the unnaturalist society (or ‘volunteering at 826DC’).

For those of you living under a rock, 826 writing centers are the manifestation of a Dave Eggers vision. If you know anything about Dave Eggers, it is safe to infer that these are no ordinary writing centers. Each one boasts a store as its front; all proceeds go to their respective programs.

826 Valencia in San Francisco, for example, features a pirate store, while 826NYC in Brooklyn offers shoppers superhero supplies.

826DC, where I spent the morning, is home to The Museum of Unnatural History.

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A class of third-graders from a local DC elementary school came to the center, and workshopped a story as a group, finishing the session as published authors. Such a fantastic program, infused with creativity and enthusiasm by the kids and facilitators who make it happen. Before the workshop started, I snapped a few photos of the ‘museum store.’

Exhibit A: field journal/toilet paper + panda containment unit.

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Exhibit B: unfiltered unicorn tears (“puts the sparkle in sadness” – I bought a jar for my office), formal-dehyde, semi-formal-dehyde, business casual-dehyde (I should have also bought these), sabertooth dental floss, utter darkness, primordial soup + more.

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Exhibit C: cave painting (colored chalk) kit + Get Used to the Seats: A Complete Survival Guide for Freshmen (written by actual DC high school students).

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And a couple more for kicks.

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