25 August 2015

Maria, Maria

Maria from Sesame Street is retiring.

I feel very old.

While we were driving to school yesterday, NPR was interviewing Maria, er, Sonia Manzano, about her autobiography and her retirement.  I was sniffling. My younger two kids were trying to place her.
Sesame Street cast, circa 1970s. Courtesy Wikimedia.

That may sum up Sesame Workshop's problem in a nutshell there. My children watched on-demand; Sesame Street was appointment PBS TV for me.

One thing Manzano said in her interview struck a chord with me.
There was a moment when Stevie Wonder came on to Sesame Street and he did "Very Superstitious." ... The whole studio rocked out and it was great because, white people, black people, young people, old people — everybody was on the same page for that two minutes that he sang and that really stands out. ...

It was a moment of clarity, I think that you know, we started this show, we thought we were going to end racism, we were going to close the education gap. ... We had big dreams! And moments like Stevie being on the show gave us a glimpse of the way things could be.
To the Sesame Workshop crew: Mission Accomplished.

You gave a white girl from rural Missouri who was immersed in German Catholic culture a view into another world. A world with more races and colors and complications than I could imagine. You opened up my mind to more than the ABCs and the power of animation to teach math.

You opened my mind (at age 4) to a world beyond my own. You showed me who else was out there. What potential might exist beyond my rural county. You prepared me for the world that I would inhabit, first in college, then in my years beyond. I was better able to cope with my future surroundings in New York, in Iowa, in Chicago, back in Missouri and in Texas, all because of you.

Job well done.

11 June 2015

So, how's it goin'?

This year has been a year of changes.

The eldest went off to college. 

One of the kids switched schools after bullying made his life intolerable.

I switched jobs, to sort of what I considered a post-doc (not really) in web development/SEO.

Here's what I've learned:

Sometimes, things work out, even though there is upheaval involved.

The eldest is happy as a clam in her time at Kansas State. She loves her program. She's debating a minor in city planning, which is ironic, really, since she spent days under my desk when I was a copy editor at the American Planning Association. So, APAers, expect her to take the AICP test circa 2020. #notkidding

The other kid has flourished at his BASIS school. He needed his "nerd school." If you have a profoundly gifted kid who is feeling out of step, I highly endorse BASIS. They embrace these kids. The youngest is switching schools this fall. Her choice.

Sometimes, things work out not so much.

The new job isn't bad. But I'm struggling to make it a good fit. I miss academia on an undergrad level more than I thought I'd realize. I miss collaboration across department lines. I miss the people. I kinda hate SEO. A lot.

Lesson learned.

Change means you pick yourself up and you try to find the pieces that fit. Sometimes they fit well, and it is a smooth transition. Sometimes you need Superglue. Superglue may be in my future.

Sometimes you change again. That remains to be seen.

Change is inevitable. Life moves. The best thing you can teach yourself and your kids is how to keep moving with it, and how to store the Superglue for when you need it.

03 February 2015

The Mondayest of Tuesdays

Today was the Mondayests of Tuesdays. 

It was raining. 

We collectively forgot about an orthodontist appointment for our son, which meant my spouse had to race back to the school, get the boy, then race to the orthodontist. In the rain. In morning rush hour. 

My spouse was forced to listen to The Macerana on the office Muzak at the orthodontist's. 

While that was happening, I spilled coffee on my white shell blouse. On a day I had multiple meetings. 

Twenty minutes before I left for meeting one, I realized it was actually on Monday. As in yesterday. 

At that point, I decided it could only go up from there. 

And it did: I wore a sweater that classily disguised the coffee fiasco. 

I managed to make it to the Girl Scout shop in the rain, exchanged badges I did not need for ones I did, and survived the hair-raising drive on 410 in the rain. Twice. 

I met a good friend for lunch and caught up with some much-needed mom and work chat.

We found some decent filming locations for a video at work. 

We made it home early. There is no kid drama. It is leftover night. (Yay, no cooking for me!)

So, Mondayest of Tuesdays: Ha. I win. 

Unless my Girl Scout bank account doesn't balance. Then all bets are off, and I'm finding the red wine.