Me? Distinguished?

October 21st, 2008

So I’m home now recovering from my world tour (more on my re-entry in a later post), but I just want to let you know that I won’t be home for long. I’m going to be taking off soon to accept a really big honor from my college, Indiana University, which is giving me…wait for it…

…the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award!

I know, I’m a bit shocked as well. Especially considering that in 2006 they gave the award to Dr. Lawrence H. Einhorn, the man who pretty much cured Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong of testicular cancer (bet you didn’t know Indianapolis is the place to go for many cancer treatments, did you? Well, it is).

And the year after that, they gave the award to Will Shortz, the crossword editor for The New York Times.

I know! I haven’t cured anyone of cancer, or written any brain-stumping crossword puzzles.

But to quote a certain character in a certain book you haven’t read yet, “Sure, I’m not going to invent a robotic surgical arm that’s going to save people’s lives.

But I’ve written a book that might make someone whose loved one is being operated on by that arm forget about how scared she is while she’s in the waiting room.”

So maybe it’s OK.

Mostly, this award seems like positive reinforcement for being a total dork in college. While everyone else was out partying the night IU won the 1987 NCAA Basketball Championship, where was I? Oh, yeah. In my dorm room working on—yes, you guessed it. A novel.

I know! I was such a geek, even in my 20s! I even remember getting up and slamming my window shut because everyone was being so loud outside, and I couldn’t concentrate on the chapter I was trying to finish (I know, I was SUCH a freak—in retrospect I probably should have joined them, but considering how they were all stealing the fish out of Showalter Fountain, maybe not…I love that fountain).

And then later, after graduation, I gave up every vacation day, every personal day, even most of my sick days, to write for ten years while also working full time. I barely saw any of my friends during those days, in fact, because I was working so hard!

So it’s nice that we’re having this chance to get together to celebrate (a lot of my friends are flying in for the occasion—yay!).

And yes…I already have a dress. It’s gold. Really! Okay, not actually made out of gold. I mean, Rumplestiltskin didn’t spin it. But it’s very shiny! I promise to take a lot of pictures to show you.

And here’s the good news…if you want to come to the banquet where I’m receiving my award to see my dress in person, you’re totally welcome to! Just click here for the info.

And if you can’t make it, well, I’ll be sure to post the highlights. You can read my official Indiana University bio here.

If you come for my award ceremony (there’s a football game that weekend, so you can see one of those, too, I think we’re playing Wisconsin), you can tour the college, and go on the Meg Cabot Memorial Tour as well, which includes the Monroe County Public Library(note how the windows are so excellently suited for scoping boys who may be driving down Kirkwood, the main street of town, obviously a purposeful intent on the part of the architect); the house I grew up in (in my head, the setting for so many of my books, including the Allie Finkle books…although I’m not sure how the people who live in the house now will feel about strangers showing up at their door asking for tours); the bar where I used to drink beer and eat delicious breadsticks before both became verboten thanks to stupid celiac disease; and of course Showalter Fountain, too, which you may even take a dip in, if the spirit so moves you. No one will think you’re strange. It’s Bloomington, they’re used to odd behavior…like girls who would rather stay in their dorm rooms and write than join in huge parties when the university wins a national championship. It turns out they even reward that kind of behavior. Who knew?

See you the Weekend of November 7th!

More later.

Much love,

Meg