… and two days later, it exploded.
Last night before I went to bed, I was pretty excited because my photo of Teal in her Princess Leia costume had about 300 views on Flickr. This morning, as I stumbled out the door to walk to classes, I met Teal, who was on her way back. “Erin!” she cheered, “It’s at 1500 views!”
Wow, I thought, Flickr’s “Explore” system must have really caught hold of that photo.
An hour later, after my first class, it was up to 2500. Now some of my classmates were starting to notice.
Throughout the day, as I revisited my Flickr page between classes and appointments, my jaw dropped lower and lower. I discovered that my photo had been picked up first by Reddit and then by Digg, two sites that together command most of the internet’s attention. By dinner time, almost the entire school was wanting to know “How many now, Erin??”
It is now 11:30, and my photo of “Princess Leia” and the R2-D2 mailbox has been viewed over 65,000 times. 65,000, folks. That’s 10,000 more than our local football stadium holds. Holy. Cow.
Needless to say, it’s been a fun day for Teal and I. So, what is the purpose of this post? Well, here’s the thing about Teal. She is really super smart… an MIT graduate and one of the finest nerds I have ever met. She has also, as it happens, just gotten a step closer to her dream of attending the University of Cambridge in England in the fall.
Here’s the catch. Although she just found out that Cambridge accepted her, they will not be providing her with any scholarship money—bringing her expenses for her first year to a whopping $41,000.
One of our friends joked, when he was visiting this evening, that if we had a dollar for every person who viewed our Star Wars picture, Teal’s expenses would be more than paid for.
And that idea sounded almost crazy enough to work.
Now, just so you know, I really really hate people asking for money—probably more than I should. But when the entire internet is crawling all over my blog and many thousands of dollars are standing between my friend and her dream… well, you can’t blame me for seeing if a few of you might have a spare dollar or two lying around. So I am providing a link on the sidebar over there —> which will allow you to donate to Teal’s “Send Princess Leia to Cambridge” fund.
… OR you can ignore this, totally guilt free!
Either way, even if she doesn’t make a penny, Teal and I are pretty stoked at the success of our little geektastic adventure—we really never imagined.
UPDATE: Aaaaand the numbers keep climbing. You really have no idea how excited Teal and I are that even one of you decided to donate… let alone enough of you to bring her total to almost $60.00 so far. You should see our house… there’s a giant chalkboard in the middle of the living room, and on it we have a running tally of both her Cambridge fund and the view count on Flickr… and it’s getting updated pretty often.
Some completely valid questions have come up in the comments, which I showed to Teal, and here are her answers:
What will Teal be studying at Cambridge? Short answer: Math ed. Long answer: International perspectives in math education. Why? Because Teal has tutored countless kids and adults whose enjoyment of math have been ruined by bad teachers, scary educational experiences, or bad textbooks, and she wants to help reform math education in the U.S.
What about taxes? We haven’t looked into this, honestly. Teal is planning to report this income and pay any necessary taxes on it, but we’re both wondering: are there other factors we need to take into consideration?
“I’ll give you $50 if you promise to wear that costume once a week while you’re at Cambridge and post a picture of it to Flickr” Hahaha. We got a kick out of that one. This was probably a joke, but Teal did say that if 200 people pledged her $50.00 to do this, she would.
What if Teal doesn’t get enough money?
I do not think that either of us are expecting this “Send Princess Leia to Cambridge” campaign to cover all of Teal’s expenses (although that would be awesome), but if she does not manage to put together enough money on top of her earnings here to go to Cambridge, she will donate what you have given her to World Vision International.
I will update this post throughout the day as I can… thank you again to each and every one of you who has donated! We owe you.