Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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wraiths82I'd Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had by Tony Danza was reaffirming.

I saw his series was going to be called “Teach” and about teaching so when I saw this book appear on the lists, immediately requested it. Here are nuggets/gems from the book!

pg. 48
“You have to be prepared to play many roles, you have to be a mother, father, sister, brother, social worker, counselor, friend and anything else they need.”

pg. 49
“We have to make up for so much that’s missing in kids’ lives today, especially in the poorer schools.”

pg. 74
“How do you get past the ‘I just can’t deal with them, and they make it impossible to teach the others, so why not just throw in the towel?’ You just keep trying. If you’re motivated, you do. The kids eventually see your passion, and that’s what makes them buy in.”

pg. 75
“You can tell the ones who’ll be great teachers. They’re the ones with the passion. The ones who try things and watch other teachers and network with teachers even outside their subject areas. You’ve got to be motivated to be a motivator. You’ve got to be able to excite the kids with a story or an action and then get them to bite on what you want them to learn. My classroom was a safe zone. Nothing but a place to learn and have fun with music, but if I saw a kid with an issue, I told him or her: see me, let’s talk. The kids are going to love that about you because they know they can talk to you.

He had other great bits of poetry from students and ideas on engaging students. Definitely worth reading. 2 years ago

wraiths82How to Save A Life by Sara Zarr

pg. 157
That’s how life feels to me. Everyone is doing it, everyone knows how. To live and be who they are and to find a place, find a moment. I’m still waiting.

pg. 311
I don’t blame her. I haven’t told the whole truth about something important. Something I should have told her right at the beginning. But I didn’t want her to see me that way, see that part of who I am, the part that feels ugly and ruined. 2 years ago

wraiths82Phenomenal idea in All Good Children with Catherine Austen...

Crazy idea that could actually happen with schools as we seem to be scratching out new ways to get better results. I would have been like Mr. Reese, as I love the interaction between students and teachers, I don’t want mindless drones just less misbehavior.

pg. 172
“Maxwell is bright enough to waste hours of class time with his antics yet still complete his work and earn As. But in exercising what you consider his freedom, he impacts on the freedom of others. He wasted their class time, too, and they needed that time to understand their work. His fun caused his classmates to fail.”

I have to admit, it’s a good argument. I never thought goofing around might send someone to throwaway school. He should have told me that my first detention.

pg. 178
“Kids with behavior problems and learning disabilities used to rule the classroom. They brought our standards down so much that even the smartest students wouldn’t learn until grade twelve with what kids in other countries learn by grade eight.”

pg. 237
Mr. Reese doesn’t participate. He shows a documentary, assigns a reading, points to questions on the screen, goes about his duties like a secretary to his former self. I hate him and all that he withstands. I hate him like I hate my mother, whom I love and wish I didn’t hate but I can’t help it. I hate every adult who feels bad about what they’re doing and does it anyway, sighing with every breath, clinging to the notion that they’re good people in bad times. I hate them for not standing up for me. I hate them for not helping me stand up for myself. I hate them for not teaching me to care about all the people they mowed down before they got around to us. I hope they choke on all their coffee-talk and tissues.

pg. 262
Living with hope is like rubbing up against a cheese grater. It keeps taking slices off you until there’s so little left you just crumble. 2 years ago

wraiths82Fairest by Gail Carson Levine had some lovely sings and revelations...

pg. 249-250
Today you end
and you begin. The old
is still sweeter
than the new. You
notice everything.

Your fingers don’t do
as they’re told.

Remember, and
don’t forget
the moments
of your beginning.

We’ll be lucky to know you!
We’re lucky to know you now!

pg. 301-302
I can never stop thanking you.
If I never stop,
I never need to say
A river rushes between us.
You follow it north,
I pursue it south.
When I weep
because I miss you,
my tears will seep
through your cavern.
Your face is kind
as a shawl in winter,
or a diamond for a song.
My family keeps an inn.
You have a chamber in my heart.
No rent is due.

pg. 304

People don’t look as they behave….

I had grandeur. I breathed in the cool night air. Perhaps I could learn to wear myself without apologies, with dignity. Perhaps I could become what Ijori already saw. Perhaps someday I might be able to smile at myself in a mirror.
Not yet. But maybe someday. 2 years ago

wraiths82Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson is a scary glimpse into the battle of anorexia...

so many things reminded me of my own struggles with weight, that I enjoyed this. The main character deals with a lot of issues, handling them through anorexia and cutting, but at the same time tries to be the best big sister she can.

pg. 17
The buzzer sounds. Students float from room to room. The teachers tie us to our chairs and pour worlds into our ears.

pg. 19
“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secrets,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the library aide who hides in Fantasy.
I am the circus freak encased in beeswax.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
When I get close, they step back. The cameras in their eyeholes record the zit on my chin, the rain in my eyes, the blue water under my skin. They pick up every sound on their collar microphones. They want to pull me inside of them, but they’re afraid.
I am contagious.

pg. 33
This girl shivers and crawls under the covers with all her clothes on and falls into an overdue library book, a faerie story with rats and marrow and burning curses. The sentences build a fence around her, a Times Roman 10-point barricade, to keep the thorny voices in her head from getting too close.

pg. 78
I don’t know how they do it. I don’t know how anybody does it, waking up every morning and eating and moving from the bus to the assembly line, where the teacher-bots inject us with Subject A and Subject B, and passing every test they give us. Our parents provide the list of ingredients and remind us to make healthy choices: one sport, two clubs, one artistic goal, community service, no grades below a B, because really, nobody’s average, not around here. It’s a dance with complicated footwork and a changing tempo.

I’m the girl who trips on the dance floor and can’t find her way to the exit. All eyes on me.

pg. 161 (in response to the old friend’s mother wanting to know why her daughter threw her life away)
Why? You want to know why?
Step into a tanning booth and fry yourself for two or three days. After your skin bubbles and peels off, roll in coarse salt, then pull on long underwear woven from spun glass and razor wire. Over that goes yoru regular clothes as long as they are tight.

Smoke gunpowder and go to school to jump through hoops, sit up and beg, and roll over on command. Listen to the whispers that curl into your head at night, calling you ugly and fat and stupid and bitch and whore and worst of all “a disappointment.” Puke and starve and cut and drink because you don’t want to feel any of this. Puke and starve and cut and drink because you need an anesthetic and it works. For a while. But then the anesthetic turns into poison and by then it’s too late because you are main-lining it now, straight into your soul. It is rotting you and you can’t stop.

Look in a mirror and find a ghost. Hear every heart-beat scream that everysinglething is wrong with you.

“Why?” is the wrong question.

Ask “Why not?”

pg. 221
I am locked into the mirror and there is no door out.

pg. 277-278
I am spinning the silk threads of my story, weaving the fabric of my world. The tiny elf dancer became a wooden doll whose strings were jerked by people not paying attention. I spun out of control. Eating was hard. Breathing was hard. Living was hardest.

I wanted to swallow the bitter seeds of forgetfulness.

Cassie did, too. We leaned on each other, lost in the dark and wandering in endless circles. She got too tired and went to sleep. Somehow, I dragged myself out of the dark and asked for help.

I spin and weave and knit my words and visions until a life starts to take shape.

There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.

I am thawing. 2 years ago

wraiths82Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin was a great read with a crazy yet cool concept of what happens when we die..

I wouldn’t mind going to Elsewhere after I die and I loved the story of Liz’s life(and death?).

pg. 239-240

There will be other lives.

There will be other lives for nervous boys with sweaty palms, for bittersweet fumblings in the backseats of cars, for caps and gowns in royal blue and crimson, for mothers clasping pretty pearl necklaces around daughters’ unlined necks, for your full name read aloud in an auditorium, for brand-new suitcases transporting you to strange new people in strange new lands.

And there will be other lives for unpaid debts, for one-night stands, for Prague and for Paris, for painful shoes with pointy toes, for indecisions and revisions.

And there will be other lives for fathers walking daughters down aisles.

And there will be other lives for sweet babies with skin like milk.

And there will be other lives for a man you don’t recognize, for a face in the mirror that is no longer yours, for the funerals of intimates, for shrinking, for teeth that fall out, for hair on your chin, for forgetting everything. Everything.

Oh, there are so many lives. How we wish we could live them concurrently instead of one by one by one. We could select the best pieces of each, stringing them together like a strand of pearls. But that’s not how it works. A human life is a beautiful mess.

pg. 266

“A life isn’t measured in hours and minutes. It’s the quality, not the length. All things considered, I’ve been luckier than most.” 2 years ago

wraiths82What if Love were illegal? There's a cure for love, and you get it when you're 18 in

Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Provocative, thought-provoking and an interesting futuristic kind of book. I liked it, going to check out her other stuff too.

pg. 50
Sometimes I feel as though there are two me’s, one coasting directly on top of the other; the superficial me, who nods when she’s supposed to nod adn says what she’s supposed to say, and some other, deeper part, the part that worries and dreams says “Gray.” Most of the time they move along in sync and I hardly notice the split, but sometimes it feels as though I’m two whole different people and I could rip apart at any second. Once I confessed this to Rachel. She just smiled and told me it would all be better after the procedure. After the procedure, she said, it would be all coasting, all glide, every day as easy as one, two, three.

pg. 106-107
Hana has been morphing into a stranger.

A sharp blade of sadness goes through me, deep and quick. I guess it was bound to happen eventually. I’ve always known it would. Everyone you trust, everyone you think you can count on, will eventually disappoint you. When left to their own devices, people lie and keep secrets and change and disappear, some behind a different face or personality, some behind a dense early morning fog, beyond a cliff. That’s why the cure is so important. That’s why we need it.

pg. 153
Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you—sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.

pg. 383
I know that life isn’t life if you just float through it. I know that the whole point-the only point-is to find the things that matter, and hold on to them, and fight for them, and refuse to let them go.

pg. 395
Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.
But that isn’t it, exactly.
The condemner and the condemned. The executioner; the blade; the last-minute reprieve; the gasping breath and the rolling sky above you and the thank you, thank you, thank you, God.
Love: It will kill you and save you, both.

pg. 440
You have to understand. I am no one special. I am just a single girl. I am five feet two inches tall and I am in-between in every way.
But I have a secret. You can build walls all the way to the sky and I will find a way to fly above them. You can try to pin me down with a hundred thousand arms, but I will find a way to resist. And there are many of us out there, more than you think. People who refuse to stop believing. People who refuse to come to earth. People who love in a world without walls, people who love into hate, into refusal, against hope, and without fear.

I love you. Remember. They cannot take it. 2 years ago

wraiths82Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor

this author did another amazing book called the Daughter of Smoke & Bone, definitely one to read if you haven’t heard of her.

pg. 40-41

With a deep visceral ache, she wished her true form might prove to be a sleek and shining one, like a stiletto blade slicing free of an ungainly sheath. Like a bird of prey losing its hatchling fluff to hunt in cold, magnificent skies. That she might become something glittering, something startling, something dangerous.

Kizzy wanted to be a woman who would dive off the prow of a sailboat into the sea, who would fall back in a tangle of sheets, laughing, and who could dance a tango, lazily stroke a leopard with her bare foot, freeze an enemy’s blood with her eyes, make promises she couldn’t possibly keep, and then shift the world to keep them. She wanted to write memoirs and autograph them at a tiny bookshop in Rome, with a line of admirers snaking down a pink-lit alley. She wanted to make love on a balcony, ruin someone, trade in esoteric knowledge, watch strangers as coolly as a cat. She wanted to be inscrutable, have a drink named after her, a love song written for her, and a handsome adventurer’s small airplane, champagne-christened Kizzy, which would vanish one day in a windstorm in Arabia so that she would have to mount a rescue operation involving camels, and wear an indigo veil against the stinging sand, just like the nomads.

Kizzy wanted. 2 years ago

New IsabellaFor flower lovers...

Beautiful time-lapse photography:

Someone sent this in an e-mail. I can identify most but not all of the flowers. 3 years ago

New IsabellaThe weight of the world is love...

photo credit: Banff Centre exhibition The End by Ragnar Kjartansson

Yesterday, I came across a museum brochure from an art exhibit that I went to see with my mom and my uncle in Pittsburgh last August. The day was memorable for several reasons, but this performance art work named “The End”, by the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartannsson was sort of the grand finale. We were in a large room surrounded by 5 huge screens simultaneously showing scenes like the one above of the artist and his friend playing music in the snowy Canadian Rockies, and we had no idea that an actual earthquake was happening (the same earthquake that simultaneously shook the stones down from the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.)

I also want to add a link for a poem I discovered in the brochure called Song, by Allen Ginsberg, that I really like a lot: 3 years ago

wraiths82Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

pg. 347-348

I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss. Yet as we stood loading our boats in the breaking dawn, on a brand new precipice of Before and After, I thought of everything I was about to leave behind-my parents, my town, my once-best-and-only-friend-and I realized that leaving wouldn’t be like I had imagined, like casting off a weight. Their memory was something tangible and heavy, and I would carry it with me.

And yet my old life was as impossible to return to as the children’s bombed house. The doors had been blown off our cages. 3 years ago

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