Karen Smith

I'm a suburban mom with a technology background and the writer's itch. I blog on parenting, technology, and writing topics. Some days I'm not sure if I can stay sane, but most days I make a good try of it. You can find me here or over on my home blog, Suburban (in)Sanity.

Aunt CompSci Wants YOU!

Can social media inspire more young women to explore computer science? It’s an idea Jocelyn Goldfein, a Director of Engineering at Facebook, discussed in an interview with the Seattle Times a few weeks ago. Bringing more visibility to the women who built popular features like the news feed and photo viewer could interest teenage girls in tech-related careers, she says. I’ll admit that it’s a start, but I think it’s going to take much more than that. ...more
My tech career has been more flexible and higher paying than ANY of my female counterparts, even ...more

Parenting May Be Easy, but Being Human Is Hard

Roughly five times a day, I screw up as a parent. However this morning’s antics may have earned me a spot in the Mommy Hall of Shame. At 10:00am, I had just settled down to work and a coffee, when my cell phone cheerily announced: “Chaperone Field Trip.” A pit instantly formed in my stomach. I was supposed to heading to a demonstration of the New York City Ballet with my daughter's class that very moment....more
I'll admit, I cringe when I'm out in public and I hear parents being blatantly mean to their ...more

When It Doesn't Get Better: More Bullying, Another Suicide

Jamey Rodemyer loved Lady Gaga. He was a high school freshman, just 14 years old. He believed that it would get better -- it meaning his life and the bullying he experienced both before and after he came out as bisexual. On Monday morning, Jamey was found dead of an apparent suicide, one more in a rash of unnecessary deaths caused by the hatred and intolerance of others. My heart breaks for his parents, for those who loved him....more
I wrote a letter to myself after seeing a "It Gets Better" style video my new friend Mark made: ...more

Boys vs. Girls: Arguing Gender Equality in the Goodwill Line

We chatted about the differences between boys and girls, the way a girl at five seems so oddly capable of just doing a task (even a complicated one, like putting socks on without first throwing them across the room a few times, or sitting in a chair without tipping it backwards or otherwise flailing around). The lady behind the counter agreed, having mothered five boys. Then this blonde woman behind us, who we didn’t exactly invite into our little discussion I might add, gets all condescending and pipes up: “You know, I don’t think it’s a boy/girl thing. It’s just a person thing. It’s just an individual personality difference -- it has nothing to do with being male or female. I raised a boy who is so sensitive and gentle. It’s just a human difference.” She’s impressed with herself....more
I blogged or posted about sock-putting-on when I was folding laundry one day and realized I ...more

BlogHer '11: I Think the Real Me Met the Real You

 Hi everyone,  Yes, I really did return home from BlogHer '11 -- despite my disappearing act since. Thanks to a home visit from Author and Blogger Karen T....more
I love this, Lisa! I'm so glad I was there to ask about, then hear your awesome debrief. It was ...more

The Grandparent Effect.

A few years ago, every time we would show up to pick up the kids from my mother-in-law's house, my oldest would wail and scream and pout and generally implore us to let him live with grandma. Apparently this is called the grandparent effect as I learned from Rachel at Grasping for Objectivity. It eventually got better, though they never want to leave any grandparent's house, and I've learned to ignore it and accept it for what it is. Have you experienced the grandparent effect? ...more
My experience was usually the opposite, which caused much stress and anxiety on all sides of the ...more

What is Your "In Lieu of Flowers"?

This past weekend I attended the services for a twelve year-old girl from our school who passed away after a month-long illness including extensive hospitalization. It was a terrifically sad event. My heart broke to pieces when I heard the news of her death. She's one of those kids at school that everyone knows....more

Great comments, I really appreciate them all.

I have heard from my children that there are ...more

What is Your "In Lieu of Flowers"?

This past weekend I attended the services for a twelve year-old girl from our school who passed away after a month-long illness including extensive hospitalization. It was a terrifically sad event. My heart broke to pieces when I heard the news of her death. She's one of those kids at school that everyone knows....more

What a great list of causes we've got going in the comments here!

I write on more

What is Your "In Lieu of Flowers"?

This past weekend I attended the services for a twelve year-old girl from our school who passed away after a month-long illness including extensive hospitalization. It was a terrifically sad event. My heart broke to pieces when I heard the news of her death. She's one of those kids at school that everyone knows....more

At the services I mentioned, there were 25 flower arrangements, when it was clearly stated in ...more

What is Your "In Lieu of Flowers"?

This past weekend I attended the services for a twelve year-old girl from our school who passed away after a month-long illness including extensive hospitalization. It was a terrifically sad event. My heart broke to pieces when I heard the news of her death. She's one of those kids at school that everyone knows....more

All animal-related causes earn my vote, too. Pet therapy is really important.

I write ...more