This Bird Does It

Librarian ramblings

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My daughter, the poet

Ever think about all the things you can do with a pencil? Girlie did. The PTA Reflections contest theme this year is “Believe, Dream, Inspire.” My girl took that and wrote a poem. She won first place for 3rd and 4th grade Literature for her school. She goes to district from here. She thinks she’s going to win the national contest. I don’t know about that, but I know it’s the best poem I’ve ever read by a nine-year-old. Now that the school winners have been announced, I feel like we can share it. I think it’s amazing. Don’t you?images

The Pencil

A pencil, to me, is like the root system of a tree.
By inspiring me to write about anything and everything.
Helping me to draw a hero and their deeds.
Always believe, no matter how dark the future seems,
That with a pencil you can be anyone you want to be.
Did you ever consider how much a pencil really holds?
More than just a thread of wood, rubber, graphite, or lead.
It can be a singer, belting out beautiful things
but, this work of art can freak everybody out.
How it works magic in the hands of a famous novelist, or a
mathematician, or just a third grader. Or me!
Leonardo da Vinci or a college kid looking for a degree in art.
The Freedom Towers’ blueprint or a dollhouse’s.
Scientific data recording! Graphs! This poem!
The world would be dark and bleak without any pencils.
A pencil can be everything you want it to be,
that’s part of how it inspires me.
I believe in the pencil.
Use your power and find one.


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So, at midnight I can register for classes for spring term. Next week I’ll complete my first full year of the MLIS program. It’s going very fast and I’m starting to panic a little about finishing and not having any experience. I find myself thinking that I’ll do a thesis/research project for graduation, but that seems silly. I’ve GOT to get some experience! Had a lovely exchange on twitter with @winelibrarian and @sarainthestacks who were very helpful in offering thoughts on getting a job. They only confirmed that experience is KEY! I have to fit this in, and I know it, and I just don’t know how to do it. There were some helpful tips offered in all that, though. I think I’ll be looking to volunteer with digitizing archives, or at least photos. I’ve got to have some sort of job, or a volunteer position, or something, like now. I keep saying “after the holidays” but I think that’s a mistake, too. I can’t wait. Classes will start up again, and I’ll just put it off. I’m going to have to go ahead and get going BEFORE the holidays. At least get busy looking. I land what I land and start when they need me. Surely someone an put me to work a couple hours a week for free, right?

I’m feeling like I’m catching up. Weird, huh? I mean, I’m still behind in school. I’m still swimming upstream this term, but this weekend was sort of a lull before the final push, and I got some stuff done. The toilets are all clean and the floors have actually been vacuumed, so that’s comforting. I was supposed to take a workshop the weekend after classes ended, but it was cancelled, so that will be a clear weekend. Then Daddy Bird heads to his annual hunting trip with his dad and uncle for week on the 11th. I’ll be solo parenting for just over a week. Strangely, I look forward to that each year. I mean, I miss him, and the kids miss him, but I do tend to get a lot done without him here. I’m not sure why that is, but it just is. I’m so looking forward to getting the house really clean and ready to decorate for Christmas. I love my house, but never more than when it’s all dressed up for Christmas.

mlI had a weird experience in church this morning. It is Reformation Sunday, the day us Lutherans celebrate Martin Luther and how we’re not Catholic anymore. Okay, there is a bit more to it than that, but you get the gist. As usual, the lessons and point of the day is justification by faith. Grace, and grace alone saves us. I’m happy to drone on about that bit, but it isn’t really the point of this blog. What I want to relate is a feeling that came over me as we sang the final hymn of the service. The last verse…

“When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in his righteousness, alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the solid rock i stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.”

Hope you don’t find this morbid or creepy, but let me just tell you now, I want this sung at my funeral. If you are there, sing it. Sing it LOUD! Even if it means nothing to you, sing it loud and know that it means EVERYTHING to me! And somebody make sure there’s brass. Because as our distinguished director/organist Josh Brodbeck put it today, brass is really just the bacon of the music world. I feel like I should write a whole post on the merits of planning, or letting other know your thoughts anyway, your own funeral. Yeah, I’m only 42, but I really want this sung at my funeral. I’m not kidding. It’s important to me. If you take no other message from knowing me, take this. Jesus Christ is my salvation and I do not deserve it, but i do receive it.

Okay, sermon over.

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Some MORE things

40 years ago. I needed bangs even back then!

40 years ago. I needed bangs even back then!

Tomorrow, well, probably today by the time you read this, is my birthday. I am twenty one. Again. Not like some people say they’re turning twenty nine again because they never want to turn thirty, but like I’ve lived twenty one years, twice. Forty two. Eh, not usually considered a milestone birthday, but when I realized that my twenty first birthday was exactly HALF of my life ago, suddenly forty two seemed like a HUGE milestone.

142KLYou know what I haven’t written about in ages, right? Yeah, that weight loss thing. Turns out I don’t seem to be very good at watching my weight while I’m actually in school. Good thing I only have about three weeks to go this semester. But then it will be the holidays, so that should be easy, right? Eh, I’ll get on it. That’s not why I bring it up right now. I just want to acknowledge that I’m not ignoring it. I’m still fat, and I’m still concerned about it.

v65oai7fxn47qv9nectxI have really enjoyed watching the twitterstorm about Dr. Lee’s blog post that was removed from Scientific American’s site. I could go on about my thoughts on this, but there’s not a lot of point in that. I’m not a scientist, I’m an amateur blogger at best, I’m certainly not a person of color, but I AM a woman, and all I need to say is that this has been interesting to watch.

imagesGirlie is entering a poem in the PTA’s Reflections contest tomorrow. I think it’s brilliant, she wrote it all by herself, but I’m honestly worried that people won’t believe it. I might be biased, but it’s a really, REALLY great idea/concept for a poem. I worked REALLY hard to give her feedback as she worked it out but to never give her “help.” It’s all her work, but it was HARD not to take her great idea and write my own poem! It’s just such a good concept. I didn’t do it. I didn’t write hers, and I won’t even write my own, but it IS a great idea. After they announce the winners, I’ll share her poem. Just seems like I should wait. Okay, okay, a tease. The title is “The Pencil.”



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Some things

I was going to get a bunch of schoolwork done today.

I was going to vacuum a couple rooms today.

I was going to write a nice, thoughtful blog post today.

Then I got caught up on Twitter with this whole mess about an editor of an online blog calling a respected blogger who declined to provide free content a whore. That’s right, he called her a WHORE. He didn’t use some cute other term that might be washed under the mat. He said, “Are your an urban scientist or an urban whore.”

Screenshot 2013-10-12 at 8.52.03 PMThen to top it off, this respected blogger put the story up on her own blog, which is hosted by Scientific American, and in short order, the post was removed. (You can read it all here, though.) They offered only this response, “Re blog inquiry: @sciam is a publication for discovering science. The post was not appropriate for this area & was therefore removed.” Turns out that this rude fellow’s site is a member of Scientific American Partnership Network. They have a business relationship? No, no that’s not fishy at all SciAm. Just remove that content without any communication with the writer at all. Don’t worry, no one will think a thing of it. It won’t matter at all that some guy no one can identify just called a black woman who wouldn’t work for free a WHORE! I’m sure no one will be offended in the least.

So, that’s been trending all day. Want to catch up, try #standingwithDNLee. There’s some really wonderful responses.

Mostly, I just want you to watch Dr. Danielle Lee’s response for yourself. She is fabulous. She could have blown up on this moron. She would have been justified in just screeching at this twit. But I wouldn’t have watched it all. I would have supported her right to hoop and holler, to freak out, but I wouldn’t have listened myself. Why would I? I would never, ever behave like the now infamous ofek. I’m so glad I didn’t turn her off, though. She had things to say to me, as a woman, and as a non-minority woman, and even as a person who wants to re-enter the workforce. She had such grace and poise in her response! I want that kind of grace and poise for my daughter. I want to know all the stuff we’re teaching girls now about how she can be or do anything, STEM is for girls, too. But I also want her to know that she can speak up for herself without being a shrill caricature. Not only MUST she speak up for herself with the ofeks of the world lose their minds, but she can’t let them steal her class. Dr. Lee did NOT let anyone steal her class.

When BuzzFeed got hold of this story today, the Scientific American editor only had this to say: “I’d like to elaborate on the original brief statement on Twitter that this blog fell outside Scientific American’s mission to communicate science. While we interpret that mission with a lot of latitude, Dr. Lee’s post went beyond and verged into the personal, and that’s why it was taken down. Dr. Lee’s post is out extensively in the blogosphere, which is appropriate. Dr. Lee is a valued member of the Scientific American blog network. In a related matter, Biology Online has an ad network relationship, and not an editorial one. Obviously, Scientific American does not want to be associated with activities that are detrimental to the productive communication of science. We are pursuing next steps.” Well that cleared up absolutely nothing, so thanks for that.

Even more to Dr. Lee’s credit, she responded to BuzzFeed with this: “If that many people were going to come out in support of me, I’d rather it be in support of one of the missions that’s going to make me redundant. I am trying to make myself redundant, truth be told. It is a lonely place to constantly be the only one like you in science.”

So, what I learned today is that there is this biologist out there named Dr. Danielle Lee who has views about things that are wildly interesting and varied. I probably don’t agree with all of them, but I wish I knew her. She’s a solid good person with amazingly admirable core values, and I will follow her around the internet now trying to pick up on some of her grace and poise, both for myself and for my daughter. Thank you, Dr. Lee.