Friday, May 28, 2010

Teachers that Made a Difference to You

So I'm having one of those days when I feel incredibly appreciated and am truly reveling in my vocation. Today, I am a teacher :-)

So what I want you to do is leave a comment about a teacher (or teachers) that made a difference to you. We are, of course, the most underappreciated profession in the world ;-)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Amazing Everyday Women that YOU Know

I'm really excited about a new feature I'm trying to kick into gear over at Zelda Lily. It's called "Trailblazers", and the premise is that there are a lot of amazing women in the world that aren't on the news every day or don't receive the recognition they deserve.

I would LOVE to get some recommendations from y'all for some "Trailblazers". This is the first "Trailblazers" piece ... it's about a girl I went to high school with who is now an L.A. hair stylist in very high demand. One might not think of a hair stylist in terms of feminism, but this lady, Jordana Lorraine, is my age and has accomplished some pretty amazing things, in particular the stigma of being "just a hairdresser."

Anyway, please e-mail me at with any suggestions you may have for "Trailblazers". I appreciate your help in advance and am really excited about being able to explore the successes of the really cool women you all no doubt know :-).

<3 KL

Thursday, May 20, 2010

License to Throttle the DMV

So I got a letter from the state DMV yesterday informing me that I have six points on my license and that a "driver improvement" class is recommended. Oh, and should I get any further points on my license, I will lose it for a year.

Now, I'm the person that tells students that breaking the dress code just because so-and-so got away with wearing a skirt more than four inches above the knee does not make it right. I believe in rules and, when necessary, I believe in consequences. That's why I'm not going to belabor the point that three of the points are from speeding tickets dating back to 2003, when I was commuting over three hours a day (sometimes the law of averages are just not on your side) and the other three came all at once for my allegedly passing a school bus (which in retrospect I should have fought in court since I DID NOT PASS A SCHOOL BUS, but it happened right around the time that everything was blowing up with the ex-husband, and it seemed easier to just pay the $100 fine).

Nope, my point is a bit simpler. The aforementioned ex-husband, who drove drunk and recklessly for months and received two DWIs within a couple of weeks, is slated to get his license back in August (that's a year after losing it, ladies and gentlemen) because--drum roll--he took a driver improvement program. The reason for this is actually what I'm further annoyed by. Basically, he received the second DWI before his court date for the first one, so technically it's only considered one offense.

I take full responsibility for my speeding tickets. I sped. I did. Penalize me, by all means. And penalize me if you must for not being in a position to fight the stupid school bus thing (I'm a teacher--I would not and did not pass the freaking school bus). But how DARE you imply that going 78 in a 65 MPH zone is remotely comparable to aggravated drunk driving?

So let me get this straight--three minor offenses (we're talking 78 MPH on a 65 MPH highway) nearly seven years ago, and I'm set to lose my license for the same amount of time as a serial drunk driver? Am I the only one confused by this?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Taking Suggestions for Life Organization

Okay, my life is a mess. I feel like I'm juggling a hundred balls, and I'm sick of it. How does one get beyond this?

One might suggest prioritizing. One would not be familiar with my circumstances if they did. I guess the best way to demonstrate this is that my daughters are my top priority. However, what is the best choice for one is going to be extremely negative for the other, and vice versa. It's a win/lose situation, and how do I decide which child wins and which loses?

Andy is going to help me make a list. I've tried to explain to him that a list is only going to make things look even more overwhelming, but he's pretty adamant. What the heck, I guess it can't hurt ...

And a lot of things are going super well right now. Writing for Zelda Lily, for example, has awakened a part of my mind that had been sleeping.

Anyway, just wondering if any of you wise folk have any theories on what to do when life has you by the ankles and won't let go?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Topless Women Protest Against Double Standard in Maine

Is there a ridiculous double standard in the fact that men can walk around sans shirts without anyone batting any eye, yet women cannot? Check out my post on Zelda Lily ... and, as always, feel free to leave comments, there or here :-)

Topless Women Protest Against Double Standard in Maine

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Why Don't Kids Want to Play Outside Anymore?

The answer to that question is, unfortunately, easy: because it's so much easier to park them in front of a TV, computer, or video game system. Come on, 'fess up, how many of you have said, "It's a Wii, they're getting exercise"?

I was reminded of this, one of my major shortcomings as a parent, this afternoon. Belle and I went up to Andy's to hang out for a bit. The day was gorgeous, just perfect, so Belle played outside and played hard. She and Dawn and the little girl from next door played house and ran around with a wagon and made up games with big rubber balls. Andy even flew a kite with the girls because it was pretty breezy.

If Belle had been home, she would have spent most of the afternoon watching "Phineas and Ferb" while I graded papers or wrote or whatever. It's really pretty horrible the more I think about it ...

The thing is, it's not just me. This is a widespread problem in America. Any ideas for a solution?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Outrage Over Little Girls Dressed like Hookers

One of my new Zelda Lily stories ... please check it out if you can and comment there or comment here, but please make your voice heard on this one. Sick, that's all I have to say ... although some are disagreeing with me on that.

Outrage Over Little Girls Dressed like Hookers

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The Philosophy of a Six-Year-Old

Belle is in this "Phineas and Ferb" phase. Disney Channel is showing numerous episodes today and, since I feel like crap, I'm sitting with Belle watching this very odd show. Belle started telling me about the different characters, and it made me laugh so hard that I had her start over and just typed down what she said. It's wild the way a child's brain works. Now, these are character-by-character depictions word for word from Belle's mouth ...

Phineas: You know Isabella that I showed you? Well, she's trying to encourage Phineas that, you know, she loves him. Every episode she's working on it, and every episode she doesn't get it. It's kind of like Toy Story 3. Ferb's his brother.

Ferb: Yeah, he's just like Phineas. He doesn't talk a lot. He follows Phineas. At the end of every episode he goes, like, "Blah blah blah."

Candace: She's just always trying to bust them. They're always building, like, a roller coaster or something that isn't safe. She calls their mom, but it's always cleaned up by then. And sometimes their dad stays home and they ask their dad if they can build, like, something and he says, "Yeah" but doesn't really understand.

Doofenshmirtz: Well, they have a pet named Perry and he's the platypus right there. He's a secret agent. All the agents pretty much just fool around with Perry. They tell Perry how to stop Doosensmirtz.

The Bully: Well, he usually beats up Baljeet.

Baljeet: I know it's a weird name, but pfft. Well, he's really busy just with Buford him up.

Isabella: Well, she's just always like, "Phineas! Phineas!" And in one episode she said, "Are you sure there's no one cuter?"

Norm: Norm is a robot. He helps Doosensmirtz and then he always tries to put Perry in a cage. Yeah.

Pretty funny, but I think she watches too much TV.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

So I Found this Depressing Short Story ...

I was cleaning out my hard drive and found this short story. It's very depressing, but at the same time I kind of like it. Let me know what you think :-)

"Fading Bouquets"

The stage was wooden and splintery.

Once, when Autumn had been rehearsing for a show, a girl in the “special class” at school named Marisa had cut her foot fairly badly after removing her thick white athletic socks and orthopedic shoes. Marisa had gazed with envy at the shoeless feet flitting everywhere she looked before taking matters into her own hands, her teeth gritted in determination.

It seemed to Autumn that naturally someone would get hurt on that stage at some point and that naturally it would be poor Marisa. The girl had continued to dance in her jerky, marionette way that everyone snickered at and secretly imitated behind her back, apparently unaware of the blood dripping from the bottom of her bare soles and freckling the peeling wood with red droplets.

The stereotypical teenage drama scene ensued, Autumn remembered now, characterized mostly by girls screaming and boys laughing. Funny how her memory categorized the genders so neatly, especially when she remembered herself giggling madly with her friends, all of them dressed in matching loose shorts over black spandex, their t-shirts all from the same store and differing only in color. Then there was the way Brian MacLeod’s skin had gone the color of milk, hectic roses of color high on his cheekbones all that remained of his ruddy complexion.

Autumn wondered, just before the lights went down, if there were still remnants of Marisa’s blood up there on the very platform her daughter would momentarily be the center of. She knew of course that this was impossible, that Marisa’s shed and forgotten (except for those late night slumber parties where the girls laughed … and laughed … and laughed) blood was as much a ghost as an Autumn that was comfortable getting up in front of people, of singing and dancing under brightly colored lights, of letting her voice be heard.

Still, part of Autumn’s mind went to those crime scene shows. She pictured herself dressed in a no-nonsense black crime scene vest, perhaps set off by a buttercup-yellow shirt underneath, crawling around on that stage swabbing samples with Q-Tips then dripping over them the liquid that caused color to bloom if blood was present. She would wear pants—not jeans, no, that would be unprofessional, but sturdy corduroys, maybe—to keep her knees from catching on the splinters of wood she knew lurked; after all, there are rocks in even the most beautiful garden.

Sage was brilliant. She always was, and Autumn listened with mixed pride and indignation as those sitting around her raved about Sage’s talent even as they muttered out the other sides of their mouths about how nice it would be if someone else got the lead for a change. It bothered Autumn a bit that, as she sat alone in her seat on the aisle of the auditorium, a bit hunched over as was her wont because to hold her head high might mean looking in someone’s eyes, nobody seemed to realize that she was Sage’s mother. The hands holding a bouquet of simple spring flowers from the local grocery store were the same hands that had held Sage to her breast seconds after she was born, their owner a scared but determined young mother who had crooned through a year’s worth of colic the songs that had given Sage such a vast and eclectic repertoire of music, had introduced her to the concept of harmony through Simon and Garfunkel (“Lame!” Sage pronounced these days) and lyrical introspection—there were few songs about which Autumn didn’t know a story or two. “Hey, Sagey, you know what the day the music died was?” “No, Mommy, what?” “Well, there was this terrible plane crash that killed three musicians, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens (you know, he sang ‘La Bamba’), and The Big Bopper.”

Autumn’s eyes didn’t leave Sage from the first act until the curtain call, when the audience gave her daughter a standing ovation and Sage’s eyes burned with a deep passion for what she had done. Her smile—a smile paid for by Autumn’s second job since orthodontia was a priority for a child with a smile like Sage’s, not to mention the talent that had barely been tapped into—of joy, of pride, was bestowed upon the musical director, on her peers. Sage beamed as she, along with her cast mates, gestured to the lighting crew, the stage crew, and the pit orchestra, giving credit where it was due, sharing the glory even as she basked in it.

Autumn noticed that her sweaty hands had creased the floral wrap into a wrinkled, sweaty mess. The flowers, bright pinks and purples, were crushed and shabby-looking. On a depressing whim, Autumn surreptitiously slid the ruined bouquet under her auditorium seat. Nobody noticed.

In the lobby after the show, Autumn stood alone against the far wall waiting for Sage. Every time the door swung open, an April breeze wafted in, smelling of lilac and newness.

Sage appeared out of nowhere, and Autumn’s lips curved into a tentative smile. “You were great, sweetheart.”

Sage nodded, and Autumn knew without being told that she had been hearing the same words throughout her trek to the lobby, that the words had ceased to hold meaning of any sort for her daughter. “Do you have any money, Mom? Everybody’s going out for ice cream.”

“Um, sure, I guess. Are you sure you don’t want to come home? You must be tired.”

Sage turned to the coterie of girls that had followed her and rolled her eyes in Autumn’s general direction. Autumn noticed with despair that five of the six were holding bouquets of flowers, tokens of appreciation for a job well done. She thought of Sage’s bouquet, crumpled and alone in the now-empty auditorium, and wanted to cry. Instead, she rummaged in her purse until she found a ten-dollar bill she hadn’t been positive was there.

“Thanks, Mom,” Sage called. “I’ll let you know if I need a ride home.”

Before Autumn could answer, her daughter had disappeared into the crowd of people and was gone.

Monday, May 10, 2010


My mother refers to me as a walking, talking example of ADHD. While it's not the greatest thing in the world to hear, there's definitely some truth to it.

Whenever I say, "Want to hear what happened to me today?" at the dinner table, everyone groans. They know that it will take me at least ten minutes to tell a story because I will find it necessary to put in all sorts of background information and go off on random tangents (that aren't at all random in my brain, of course).

However scattered, disorganized, and, oh, all right, Mom, ADH-freaking-D I am in reality, though, I've always got high marks (so to speak) for having extremely organized writing. Truth be told, I'm just very lucky--teachers who see my writing want to know what graphic organizers I use to plan it, and I don't even know what to say. It's weird.

But since I've been writing for Zelda Lily, where I need to have a degree of focus, I've found that my writing has gotten a bit non-linear. It's not a bad thing, but it's like I'll start out writing about a subject from one direction but, by the time my piece is finished, I've approached it completely differently. I have not historically done a lot of short pieces, so I'm finding out all sorts of things about myself as a writer.

Does that ever happen to anyone else? A change in pace and/or direction forces you to make all these realizations?

Oh, and because a couple of people have asked, here are links to my articles at Zelda Lily.

* An ode to Lena Horne.
* Is it possible that boudoir photography (lingerie pics) might actually be feminist?
* NOW (National Organization for Women) is taking heat for encouraging women to love their bodies
* A female principal at a NH high school is taken to task for being a member of an offensive Facebook group
* An increase in abortions among poor women is concerning researchers.
* A bunch of women held a topless protest to bring attention to the double standard of men being able to go out in public topless when women can't.
* Charles Darwin continues to make scientific breakthroughs as his family tree shows inbreeding and likely genetic mutations.
* Should prostitution be legalized? Pros and cons are discussed.
* LifeStyles condoms are doing more with ... uh, sizing. (Yeah, not my finest piece ;-))
* Cyberbullying is become more and more serious ... and with deadly results.

Please feel free to check out any of those that might be of interest to you :-) It would be great if you could leave a comment ... the comments get very interesting over there are times ...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My New Writing Job :-)

I'm very excited to share with y'all that I'm writing for Zelda Lily.

Zelda Lily is a site focused on women's issues and trying to redefine feminism. Basically, it centers around recent news stories that appeal to an audience interested in its core focus. I've followed it for a long time, commenting occasionally when I found a topic of interest.

This isn't meant to be an ad for Zelda Lily (although you should go check it out ... there's some great conversation that goes on there and some of you--no names mentioned**MarvintheMartian<3**might really enjoy it), though. I just wanted to let you know that I'm finally getting a chance to live my dream--write for a living. Well, not a living, but, like ... for real, if that makes any sense :-) It is the most amazing feeling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I'm still going to post here, daily if I can and every day or two if I get busy. Please know that I'm reading the amazing stuff you have on your blogs, that I'm learning and thinking and laughing and crying with you.

<3 KLo

PS. If it's any sort of incentive for checking out Zelda Lily, my real name (and a link to my real live Facebook) is there. Heeheehee :-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Random Story Shared for Reasons Unknown

I went into Rite-Aid this evening to get a bottle of wine for my mother. It took just a second, and I was pleased to see that there was only one person ahead of me in line. Oh, if only I'd known ...

I guess Rite-Aid has those newspaper circulars with coupons in them right when you walk in. Well, the woman in front of me was one of those coupon ladies. Like, hard core! And then the worst part was, most of what she was buying were multiples and the coupons could only be used once. The customer was a good sport, actually (she had a Louis Vuitton bag, so I'm sure the coupons weren't necessary ... or maybe that's how she got her Louis Vuitton bag, by clipping coupons). Anyway ...

The cashier seemed rather excited to get in on saving this woman big bucks. She went and grabbed a stack of the circulars. And then--I swear this is true--took out a pair of scissors and started cutting out each coupon the woman needed and said, "I'll just ring them all in separately."

Now, this woman had a cart full of stuff. Full! I'm standing there with a bottle of wine that isn't even for me, and this is clearly going to be a lengthy procedure ... But then the customer, who seemed to find the whole thing amusing, said to the cashier, "Why don't you let the lady behind me go? It looks like she's had a long day." (I might have groaned a bit at the arrival of the scissors ... maybe that's what she was referring to)

Anyway, I bought the wine (twenty-eight seconds start to finish--yes, I counted) and went home.

I don't know why I'm posting about this, but I have a very strong urge to. It's odd. Is it because the customer was so decent? The cashier so dim? I don't know ... what do you think? What about this little exchange made me feel compelled to share it?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Scarlett O'Hara: Cold-Hearted Witch or Misunderstood?

My mother and I have a disagreement about Scarlett O'Hara. I am a glass-is-always-half-full kind of person; mi madre is more of a cynic. A standing argument concerning the true nature of Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind heroine perhaps best demonstrates this.

I'm going to really briefly review the key plot points of Gone With the Wind, but I apologize in advance for its lack of brevity--the book is over 1,000in length.

Scarlett O'Hara is the eldest of three daughters born to an Irish immigrant father (he became the master of a plantation as the result of a lucky poker game) and a high-society mother (who abandoned said high society to marry a man far beneath her station because she was separated from the boy she loved). Scarlett is the belle of every ball and is totally used to having every man in the county eating from the palm of her hand. At a barbeque given by a neighboring plantation owner, Scarlett learns that the engagement of the only man she considers to be "in love" with, Ashley Wilkes, is to be announced.

In typical Scarlett fashion, she decides that Ashley is only marrying his plain, quiet, mousy cousin Melanie because he is unaware of how Scarlett feels about him. While the other ladies are napping between the barbeque and the ball to follow, Scarlett confronts Ashley with her true feelings, and he gently but firmly shoots down her advances. It gets a bit heated--she smacks him in the face and throws a vase at the wall after he leaves. She is humiliated to learn that the entire scene was witnessed by Rhett Butler, an acquaintance of the Wilkes family with a horrible reputation, who rightfully declares that Scarlett is no lady.

Stinging from Ashley's rejection, Scarlett agrees that very afternoon to marry Charles Hamilton, Melanie's brother. Their marriage is rushed by the upcoming Civil War (as is Ashley's marriage to Melly), but they still manage to conceive a child the few days they spend together before Charles goes to war. Sadly, Charles contracts measles and dies while at boot camp. In rapid succession, Scarlett becomes a wife, a widow, then a mother.

Not surprisingly, the situation is a bit overwhelming for Scarlett, so when Melly invites her to come visit her childhood home (which, as Charles' widow, Scarlett owns half of) in Atlanta, Scarlett jumps at the chance. Although she has to wear mourning clothes and live with Melanie (Ashley's wife, a fact which tortures Scarlett to no end) and Melly's maiden aunt, Pittypat, Scarlett loves Atlanta ... at least until Rhett Butler, now a blockade runner moving cotton overseas and bringing back goods (at a huge personal profit, naturally) shows up at a town event.

Rhett slowly but surely changes Scarlett, encouraging her to stop suppressing her natural passion. For example, he buys her a gorgeous bonnet while on a blockade run and convinced her to wear it in lieu of the black mourning bonnets society's expectations decreed (Rhett knew darn well that Scarlett had never loved Charles Hamilton and enjoyed torturing her about the fact). Rhett clearly enjoys Scarlett's company, although she can't figure out why he doesn't even try to kiss her, and the two become close friends. Rhett's presence in the house is made borderline acceptable because Rhett bought Melanie's wedding ring back for her after she'd donated it to "The Cause"; since Melly's reputation in Atlanta is beyond reproach (she is one of those people that always puts others before herself and never sees the bad in anyone), her approval of Rhett makes him kind of okay.

Wow, this post is going to be ridiculous if I keep this up. Okay, in a nutshell, Atlanta is basically destroyed by the "Yankees". Scarlett and company (Melly, Melly's son conceived while Ashley was on leave, and several slaves) flee to Tara (parents dead, sisters very sick). Carpetbaggers want huge taxes so they can take over Tara. Scarlett goes to Atlanta to convince Rhett to loan her the money in exchange for being his mistress. He refuses. She marries her sister Suellen's fiance, Frank Kennedy, who owns a store. Borrows money from Rhett to buy timber mills. Frank is killed in an attack. Scarlett marries Rhett, who is very rich by now. She still professes to love Ashely in spite of this. They have a daughter, adored by both of them. She dies while riding her horse, and Scarlett blames Rhett. He is devestated and falls into a pit of drunkenness. Melly dies. Scarlett realizes how much she loves Rhett and always has. Rhett decides to leave Scarlett forever in spite of her revelation. She decides to think of it tomorrow because "Tomorrow is another day." Phew!

My mother's take is that Scarlett got what she deserved. She was an awful person, she did horrible things, and losing her soulmate and the love of her life was just karma.

I tend to cut Scarlett some slack. After all, she was a product of her environment--her father doted on her and spoiled her rotten, and her mother's teachings were focused on surface appearances (don't accept a gift other than flowers or candy from a beau, for example) because she couldn't stand to open her heart even to her children after losing her lover. I mean, the Southern traditions combined with never being told no? What choice did Scarlett have?

She was only sixteen when she thoughtlessly married Charles Hamilton because she couldn't have Ashley. She was a child! Her early actions in Atlanta (dancing and laughing when she was supposed to be in mourning) are extremely immature, as is her longtime infatuation with Ashley Wilkes, a thinker, reader, and dreamer with whom she had nothing in common.

When Scarlett returned to Tara, she was suddenly responsible for everything. She faced everything from figuring out how to feed the remains of her family to taking down a Yankee soldier. She was hard as nails because she had to be; even her calculated marriage to her sister's fiance was done with the intent of taking care of Tara and her family.

Finally (and perhaps most tragically), Scarlett did eventually learn what love was. She realized that Rhett had fallen in love with her the day she met him and that she felt the same way too but was blinded by her "feelings" for Ashley. It was too late, though--by that point, as Rhett famously said, "I don't give a damn." Between that and the loss of Melly (who she also realized--far too late--was truly her best friend and sister), Scarlett is forced to pay a terrible price. I truly believe that--too little and too late, granted--she learned her lesson.

So what do you think? Is Scarlett a cold, vindictive bitch, or does she have some redeeming values?

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Smith Delay

A running joke in one of my classes involves a certain student, Jennifer Smith (*obviously not her real name ... I mean, I use blog pseudonyms for everyone, but just wanted to make clear that I am especially sure to do so when referring to one of my students*).

Jennifer is a great kid, really funny and super-sweet. She is also quite intelligent ... but this is bogged down in what the class now refers to with the utmost affection as "The Smith Delay". To wit:

Student #1: How do you make a tissue dance?

Student #2: You put a little boogie in it.

(Uproarious laughter from the masses ... except for Jennifer)

Jennifer: I don't get it. What's so funny? I don't get it ...

Ms. L: Well, moving on ... Journalism didn't spread in America until just before the American Revolution because there was no real need for it. Newspapers were shipped regularly from England, and--

Jennifer: (Laughs uproariously) Haha, you put a little boogie in it. That's too funny. Haha!!!!!!!!!

Entire Class: The Smith Delay strikes again.

I mean, this happens every day. Well, not that we regularly tell elementary school jokes in class, but you get what I mean. It is just the funniest thing ever. And confession time, I did something really mean today. Jennifer's sister, Emily, came in to ask Jennifer to send a text to their mother at the end of the day. I just couldn't resist ...

Ms. L: Hey, Emily, do you have The Smith Delay?

Emily: (With a confused look on her face) Hunh?

(Entire class laughs uproariously)

Jennifer: That's The Smith Delay.

Emily: I don't get it.

Ms. L: Don't worry, you will in three minutes.

I LOVE MY JOB :-)!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Can you Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

I mean this with no disrespect to my mother, first and foremost. I mean, I'm just trying to get as much insight as possible into how feasible my mother's latest idea is ...

She wants a BlackBerry. Yup, my 60+ mother wants to get rid of her simplistic cell phone (which, incidentally, she has trouble operating) and get a BlackBerry. I spent an hour or so last night showing her how to use mine, and she had two bottom line thoughts:
1) The keyboard is much easier to type on
2) You can Google whenever you want!

Oh, and she was also really into the calendar which, to be fair, is pretty cool. I have mine synched to my work e-mail, so any meetings or appointments set up through Outlook at work are automatically added to my CrackCalendar.

My main concern is that this is a woman unable to make any sort of technological inferencing or troubleshooting on her laptop (you wouldn't believe some of the questions she comes up with ;))

Which, I suppose, leads me to my next point: Facebook. My mother is convinced that Facebook is evil, that shhould she get one, identity fraud of the highest level will be immediately perpetrated. I (very patiently) showed he what would happen if someone tried to even look at my Facebook if I hadn't added them first, namely that they'd see nothing but my picture and "Click here to send a Friend Request to Katie". I still don't think she got it ...

She does love to look at pictures on my Facebook, though (Addie's got 400 pics from her recent trip, for example), and she's also moderately creepy about checking out my friends' profiles. "What does Aunt Sarah's say? Has Mary or Adam updated recently?"

Geez Louise, Mom ... Get your own!

So what do you think? Should I encourage her to pursue these endeavors? (And please don't say she'll get better with practice--she won't ... She gives a lot of presentations, and either Addie or I still have to be PowerPoint tech support after well over ten years of this)

Are Minorities Discouraged from Taking Upper-Level Classes?: The Elephant in the Room

As a public school teacher for sixteen years, I sometimes feel like I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen Standards come and go (and despite the brou...