. This is just me being the person I am, or this is what a civialized human being SHOULD be doing."

Yes, some of the examples were slightly larger then life, and meant going of my way, but most of them weren't.

.04% of the entire MONTH was spent being nice to people and look at the impact it made.

So will I do this again?

I will keep the blog up. I'm not going to update it every day. No, but whenever I go out of my way to be nice, I'll update it.

Better yet.

It's new years, it's time to make those resolutions. Maybe you pick being nice to someone once a week as your new year's resolution. If you write it up (That's the part that takes the most time) and e-mail it to me, I'll post it here.


If you liked my writing, and you want to check out more, you can follow my other blog. It might not be as uplifting but I think it's funnier.

Thank you so much for sticking with me on this one. Thank you thank you thank you thank you.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 31- Say thank you

Say thank you.

Saying thank you takes 1 second but it makes a huge difference in someone's day and in their opinion on you.

For today I am going to thank EVERYONE who made this blog possible.

In all honestly I didn't think I was going to make it, I didn't think I was going to follow through. But people kept coming up to me and saying they read the blog, it makes their day or they did something nice for someone.

So here is your chance to see your name (first names only) on the internet on a quasi important blog and you can say "Hey that's me." Hopeful it will make your day too.

This is in a sort of order and if I forget you, I'm very sorry.

Cindy- Your ideas made it into the blog more than anyone, you've been my constant cheerleader. Thanks for doing the coupons with me and giving me a shout out on a radio station. You're a rock star. Thank you for being there for me for my moment of fame.

Megan- Thank you for introducing this blog to your friends, for all your good deeds and giving me ideas. Thank you for your wonderful piece on The Nervous Breakdown.

Danielle- Thank you for updating your facebook status with the blog and giving me more "internet traffic" Thanks for commenting and keeping me on track. Thank you for all your help with my writing as well.

Alicia- Thanks for all your support, not just with this blog but with my borderline insanity about my writing. Thanks for blogging about me too.

Hubby- Thank you for reading the blog. Your opinion means more than anyone else's (sorry everyone else, I like you guys, but I LOVE him) Thanks for being a great guy.

Mom and Dad- thank you for reading everyday and giving me ideas. Thanks for commenting and all your support. Love ya.

Will- Thanks for going against your nature and doing something good for someone. :-) You're the man. Thanks for digging out your neighbor's car!

Bev- Thanks for reading and I hope your daughter liked it too. You've raised some great kids. Thank you for all your support.

Tara- You were the second person I looked up on facebook. Thanks for reading this. Some of my best childhood memories have you in them.

Jen M- Thanks for commenting on facebook.

Katy- Thanks for paying for the person behind you! Thanks for reading and passing on the goodness. You're an excellent person.

Colleen- Thanks for your support early on. You really gave me the motivation I needed.

Mike- You're a great guy and thank you for all your ideas

Mo- Thank you for your ideas and all your support. You were very important in the early stages of this project. Thank you

Chris- I don't know what a toast ranger is either. ;-)

Aunt Joanne- Thanks for all your love.

Followers- All these people follow the blog.

School support
Maureen- Thanks for being the first person to tell me you read this. Your words and your support has helped me in so many ways.

Carol- Thanks for reading this and all your fun e-mails about it.

Sam- Thanks for donating to and being a great guy.

Lori- I miss not seeing you everyday I hope this was a way you could still feel connected to the school. I'm going to miss my MSA buddy.

Mary- For doing nice things for strangers long before this was a thing.

Jeff- Thanks for reading and checking the site.

Cecilia- Thanks for making this the one blog you read.

Michelle- Thanks for being my sanity and for all your hard work. You make me a better teacher.

Kenya- Thanks being the first person to tell me you did something nice after reading my blog. You're a big reason I kept going with this

Patty- thanks for reading and commenting on my facebook status.

Craig- Thanks for being a good guy. You were a big part of the inspiration of this.

Kerry- Thanks for listening to my stories.

Liz- thanks for commenting and reading.

Debbie- for being one of the nicest people on the planet... the world is better with you on it.

Chris- For being the smartest person I know (seriously he is)

Leray- for reading and commenting

Kathy- NO, you're my idol. You make me smile every time we talk.

Hammond staff -- you're my second family. Thank you

My students- Thanks for to the kids who did something nice for someone or told their parents about this and did they in turn did something nice.

Martha- Thank you for asking me about my personal project every day. It was a great way to start my day.

Let's Talk Live, Natasha Barrett, Brianne Carter, Gillian R, Alison K Thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to talk about my project.

98.7 WMZQ- Michael J- for talking about my blog on the air and making it possible for Gillian to hear about the blog.

Thank you all SO MUCH, everyone was kind, professional and cared about this project. Thank you thank you thank you.

People I don't know
The internet is an amazing thing and there were three people who found me and started reading this. This I have no idea who I am but they took the time to read the website and blog about it.

Clover: She's a nerdfighter which makes her made out of awesome

Contrafibularities: Blog here

KLO Blog here

TKAstle She's doing her own blog about the same thing starting in January.

Kelly: She's the one who found a note in the book Paper Towns

Jenn: She found me thanks to Let's Talk.

Jilly and Jess -I met through Meghan and I was super happy to tell them about Puppy Sized Elephants.

John Green- You're a huge inspiration to me, thank you.

So did you stop reading when you found your name?
Are you super annoyed that I didn't mention you? If I missed you, I am VERY sorry and I promise to edit the page to fix the mistake.

Thank you everyone. You're a big reason why this was a success.

One more update filled with the stats of this experiment, my favorite deeds and my overall thoughts of it.

Happy New Years.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 30- Paid for a metro card

Paid for a metro card.

Yesterday I got an e-mail from NewsChannel 8 to do a 6 minute segment about Be Nice To a Stranger. WOW! The epic tale starts off like this, my friend Cindy e-mailed a radio station about my blog. The DJ said he would talk about it on the air. Yesterday morning they talked about it. I didn't hear it, I was asleep. Then a producer for Let's Talk Live, heard the about the blog on drive to work. She connacted the radio station for my information, they gave her Cindy's info. Cindy called me and poof 24 hours later, I was being interviewed.

You can see it here

Yes I know I move a lot.

So now you know why I'm in DC.

Event:I was standing in the metro station waiting to buy my metro card. I put money one the card, it was the same basic process I had done plenty of times before. Then I did it again and place $5 onto a second metro card. There was a large crowd of people behind me. I called out to the crowd, "Anyone want a free metro card?" Blank stares. I'm getting the distrusting she's a crazy person look. Then I saw someone. I handed the card to her. I smiled at her. "Here, you're one of my former students, you take it."

OK I've been teaching for 9 years now. This week I've run into more former students then i have in six months. It's been crazy. I should also be stated I live about 30 minutes away from the metro, so it's pretty amazing I ran into my student.

She smiled and said it was weird to take something from a former teacher. I smiled at her and said, I'm going on TV today because I've been nice to strangers. Congrats you win."
She laughed and took the card.

Would I do it again: Sure.
Time: 30 seconds- I messed up making the card.
Effort: None
Cost $5.00