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Tag Archives | Motherlode

Can You Change My Grade?

I was not a perfect student.  I skipped the occasional class, coasted through a few others (hello Sociology 101), and barely passed my first-year biology class, mostly because I was distracted equally by the professor’s lisp (not a good thing for a man whose first name was Sidney) and by the huge studded leather watchband he wore, which made me wonder if in hith off hourth he didn’t cruithe around on a Harley-Davidthon.

Truth be told, mostly I coasted through college, as if to live up to what a very dear professor told me: that because it was so easy for me to get a B+ it would be very hard for me to get an A.  True ‘dat.  Of course, for that particular professor, I did in fact bust my ass, but mostly? I cruithed through.

Despite my bad habits and not precisely stellar grades, however, I never ever asked a professor to change my grade. I never asked for extra credit to make up for work I hadn’t done (or had done poorly).  It wasn’t that I had any interest in taking responsibility for my actions: I was just too afraid to ask.

I’m here to say that college students—or at least my college students—have gotten over their fear, if in fact they ever had it.  I guess we should applaud the fact that these students are able to “ask for what they need,” but sometimes what they “need” sounds startlingly similar to my own kids whining about how desperately they need more legos. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading · on June 14, 2011 in Education, growing up, teaching

In A Word: March

I’m NaBloPoMo-ing again, in an effort to make good on a January intention, which was to write more and complain less.  I run the risk, of course, that creating a new post every day will make me complain even more (yes, I think it’s possible, but only barely). But hey, gotta break some eggs, right? Besides, isn’t complaining the meat-and-potatoes of all “mommy blogs?” That’s what a lot of the comments say in Lisa Belkin’s Motherlode article about the Queens of the Mom-Blog Kingdom–the mommy bloggers are just whiny, complaining, self-centered women nattering on about their middle-class lives and redecorating schemes.


I am definitively not writing about redecorating. Because I’d need a blowtorch to accomplish any major re-design, and arson is, I’m pretty sure, illegal in New York.  So I promise, no posts about couches or color schemes.

I had this “in a word” idea rolling around in my head all day and then I found the word I wanted right there in front of me:


We’ve made through February, which although technically the shortest month is, as we all know, the longest month, psychically.  I always let out a huge sigh of relief once February is behind me.

March.  Marching implies forward momentum – not necessarily reflective, not necessarily thoughtful, but moving. And moving is what we’re doing, probably around the end of June. We have to be out of this apartment by the end of June or early July, at the latest, which means I’m going to be marching through our stuff, doing the pre-move purge of papers, books, clothes, toys, and god knows what else we’ve managed to accumulate in ten years of living here.

Come to think of it, I may have to re-think that arson thing. I could probably make it look accidental, right? I mean, I do have two boys–I could teach them how to play with matches, couldn’t I? Because on top of our current ten years of stuff, there is all the stuff we brought with us, when we moved in. That stuff has been biding its time–perhaps breeding–in the storage space in the basement of our building, just waiting for the right moment to pounce. I’m thinking perhaps a little strategic flooding in the basement, maybe a burst pipe? Pipes burst when they get too hot, right?

Hmm. Maybe a better word for today is saboteur.

[PS: I wrote a little review about Lauren Redniss’s book, Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout. You can read the review on Blocritics, here. And then come back here and click through the amazon link to buy the book!

PPS: If you want a little “one word” writing jump, go to oneword.com.  You’ll get a one-word prompt and 60 seconds to write a response.  It’s a great way to start the day, like a little brain sprint. ]

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Continue Reading · on March 1, 2011 in moving

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