A few years ago, some people from Alumni Relations invited me out to lunch so they could ask for my perspective (about 20 years after graduation) on what my Carnegie Mellon education has meant to me. I was flattered, and it was such an interesting question to consider that I've thought about it many times … Continue reading What I Really Learned in College
My grandma would be 101 years old today, if she were still alive. Last year I tried to write the centennial tribute she deserved, but I was recovering from a brain injury, so not only was everything a struggle but I felt really terrible and inadequate about everything...and also, I realized, "Grandma meant so much … Continue reading Grandma, Grace, Portage, Petunias, and a Jade Green Sweatshirt
This is a story my cousin Tiffany recalled during a recent family gathering when my mom asked us what we remembered from the summer my parents were away a lot, leaving me and my brother and cousins to fend for ourselves. As soon as she mentioned the dust, I remembered that picnic too, and we … Continue reading That Time We Ate Million-year-old Dust
I remember, when I was 3 or 4 years old, sitting in front of the television watching the test pattern waiting for my local public television station to begin its broadcast day. I liked the pretty colored stripes. Finally they would disappear, the station information would be displayed along with a drawing of a scissor-tailed … Continue reading Why My Toddler Doesn’t Watch Sesame Street
My family has an ancestral home, a place that's been owned by our family ever since it was built in 1910. It's a large, elegant, three-story brick house on the main street of a pleasant town in Ohio. My maternal grandmother grew up there, and although she itched to leave that town because of the … Continue reading That Time I Drank 33-Year-Old Grape Juice
Grandma meant so much to me that I can't cram it all into one article. Here is just one story that I hope will show you a little bit of what she was like and how she shaped me.
This is a story I've told my son Nicholas many times. It's entertaining for him, but it's also a story that really gets him thinking about right and wrong, temptation and resistance, punishment and forgiveness, what those kids who get into trouble all the time might be thinking, and many other interesting issues. It's inspired … Continue reading That Time I Caused Trouble in Sunday School
Ah, December, the month when the days are getting shorter and shortest as we try to pack in shopping, parties, preparations for hospitality or travel, and tranquil spiritual contemplation along with all our usual activities! It makes a kid who persistently wants attention all the more annoying. The December my son Nicholas turned two, I … Continue reading The Nutcracker: music for the imagination
I just happened upon this article from Wired magazine, which is undated but appears to be from right around 1994--the era when the World Wide Web existed but many major corporations still had no clue about what this Internet thing was, and when most people who did use the Internet still knew what a "shell … Continue reading The Internet of 20 Years Ago
I'm not very romantic. A lot of the gooey sentiments expressed around Valentine's Day send me into fits of critical thinking. I'm kind of like this. But I am in love with Daniel, and have been for almost 20 years, and sometimes get kind of sentimental about it. In particular, I can get all choked … Continue reading My Favorite Love Song
He never believed in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, either. There are three important reasons why Daniel and I decided, before Nicholas was born, that we were not going to pretend that any of these characters were real.The first is that we didn't like the idea of lying to our child. We felt … Continue reading Why my kid never believed in Santa Claus
Welcome to the September 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Staying Safe This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and tips about protecting our families. Please read to the end to find a list of … Continue reading Gradually Expanding Range for a Child Walking Alone
We strive to be the kind of family that shares meals--not the kind that "has to" fix nuggets and fries for the kid every night! The reality is somewhere in between. Many of my multi-week menus indicate adaptations for Nicholas: We prepared meal components separately and served his in separate dishes not touching, while we … Continue reading How to Get a Kid to Like Mushrooms
The sky is so blue today. The sun is so bright, the leaves are still green, and the birds are singing. It's a beautiful day, just like the eleventh of this month eleven years ago. I remember walking home after my office closed early on September 11, 2001, thinking how impossibly wrong it felt that … Continue reading Living on the Flip Side
I used to wear makeup. From age 12 to 16, I added more types of makeup to my daily routine each year, and I went through that daily routine even if I wasn't planning to leave the house. I continued for a while into college before I realized that the insanely stressful life I was … Continue reading I don’t wear makeup.
A little late for Earth Day, I'm linking to this wonderful video that has entertained and motivated me many times since I first saw it when I was five years old. I can't say that it was this singing Earth who first inspired me to care about the environment. My parents set a pretty good … Continue reading The Singing Earth
I have a very good memory for details. The best I can explain it is that I retain a lot of details from my experiences and reading, and they are connected to one another in a massive and complex web that I nonetheless find very easy to follow, moving along from one irrelevant-sounding detail to … Continue reading It’s like we’re related or something.
Happy Walk to School Day! My son and I walked to his school this morning, and his father will walk him home this afternoon. He's in first grade. Sometime during his years at this K-8 school, he'll begin walking by himself, but for now I am enjoying the walk and the time with him. We … Continue reading Walking to School
Although I am discussing my work here, the point of view is my own, and this is not an official statement of the Pittsburgh Youth Study. As the data manager of a long-term research study, I recently helped to write this academic paper: Bullying Perpetration and Victimization as Predictors of Delinquency and Depression in the … Continue reading Bullying: an article I wrote, and three I don’t have to write
I grew up in Oklahoma, visiting my grandparents in New York City every summer from age 6 to 14. Then my grandma died, and my grandpa began spending most of his time in Arizona. I had two more brief visits in New York before he sold the house when I was 17. I had thought … Continue reading 7 Quick Takes on visiting New York City again after 21 years