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playing poker and teaching science: Congratulations!
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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Dear Mr. Reed,
Congratulations! It gives me great pleasure to inform you that your proposal was selected from more than 900 proposals for funding under the Eli Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program. Your award is $8000. The enclosed press release includes the names of other award recipients and descriptions of their projects.

I rarely check my mail. Junk mail, flyers, credit card applications, coupons, and assorted other asinine articles of uninteresting reading material comprise the bulk of all mail. I have only one bill that gets mailed to me rather than received electronically. My friends and family email me. I generally glance at what’s been delivered and them jam it back into the box. The box hanging on the side of my house fills to overflowing and then I dump it en mass into a big drawer in my kitchen and go through it all about once every other month.

Mail is stooooooopid.

Yesterday evening however when I went out to walk my dog I took a look in the box and saw an envelope from The Lilly Endowment, a division of the enormous drug company Eli Lilly. I had applied for a grant but the release date for names wasn’t until March so why would I get something now?

It must be a rejection letter.

But wait…… why would a rejection be in a large envelope?

It looks like my son and I will be flying to Hawaii this summer to fly over a volcano, bicycle down from a peak, and (if available) do a “hot lava” dive where the lava comes through the earth’s crust under the ocean!

You have to love a letter that starts with the word “congratulations.”


Blogger Shelly said...

Congrats!!! Hawaii is amazing - I went a couple years back and it was literally a once in a lifetime experience. Make sure you go parasailing!

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Daniel Haszard said...

Good for you mate,enjoy your Lilly extravaganza,i'm waiting on my 'award' letter too.Cheers,Daniel Haszard

7:53 AM  

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