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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!


Water bottle August 27, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Kitchen & Bath, Smiley.
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Water bottle. From my nephew Aidan’s collection.

Today was my nephew Aidan’s and niece Zoey’s first day of school. Yesterday, when they were showing me their first-day outfits, Aidan brought me his water bottle, too. 🙂

Today, little Zoey said she started her day with play dough. I asked her what she made, and she told me she made two smileys! Maybe later this week I’ll get to post photos of those, too.


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.)

The snack that smiles back! December 5, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Kitchen & Bath, Smiley.
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When I was a kid, I always enjoyed giving gifts to my teachers at the holidays because my mother was a teacher and I marveled at the piles of small gifts she brought home each Christmas and each summer. But grade school kids are cool about that. College kids aren’t always so thoughtful, and when I began teaching college I certainly didn’t expect to receive gifts myself. But sure enough, once in a while a student will get generous and bring me a Christmas card or a coffee mug or flag from his home country.

Today, I got a giant Goldfish cracker.

Goldfish cracker container. New to my personal collection!

A few weeks ago I caught a student nibbling Goldfish in class. I don’t mind food in the classroom, but I mock-scolded her for not sharing her crackers with me. I wound up revealing to the whole class that I love Goldfish crackers, partly because they’re addictively (and probably unhealthily) delicious, and partly because I love smiley faces. Plus, I take a macabre pleasure in their bizarre slogan, “The snack that smiles back — until you bite their heads off.”

One of my students remembered that conversation and today, after she finished her final exam, she gave me this Goldfish snack container and a couple of tiny boxes of Goldfish crackers!

Goldfish cracker container (opened). New to my personal collection!

Thanks, my student, for thinking of me! That was genuinely awesome. 🙂

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.)

Decorative pin May 9, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Smiley.
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Decorative pin. From my personal collection.

I can’t remember where I picked this up — I think I actually found it on the side of the road while walking to a taxi stand one day — but it became my constant companion for one semester a couple of years ago. I kept it pinned to the canvas strap of the messenger bag I carried to work when I was teaching English in Abu Dhabi. Now it resides among all its smiley kin in my collection, but I’m thinking of pulling it out in the fall and reattaching it to my messenger bag. Because a happy teacher makes for a happy classroom!

“Cool” ink stamp March 21, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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"Cool" ink stamp. From my personal collection.

About six months ago, I posted the first of my pair of ink stamps. This is the other, my “cool” stamp. This one I tend to reserve for things that deserve not merely congratulations, but a sense that somewhere, The Fonz is giving a double thumbs-up and saying, “Eyyyy.”