Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

24 03 2010

You didn’t know it was Ada Lovelace Day?  GET.OUT! (Elaine shove).

Seriously though, Ada Lovelace was one of the first computer programmers.   She lived in the 1860’s.   She wrote an algorithm for Charles Babbage’s analytical engine.  It is known as the precursor to the modern computer. Check out these wiki’s for more information about Babbage.

Ada Lovelace day is a way to honor, remember, and celebrate the achievements of women in science.   Get to it already, right?  Sure thing.  But first, a little more background.

I heard about Ada Lovelace Day on twitter, most likely from the Geek Girls, but don’t quote me on that.   I immediately signed up to participate.   I didn’t know who I would choose, but I knew I was in!   I was in the library two weeks ago, and while I was looking for a book on gardening, I stumbled upon a book on the Mercury 13.   You’ll need to head over to my education technology blog for the full Ada Lovelace post, but suffice it to say, women were involved in the space race LONG before Sally Ride.  

I hope you’ll take some time to discover some great women involved in science, math, computer programming, technology.    Visit Finding Ada for the complete list and get learning!


And the Saints, Go Marching In…

18 03 2010

I love March madness.   I used to babysit the neighbor kids for FREE so I could stay up till 2 am and watch basketball games in the tourney.   Back then I was a UNC fan. 

I still love March madness.  I still watch the basketball games (though not till 2 am).  Now though,  I am a Siena Saints fan.  They are my alma mater.  Never heard of them?  You must not follow me on Twitter or Facebook, because that seems to be the only thing I have been talking about lately. 

Image from www.siena.edu


This is Siena’s third year in the tournament.   They are the DANCIN’ SAINTS this year.  Their head coach, Fran McCaffery is in his fifth year.   I pray some other great team won’t pluck him out of Loudonville and send Siena back to basketball mediocrity.   For the past three years, McCaffery has brought them to a higher level of play.

Tomorrow, Siena goes up against Purdue.  Siena is the underdog (no pun there).   They are not new to the ball and I do believe this might be their year to stay a little late.    My bracket predicts them going to the final four. *   In case you haven’t heard, Jimmy Fallon has picked Siena to WIN the tournament this year.   I’m trying to be realistic.  Can they beat Kansas?  Not likely. 

This weekend, I’ll be watching basketball and cheering for Siena.  



* ok, I have a for reals bracket.  Siena only makes it to the sweet 16 on that one.  Hey, I’m a fan, not stupid. 

Peace, Love, and PTA part 2

17 03 2010

So, part two of Peace, Love and PTA is examining how being a PTA president affected me.   These are no particular order….

1.  Patience.  Have you ever heard “Don’t pray for patience, because something will happen and you really will need it”?  Don’t become a PTA president if you need patience, because you will surely be tested.   Schools have kids & teachers and those two types require LOTS of patience. 

2.  Laughs.    I enjoy making people laugh.   It mainly comes out at the general PTA meetings.  I find myself thinking about how to say something to get the audience/PTA members to laugh.   I have danced, cheered, and made fun of myself (like many good class clowns).  

3.  Fix-it.  It seems that I spend a lot of my time at the school doing copying.   That means that I also spend a lot of my time trying to get the antiquated copier to work.   Lately my friend, Ricoh, seems to be hitting hard times and I spend more and more time poking and prodding it along.  

4. Courtesy.  I seem to stick my foot in my mouth pretty often.   I say things I shouldn’t.   Things that might be  rude, inconsiderate, racist, or even sexist.   I am not often courteous, especially when it is crunch time and people are asking questions and getting really excited.  

5.  Pressure.  There is 2 seconds left in the game, our team has the ball.  Don’t. pass. me. the. ball.   I am not good in the clutch.  I’ll crack.   I’ll stick my foot in my mouth and be TOTALLY uncourteous.   I’ll then spend a lot of time fixing the mess I made (see there’s that humor).

6.   Car Line.   I like not having to go through the car line.  It truly is the best perk of the job.  Though there are quite a few people who are not the PTA president who don’t do the car line, so, maybe it isn’t quite the perk. 

7.  Organization.  Yeah.  Not really so good at that organization stuff.   PTAs generate A LOT of paper.  I try to file things right away, however, I can’t throw away all the paper and that is where the problem comes in. 

8.  Delegation.   Like #7, I’m not so good with this one.   I understand the importance of getting more people involved and letting go.  The reality of delegating is not quite as easy as it sounds.   Over the past two years, I have gotten better with learning to let go and let others do the job.  

9.  Diplomacy.   Be careful what you say, there is always someone listening.   Little pitchers have big ears.   There are a million phrases, you know what I mean though.   I don’t always remember the rules of diplomancy and those times it has come back to get me.   If you can’t say something nice, just don’t say anything at all.  Actually, isn’t this the same thing as courtesy? Hmmmm.

10. Connections. I am an introvert.   Becoming the PTA president has certainly caused me to be out of my comfort zone more often than not.   Is that a bad thing?  No.   Moving out of the comfortable zone meant I had to make connections with others in order to get the job done.  

Thanks to the PTA, I am a much different person than I was two years ago.   Am I perfect?  Yes!  Ha, there’s that humor.  No, far from perfect, but  much stronger individual with a great skill set.

One Hundred and One!

17 03 2010


I started the blog because I was reading some super beautiful knitting blogs and I wanted to one of the “cool” kids.   It seems to have morphed into something else–knitting, running, kids, who knows what next.  Guess it is kind of like life. 

There’s no super amazing prize like some blogs you’ll read.  If you leave a comment, I’m sure to say hello back, which in the world of blogs, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Peace, Love, and PTA Part 1

15 03 2010

I have been PTA president for Triangle Lake Montessori Elementary School for almost 2 years.   I came into the job unexpectedly when the president who had been elected relocated to Michigan.    It was a reluctant appointment.  No one else wanted to do it, so I did it.   It was the stuff of motivational speakers, really.  Not.

 Now that you know how I came to be involved in the PTA, let me tell you why you need to get in the PTA.  Here are my top ten reasons YOU need to get involved in the PTA. 

10.  Involvement.  Studies show students with parents that are involved in their school do better.  Children are at school for at least 6 hours (at least) a day.  Get involved in the place where they are spending SO much of their time. 

9.  Toys.  You will have access to a LAMINATING machine and a DIE CUT machine.   It is so much FUN. 

8. Food.   There’s ALWAYS food left over at PTA events.   Be generous and give it away or keep some for yourself. 

7. Friends.   You will make some amazing friends–teachers, parents, staff. 

6. Awareness.   It will open your eyes to how much work a teacher actually does during the school day and then what they have to do AFTER the day ends.   We won’t even talk about the principal and the job they do. 

5.  The kids.   It is true, they say the darndest things.   They will make you laugh and some of them will make you cry because of the type of life they are living right now.  Triangle Lake has a population of 462 students.   There isn’t any day where I don’t get smiles, waves, high-5’s, hugs, and hellos from kids who aren’t mine. 

4.  Resources.   Even if your family doesn’t need them, you will meet a family that does need them.  You’ll be able to point them in the right direction. You will learn what resources the school has to offer and how to access them. 

3.  Its fun.  Hard?  Well, sometimes, but honestly, what in life isn’t hard?   More than anything though it is fun.  There will be a time you will LAUGH so hard you will cry. 

2. Networks.  Networks with parents, teachers, school staff, and other PTA volunteers throughout the area. 

1.  Connections.  There is a lot of gossip flying around the school.   You don’t need to spread the gossip, but you will be “in the know”.  You’ll know and maybe, be able to help.   By getting involved in the PTA, you are connected with your child, their peers, and the staff. 

No matter why you joined the PTA, you will be involved in your child’s education in a whole new way.   You will learn things about yourself and about the school–not all of them will be good either.  

Its peace, love, and PTA.  Stay tuned for what I learned about myself over the past two years.

Gettin’ the Knit Back

9 03 2010

I was inspired, in late January, to knit the Wood Hollow Vest by Kristen Kapur.  Cabley, Cascade 220 goodness.   I purchased the pattern, skipped down to the LYS (Common Threads), swatched, blocked, and then started knitting.   I knit on my vest during one of the five bazillion snow storms we had during the month of February.  In my Rav projects page, I called it French Toast Hollow, in honor of all the eggs, bread, and milk purchased during those snow storms.   

About halfway through the lackluster Olympic coverage, I realized there was a MISTAKE in the center cable section.   The real drama of the mistake is that it was 7 repeats BACK–which was over 50 rows.   Not only that, but I had already bound off the neck and had finished the neck and armhole decreases.  

I was going to leave the mistake.  Then I was going to fix the mistake.   Then I was going to leave it.  Fix it?  Leave it?  I drove my husband crazy the number of times I talked about it and changed my mind….

The more I looked at it however, the more I realized I would NEVER wear the vest with a GIANT MISTAKE in the middle of the center cable.  So I pulled it out at least 50 rows of knitting–at least one full skein of Cascade 220.    Since the pulling out of all those lovely stitches, I have knit not a stitch.

I love this vest, but I have lost my knit.    My lovely French Toast just sits there….

So friends, how do you get your knit back?

Did you know?

4 03 2010

Did you know I’m looking for a job?  I’m one of the uncounted unemployed in the United States today.  I have been out of the workforce for the past 8 years and I’m picking one of the worst recessions our country has ever seen to return.  Go me! 

Seriously though.  Before having my children, I was an educator.   I taught HS life science–biology and anatomy/physiology.   I was a pretty good teacher.  I was tough and if you didn’t do your homework and your lab reports, you’d fail.    The tests made you think, not just memorize.   I took some of the questions directly out of my college textbooks.   Seriously hard core.  Ok, not all the time, but most of the time…

Now, it is time to go back to the classroom.   In eight years, technology has gone from zero to 10 million.   I had a Palm Pilot and that was cutting edge.  I kept my grade book and lesson plans on it.   I was the first teacher in the school to use a WebQuest and actually use the computer lab for something other than typing a paper.   Today, those things are obsolete.  They have been replaced with iTouch, twitter, Web 2.0, wikis, blogs, digital cameras, digital media, and countless other technologies.  

Ok, Twitter doesn’t sound like an educational technology, right?  But it is.   I recently discovered how educators are using twitter and other technologies in the classroom and it has created an excitement about returning to the classroom.   At one point I thought I would never return.  I didn’t think I could be a good mom if I spent my day being a teacher to other people’s kids.   Teaching during the age of NCLB is different and I didn’t like the way it stiffled creativity in the classroom.  Seeing all the amazing things that are out there–smart boards, elmos, iTouch apps, blogs & wikis to name a few–make me excited to return to work.

Here is my favorite inspiration: 

Extreme Biology:  Check out some of the amazing work these classes are doing.  They are writing blog posts about their labs!!  Genius! 

Sure, I’ll miss my days at home watching Regis & Kelly (followed by HGTV), drinking coffee and surfing the web, however, I am excited about the prospect of not only bringing an understanding of biology to students, but bringing students to biology and letting them see how it impacts us all.  

I’ve been brushing up on my pedagogical language and Bloom’s Taxonomy.   I’m ready with my wiki and blog.   So, if you know of any biology teaching positions in Guilford County, NC, drop and email or a tweet!