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Monday, October 22nd, 2012

graduationI woke up angry this morning and I just jumped out of bed and figured out why.  I was angry because I was clear headed and I knew exactly what was making me seethe.

I am furious at women especially those women who keep putting other women in their place.  You know those middle class women who think they are doing good and funding a few scholarships for women and the poor.  Yes! They might even host a jumble sale or serve at a soup kitchen and think they are doing “good”.  And yet!  When push comes to shove they always can find a reason not to support another woman or to be prejudiced against a woman succeeding.  They too are always pointing out women who have succeeded as examples and then they casually snuff out any possibility that she just might be smart and capable without sexing her way to the top, cheating, or just being the meanest.

There is always that moment when you know they are complying with the rules.

I am furious at men especially those men who do not even see the women and minorities in their view.  You know, the ones who get a bump in the night or shins that they are not being open or affirming or maybe not even aware of their constituents or customer base.  When they feel the bump they ask someone else to fill the coffee pot and find them some tokens to bestow their energy upon.  Then whenever they sense that someone else is noticing they haul out their handful and display them as small and blingy.  They never see any woman or minority as anything other than their private expectation, even though they make paternalistic gestures and let their wife do the talking.

On a personal level I am furious for my daughter.   I am exhausted and fat with being furious about my own life experiences, and I will not allow those nasty awful moments to happen to my eldest daughter without speaking up and calling it out.

I am furious about my daughter’s undergraduate university.  I sent a bright, talented, beautiful assertive young woman to them and she paid all but about $1,000.00 of her way through student loans.   She won award after award, she got top honors in math, computers, and engineering and I went to the school to see her win these awards.  What I noticed was there was no money awarded with her certificates.  NONE.  She got to grade all the papers for the faculty because she was so talented, she got to set up their computer labs and instruct the others.   They did not present her to the big name companies at graduation. NO, not at all, they did not help her job hunt in the least and so she got another huge loan and went to get an animation certification at the Vancouver Film School in Canada.  Still no job offers came in for all her efforts and for all the foot work. It was very expensive.

As a matter of fact, it was her younger sister’s disability-career counselor at her university who connected the eldest with her present University Job in San Francisco.

This past spring I went to applaud loudly as she walked across the stage to receive hugs, flowers and praise from the University President, the faculty, and her advisor for her academic achievements and honors for her outstanding work on Campus.   They all came up to tell me she should go on to get her doctorate and what an amazing thinker, writer and worker she was and how she would do so well because of her brilliance. No one failed to mention how beautiful she was.

You know what was missing.  As the other graduate students accepted their Master’s degrees we also heard about the graduate studies fellowship$ they were receiving and the programs and jobs they were headed off to pursue.    I listened to all the folks around me talking about how amazing all the headhunters were to experience and all the wonder FULL offers these other students were receiving.

She received the highest academic honors everywhere she attended.  She worked hard and accomplished amazingly creative pieces of work to share, she made a difference in her program and in her university and she received gratitude for her mastery.  Where were/are the offers?  Where are the graduate school fellowships?  And Why are they not forth coming?

Is it because she did not wear a sequined colored robe or hat to the ceremony? Was it because she did not scream and yell and lose interest in other student’s awards and honors?  No, she cheered them on and was enthusiastic for each of their efforts.

It is true she does not talk a great deal, she just moves forward and does her best and problem solves and gets the job completed with creative skill and finesse.

Do women’s educational organizations come forward and say, wow this is a gorgeous, talented, smart young woman how can we make a difference and help her, how can we track down funds to assist her in meeting her goals and needs?  NOPE. They tease her about not having a boyfriend and getting married.  They suggest she should buy a house, which would be a good investment, not remembering that she has paid every penny of her own way and still has lots more to pay before she is done.

And her math genius and computer know-how seem to make those men and boys very insecure.

So here is my question to you: Where or Who is the best coach/agent/ head hunter in this academic arena whom I can hire to get her into Stanford or MIT and their doctoral programs?  Where are the grants for funds for these programs?  And where are the funds to pay off her undergraduate and graduate programs right away?   I could also use a good grant writer, because although I have great luck at getting funds for other people’s gifted daughters, I am not having luck for my own child.

There I have said it, the fury is released.  Can you pass this along to someone who might be helpful on this quest?

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you.   Donations are greatly appreciated.

Related Reading:
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
Camel Pirouette
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Kind of Woman

The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift

Thursday, May 10th, 2012
Ruth M Hamilton

Ruth M Hamilton

I love to give gifts and I pride myself in giving gifts that truly match up to the person to whom they are intended. The specific event is not so important, it is the thought and intention which matter the most.

Mother’s Day is celebrated in the middle of May in the USA.  My older brother holds the record for giving the best gift to our Mother by being born male on Mother’s Day.  He was the first grandchild added to my Mother’s family tree and she was so proud to hold that honor.  The two daughters had to work very hard for this event and we never quite measured up.

My Mother was very proud of all of her children and extremely equal with her attentions.  She taught us all that we must work very hard to achieve anything in life, how to be good citizens and thoughtful people.   She wanted my brother to be an elementary school teacher, my sister to be a special education teacher and she thought maybe I could become a secretary because I was so organized.  My brother became a policeman, my sister a reading specialist and me, well (sigh) I write a blog or three.

My siblings had a hard time learning to read and I had dyscalcula (she just thought it was being lazy on my part); my siblings took on learning how to be great at what they did and to show her how wonderful they were.  My Mother hoped we would win scholarships to college and get awards for our efforts.  Rather she became the most requested 1st grade teacher in the district, not because she was a great entertainer, but because the children who left her classroom at the end of the year had a strong foundation to go forward and they felt good about school; had a sense of accomplishment.  She earned many a reward from the parents of her students and so many of her students attended her Memorial Service 5 years ago.

My brother did win the Volunteer of the year award before Mother died and she was so proud.

She was so proud of my sister for her frugality and talent with earning and investing money, at one time she thought she should have encouraged her to be an accountant, numbers were her forte’, instead of a reading teacher, which was so difficult.  Mother was proud of how hard she worked and her perseverance.  She was proud of how carefully my sister followed in her example and how disciplined they both were.

My Mother felt she had taken care of me by getting me to marry a man who would have a stable income and who she liked so very much and he would always make sure I had the basic necessities of life.  As a team, we brought her home after she fractured her spine and I took care of her 24/7 – right to the end.  I heard her confessions and there were no real regrets and I valued her clear global voice.

Her last Mother’s Day, she told me that I was an amazing mother – loving, guiding, kind, and creative – and she forgave me for sometimes yelling my anger; she apologized for being so critical of me at the time it had seemed appropriate.

Now is time for the best Mother’s Day gift of all – her grandchildren are doing her proud.  Those awards are coming this year – IT Girl has just won the highest honor for her master’s thesis at San Francisco State University and was nominated for another award for writing excellence.  Librarian Girl just had a week of 32 hugs from her students as she completes her first year of full time teaching.  Entrepreneurial Girl has been promoted in her position 2 times this year into management with her own car.  Dancing Girl will graduate from Law School this Mother’s Day.  Alaska Girl has her driver’s license and is moving towards high school graduation with honors.  First born Grandson, and oldest of the crew, is off teaching math and reading for the Navy having to leave his wife and children at home for a long period of time.

The perfect Mother’s Day gift is coming true and I think she knows – I’m sure of it.

Have you ever given the perfect gift?  Was someone proud of you?  Did you receive a great award for your talents?

Happy Mother’s Day !

If you purchase anything from this site from Amazon or Powell’s, I will receive a few beans in my bucket

TO Vered DeLeeuw  for winning the book FOODTRIENTS and the APRON from the author Grace O and TLC online book tours.

Related Reading:
The Smartest Woman I Know
Temple Grandin 

The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Sweet Blog Award

Deborah Baker at Living Between the Lines   just passed on a sweet treat and what a delicious way to start out the New Year and the Valentine Month of February.  I am the recipient of the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. Lucky me!

At first I was not quite sure about this honor, because I have been busy returning to my NO SUGAR campaign, which I vacationed from during the past holiday season.  Then I thought, no indeed, this is a good way to receive a sweet morsel, which only serves to remind me that connections with others is one of the sweetest treats one may receive.  I just wish to say the stickiest of thank yous to Deborah for her thoughtful gift.

Now I am to indulge myself in the pure delight of talking about myself….here are 7 individually wrapped nuggets about me you may not have known.

#1  I am allergic to chocolate, dairy products, and caffeine.  Remembering that chocolate contains caffeine, if I mix the various allergens together, I get a migraine headache which lasts for about 8 hours.

My health is an extremely important factor in my life because I was born with cancer and because my Father made me promise I would learn as much as I could about environmental cancers.  If you spend much time with me, you will realize that I will talk about health issues #1 and I feel healthier and healthier as I debrief all the information that comes to me from other sources.

#2  I have watched the movie Julie and Julia 62 times.  Why you ask?  Because Meryl Streep is brilliant in it, Julia Child’s cooking show was the only program I was allowed to watch when I was healing from surgery or came home from school sick, and because it is about a blogger who succeeds in her hoped for arena of success.  It inspires me.

#3  I was blessed with incredibly beautiful skin, and when other’s teased me about how clearly you could see veins through it, I knew immediately they were envious.  I take very good care of my skin and never take it for granted and I am grateful for its power to hold me together.   I rarely cover up the red patch on my forehead, because I believe to be a beacon of wisdom and a direct receptor to my heart.

#4  I used to think my greatest gift was my beautiful singing voice, but have learned that my greatest gift is listening and music is how I practice and improve that art form.

#5  Surveys – I enjoy taking them very much.  I find them a powerful teaching tool, but I need to be able to voice my thoughts and not just answer yes, no and undecided.  I no longer participate in surveys that do not allow me a place to comment.

#6  I totally dislike the smell of coffee.

#7 Working on a new dream.  I have been taking lots of time to be healthy and wealthy enough to enjoy the last third of my life.   I am very happy to say that I feel as though I have truly lived each and every day on purpose, with a few highs and lows to make it extremely interesting.  Now as I am reaching out to touch the “peak of creativity” (around age 65 for women), I am developing a new dream and exploring possibilities.   I can smell the sweet enticing smells of something awesome which is coming my way, and I will say it is irresistibly yummy!

I want to say thank you to Deborah for including me in this award.  It was chewy and nutty and fun.

I also want to say thank you again to Eliza of Silver and Grace   for including me in her free e book, Women Who Make a Difference   and highlighting me on her blog December 2011.

Here are my nominees for this sweet treat, hope they will enjoy this award too:

The Shyness Project
Arriving At Your Own Door
The Rose Bandit 
The Secret Goddess 
Today’s Path
A Sharing Connection
Holessence Speaking From the Heart

For those I have nominated, the rules, as I understand them are:
1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the Award on to some of your own deserving blog friends.
4. Contact those friends and let them know.

Hope this is not too sweet for you?  What do you find irresistible?

If you purchase anything from this site from Amazon or Powell’s I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

For the month of February Wise Ears  is offering a mini Journal writing and listening seminar to every 5th person who subscribes.   Who’s hearing you?