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Mr. Happy book bag and journal September 3, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Holidays, Office, Smiley.
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During our trip to Texas last week, my family gathered for a giant birthday party (Jennifer, I, and all three of my sister’s kids celebrate birthdays within a few weeks of each other). The party was mostly for the kiddos, but Uncle Smiley got presents, too! Including two awesome smiley gifts!

What more fitting gifts for a writer than a book bag and a journal to write in? And what more fitting gifts for a collector of smiley faces than Mr. Happy paraphernalia?

I loved the Mr. books when I was a kid — didn’t we all? — and I still get a huge kick out of these smiling shapes! Of course, technically, all the Mr. Men had smiley faces except Mr. Forgetful, Mr. Mean, Mr. Fussy, Mr. Grumble, Mr. Quiet, and Mr. Worry. So any one of those guys would have been a terrific gift. But when you think smiley faces, you have to start with Mr. Happy!

Thanks, Sara and Red and the kiddos! This was a terrific birthday present!

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Card with hand-drawn smiley May 31, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Office, Smiley.
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It’s been two weeks of thanks here at Smile!, and for that I am so, so grateful.

Hand-drawn smiley in a thank you card. By Aryana.

This buck-toothed happy guy was drawn inside a card from another of my tutees, this one an exceptionally intelligent and insightful young woman named Aryana, who is graduating high school in the next few weeks and has already been accepted into a very good university. Working with her this past year has been one of the great privileges of my academic career, and I am honored to get thanks  from so bright a student.

Have a terrific graduation and a wonderful summer, Aryana! And then go and rock university. The academic world needs a scholar like you. 🙂

Card with stickers and smileys (for “Teacher Sam”) May 24, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Office, Smiley.
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The other day, I wrote on my personal blog about a teacher gift my nine-year-old tutee gave me at the end of our “school year” of tutoring. You can read more about that gift at the other blog, but I wanted to save the smiley faces my tutee included on my card for you happy readers!

The envelope my card came in.

The smiley stickers on the back of the envelope.

The smiley faces my tutee drew inside the card!

Thanks again for the card and the gift, Tiffany! 🙂

Zoo trip t-shirts (sort of) May 17, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Office, Smiley, Web smileys.
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This past Monday, my wife and I decided to spend the morning at the Oregon Zoo — we’re members, so we can just drop in any time we want. Turns out, we weren’t the only ones with that idea: the zoo was absolutely packed with happy kids (and exhausted chaperons) on school field trips.

In order to keep all those kids together, the schools kitted them out with t-shirts designating which school they belonged too, and much to my delight, one of the schools — Wee Wisdom Preschool — wore bright yellow shirts with classic black smiley faces!

I had the camera with me and wanted to snap photos of the actual shirts, but I knew it might look strange for some random guy to start photographing groups of kids, so I opted to enjoy the smileys without the photos. But I had a hunch that a school that would use a smiley on their t-shirts might use the smiley in other ways, too, so I noted the name and looked them up online when I got home.

And sure enough, Wee Wisdom Preschool has a big, bright smiley face right at the top of their sidebar!

Logo and mission statement for Wee Wisdom Preschool in Beaverton, OR.

Their motto (on the parent info page) is even “The Happy Place to learn!”

School doesn’t get much more smiley than that, happy readers! 🙂

School supply set January 19, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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School supply set with pencil, eraser, ruler, and storage case. Photo taken in Carrefour hypermarket in Abu Dhabi, spring 2010.

My winter term of teaching began last week, but because of all the introductory material we covered last week and our second-week holiday on Monday, I feel like we’ve only just got rolling in my writing classes. So, here are some writing utensils to help you get started.

I actually spotted these back in Abu Dhabi almost a year ago, while shopping for luggage at the Carrefour hypermarket. I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to grab this set — it was cheap, too! — but I was shopping for luggage because I was preparing for my super-massive move back to the States, and every cubic inch and every ounce of luggage space was precious, so I just couldn’t risk trying to stuff even this small, lightweight item into my already over-packed bags. *sigh* Still, I had to at least take a photo of it, just to share with you.

You’re welcome. 🙂

Now get to writing! (And maybe doodle a smiley face in the corner of your paper. Couldn’t hurt.)

Cell phone smiley November 7, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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Cell phone smiley. On my student's phone.

A couple of weeks ago, I was making the rounds in my classroom while my students were workshopping essays, and I spotted this smiley face on the phone of one of my students. My students laughed when I swooped in. “Is that what I think it is?” I practically shouted.

Yes, it is what we think it is. And look very closely — it has a bow tie:

Which is awesome.

Big thanks to my student for letting me take a photo of her phone with my phone. (Oh, it’s so meta.)

Plastic pouch August 4, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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Plastic pouch. From my personal collection.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might think this happy bag looks familiar. That’s because it once held the smiley jello mold I posted about last November. But this little drawstring pouch is plenty of fun all on its own, so I’ve separated it from the jello mold and now use it to hold all my little miscellaneous smileys, like the tiny smileys figurines or my stray keychains. So now I have a whole bag full of happy!


PS: You might have wondered where I disappeared to on Monday. That day was my day off, because my wife and I were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. That’s 3,650 days of smiles, folks! 🙂

Note clip July 25, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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Note clip. From my personal collection.

It’s sometimes hard to find a place for this that’s on display but still out of the way enough that I don’t knock it over while I’m working, but when I use this, I typically keep it on (or near) my office desk. At first I kept photos of my nieces and nephews clipped in it, but the family keeps growing and multiple photos were hard to keep in one clip, so I moved them to a bulletin board and set up this clip with a photo of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama — because that guy is always smiling!

Clipboard May 2, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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Clipboard. From my personal collection.

I tend to use clipboards for organizing papers. Student essays, my own short fiction, personal files, paperwork: it all feels so much easier to handle to when it’s held in place on one of these things. But how dull —  how anticlimactic, even depressing — must it be to work your way through such a stack of pages only to be rewarded with a plain brown slab of cheap wood? None for me, thanks! I’m always much happier when I finish a clipboard full of work and find these scattered smileys grinning up at me! Plus, the clip smiles while I’m working, which seems to make the work go faster. Win-win!

Stress ball April 11, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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Stress ball. From my personal collection.

I could sure use this today!

I’m packing, not just a few things for a trip but EVERYTHING. I don’t have a final count yet, but I’m lugging at least a half-dozen huge suitcases down to the airport tomorrow morning, and then I’m getting on a plane and spending the next 24 hours or so in transit.

Uncle Smiley and wife are moving back to the States.

My wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed our few years living overseas in the Middle East, but we’re also thoroughly enjoying the adventure of moving back to the US. Part of that adventure, though, requires me to move over ahead of my wife, so I can find a place to live and she can send our cats to our new home before flying out to join us. Which means I’m responsible for all this luggage on my own! Then there’s our stockpile of stuff in storage, and a moving van, and a cross-country road trip… Oh, and did I mention I’m attending an academic conference in the middle of all this?

So, bring on the stress ball! Make me happy!

(Next post: see you in the US, gang!)