They Were Making Fun Of My Son, So I....Did Nothing

Where I live, I get the best of both worlds. I'm in a small town riding the edge between the far suburbs of a major US city and the very rural farmland that stretches to the west. I only have to drive an hour and my kids can have museums and touring exhibits and Broadway road shows and concerts and all kinds of culture. ...more
I have to admit I'm a bit teary eyed after reading this. I have a soon to be 13 year old ...more

Swept Under the Rug: Sexism in Computer Science

I think I lulled myself into a sense of security about being a woman in computer science –- I can handle the awkward guys, and the ones who think they know more than I do, simply because they’re guys, and I honestly thought that that was all there was to it. You get used to the comments and brush them off and prove them wrong and call it a day. I’ve even been trying to propagate that attitude in the women in my local WICS chapter, convinced that half of the problem is that women make too big of a deal about being a minority....more
Hey, Hang in there. I am a women in a physics department at a university. I completely ...more

Permission To Be You

The road to self-acceptance can be a rocky one with lots of twists and turns. When I think back to some of the paths I attempted as a teen I kind of cringe. In her memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson got some help on that path thanks to her father, a turkey named Jenkins, and an incident in the public school library....more
@laurelfain I kind of feel like most of the people we think have made it are still faking it to ...more

What is Your Confidence Wig?

There are days when we all need a little help -- a confidence boost. When we are in a situation that makes us nervous or anxious a little thing can make big difference. Jenny Lawson has found things that help deal with her anxiety disorder. She documents many of these in her memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, and one of my favorites is something that we can all do in our own way -- confidence wigs. ...more
@abbynein Alas I never got to that point of faking it. I'm a bad actress. ;-)more

Bowls Versus Trash Cans

When you begin sharing your life with someone, you discover differences in family traditions. Sometimes they are foreseeable and other times they take you by surprise. Jenny Lawson recounts many of these in her memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, including the time she discovered she had been sitting on couches wrong....more
@sunny vegan Smart girls!more

Considering What Unites Us

While I read Alex George's A Good American I thought a lot about what it means to belong -- to a church, a town, a country, a family. Frederick didn't belong to Jette's social strata, so they had to leave their homeland in order to be together. When they reach America, they do not end up in the town they intended to settle in, but they put down roots there....more
@Heather Haley I'm glad your community took care of you when they needed it.more

The Redemptive Power of Song

We've discussed how music plays a big role in Alex George's A Good American when we talked about how he described Jette's life as an opera. It's more than that the family just liked music, it was woven into the fabric of their lives. It was what they used to learn about themselves and about life. ...more
@sayitrahshay Yay showtunes!more

What's Your Favorite Funny Childhood Memory?

In between laughing at Jenny Lawson's recounting of her childhood memories in her memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, I found myself comparing it to my own childhood. We didn't have raccoons in the bathtub, but my uncle totally had a raccoon for awhile. Alas, no one thought to make it jams. It did make me remember a few other childhood memories, particularly those involving wild animals....more
I had a friend who lived in a house that had cubby holes. I thought they were the coolest things ...more

Is Your Life an Opera?

In Alex George's A Good American music is important to the lives of the characters and is integral to the plot. Jette and Frederick meet when he serenades her in a park. They find help in New Orleans from someone that Frederick met through music. This same man will come back into their lives and greatly impact their future. Frederick and Jette's sons and grandsons are all singers....more
@sayitrahshay It's always better with a song!more

Finding Beauty in a Harsh Existence

I spent a lot of time while reading Lisa Gardner's newest book, Touch and Go, trying to figure out Libby. She was broken but she also showed a resilience and strength that surprised me, as I believe it did her kidnappers. I appreciated the glimpses of her past that we received, particularly the one below:...more
@parentwin Absolutely!more