Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Project.

In her novel, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Amy Krouse Rosenthal writes an entry on "Change": 

This money was left here intentionally and is specifically for your use. I know it's not much--perhaps just enough to treat yourself to a cookie, coffee, a lottery ticket, donation to the homeless, a new pair of socks... In any case, I hope it changes your day for the better. All I ask in return is that you let me know how you spend it. You don't have to sign your name, and a prepaid postcard is included. Enjoy.

Every week, for close to a year, I left an envelope containing this note, some loose change, and a stamped postcard addressed to my P.O. box for a random stranger to discover. I'd like to say that I set out to do this for purely altruistic reasons. But, more accurately, I did it because I'm easily bored/easily amused, and experiments such as this inject a morsel of suspense into the week. That, and I really like getting mail. (52)

In our classroom, we are writing our own "Encyclopedias," and we opted to vary this project to make it our own. A couple of our modifications:

1. Communication will take place via a blog (this one, obviously) as well as through email ( The teacher will have sole access to the email account to protect the anonymity of the students. 

2. The change envelopes we distribute will include a note that instructs people to use it to help someone else. 

Stay tuned as we brainstorm our ideas and start Loose Changing the World.

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