Identity

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One of the books I read last year was Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender. An interesting point the author makes is that we often think that our biology influences what we do, and while that isn’t untrue, it’s just as true that what we do also shapes our biology.

Watching The Rise of Skywalker brought this to mind again. I didn’t like the director’s choice to return to the “Chosen One” trope after the saga finally seemed to be moving away from it in The Last Jedi. But what I did like was the concept that we choose who we become, but we are also responsible for following through on that choice with our actions.

So many of my students, like most of the people I know, get very defensive when they are told that something that they said or did is bigoted, or hurtful, or sometimes just incorrect. And that’s because it can feel like a condemnation, not of the action, but of the person. Continue reading

I Am Not a Writer Who Teaches

If we as teachers do not read and write in our own “real” lives, how can we expect our students to value reading and writing as anything more than school work?Kathleen Sokolowski

The current consensus among teachers of writing seems to be that it is necessary to be a writer, to write regularly, in order to be a good writing teacher.

One problem with this, for me, is that I really, really, really don’t like writing, at least not in the creative sense. I do not have the remotest urge to keep a diary, or a journal, or a notebook. I have notebooks. And I do write things down. Mostly they’re lists of things I need to remember to do. Lesson plans. Songs to add to my karaoke rotation. Movies to watch. Groceries to purchase.

Many writers describe the process of writing as a form of thinking.

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Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Normally, by about mid-July I start feeling excited about the upcoming school year. However, this year I spent mid to late July studying Google Suite in preparation to teach remotely. Except then we found out we wouldn’t be teaching remotely. Except we would be teaching some of our students remotely. At the same time that we were teaching the rest of the class in person.

This summer has been one frustrating complication after another. Other countries that had tighter restrictions saw their numbers of new cases sharply decline. However, at both of my summer jobs, while I was required to wear a mask, most of our customers did not. And surprise, surprise, this was the result:

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WHY I WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN VIOLENT PROTEST

I went for a long run this morning. While I was stopped for a water break, someone came up to me and asked if I’d lost a house key. I told her it wasn’t mine, thanked her for the attempt, and that was it.

She didn’t seem concerned or worried about approaching me. Why would she? I am pretty much the epitome of a Nice White Lady. I’m a schoolteacher. I have long, mousy-brown hair that I often pull into a bun. I wear glasses. The only way I could personally appear to be less threatening is if I was small. (I’m just a smidge over six feet.)

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What Does It Mean to Be Special?

Did ‘Fox and Friends’ Call Fred Rogers an ‘Evil, Evil Man’?

Okay, so first of all, yes, they did, and yes, it’s so incredibly wrong and horrid and shameful. Let’s get THAT out of the way first.

However, in addition, I have a fair number of thoughts on the opposing mindsets shown. Buckle up, friends; I have some general idea of where I’m headed but I’m not sure how I’m getting there, so this may be a long, meandering ride.

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Album Challenge, #9

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Someone I know is doing one of those challenge thingies and nominated me. It’s “albums that influenced your musical taste.” And since he’s ignoring the “rules,” so am I.

Album 9, Jagged Little Pill, is absolutely iconic, and with it, Alanis Morissette became the voice of Generation X. The lyrics are forthright but still imaginative and clever. She discusses many of the mundane, relatable pressures of burgeoning adulthood. At the same time, though, her metaphors are whimsical (though not to the point of being ridiculous) and her descriptive detail is vivid and incisive. That balance gives the work a wry tone that is definitive for our generation.

While there were female vocalists in the ‘80s and early ‘90s who pushed away from the typical style expected to achieve success (like Tina Turner or Joan Jett), Alanis Morissette’s broad, nasally vocals went in a different direction. The full voice of her singing style complemented the openness in her lyrics, and as a result, the album comes across as heartfelt and relatable.

Oh, and I’m supposed to nominate someone else to do it, so today that’s my husband, of course. You don’t have to, but if you do, please give me a mention so I get a notification and see what you pick 🙂