February 19, 2013 § 12 Comments
This afternoon’s chapter 76 of the Life of Pi tied in beautifully with this morning’s lesson of the day, taught over the marble kitchen bar wiped clean, so that the Barbie’s had a pristine surface upon which to dance.
The lesson was about mean girls. It came up, and so a teaching opportunity was taken.
Me: If it looks like a duck, it’s a what?
Daughters: A duck!
Me: If it quacks like a duck, it’s a what?
Daughters: A duck!
Me: If it look like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a what?
Daughters: A duck.
Me: Very good. Next.
Me: If it looks like a girl, it’s a what?
Daughters: A girl.
Me: Yes. If It’s mean, and a girl, it’s a what?
Daughters: A mean girl?
Me: If a mean girl says something mean to you what do you do?
Me: Stand straight (maybe jut a little hip). Head high. Look them in the eyes and tell them that they’re mean.
As it relates to chapter 76, which was not discussed with the five-year olds, but which I can discuss with you here …
Dealing with a mean girl is exactly the same as dealing with a constipated tiger when you’re lost at sea together (how Piscine survives I just cannot ascertain).
Look them in the eyes “long enough to give them the right signal … long enough to give them the willies … glaring, but not so long to provoke … badger, but not so long that you’ll be their next meal.”
“To stare is an aggressive act.”-Yann Martel
Protection happens when your eyes meet the eyes of the aggressor. Somehow it gives your words more meaning. -Me
Ever been a mean girl? Ever confronted a mean girl? Ever talked to your kids about mg’s?
February 6, 2013 § 4 Comments
I’ve come to believe that I do not choose books.
Instead, the books choose me, or rather, the Universe picks the books, which in turn pick me.
When I look at the list of the last year’s reads, their purpose is so obvious (if it weren’t so late I’d go into all of that).
Today, my Libran curse, the zodiac sign that I was delivered into at birth, tipped and teetered on its metaphorical and literal scales.
Indecisiveness was painfully present. Do I run? Do I write? Do I cry? Do I smile? Do I believe? Do I quit?
Even the weather acted like a Libra, asking, “Is it winter? Is it spring?”
The biting cold morning turned just beautiful by mid-afternoon; freezing again when I went to collect the mail at sun-down.
In my headphones, I steadied myself by listening to the Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.
Chapter 16 was so illuminating, describing God and the Universe and religion and the answers, that I rewound and replayed it twice.
Piscine (the narrator and protagonist) decided (as a boy), to become a practicing Christian, Muslim and Hindu.
Upon discovery of this, his wise men, men with whom he’d secretly built relationships, who had taught him their ways, told him that he couldn’t be all three, that they have nothing in common, and that it was impossible for them to be practiced together.
And yet Piscine felt strongly that they could be; he loved God and wanted to know God, choosing to be Christened in church, praying to Allah on a small, rolled-out floor rug, and continuing to feel at home in Hindu temples like the first one his mother took him to as a baby.
He was not indecisive about this, the most sacred understanding.
In all of today’s Libran swaying, it was the only thing that made any sense at all.
How can that be?
Do you choose books or do they choose you? Have you read Life of Pi?
October 7, 2012 § 3 Comments
While lying in bed between my girls last night I took the opportunity to read three pages of The Style Rookie, a blog created by sixteen year old Tavi Gevinson who has taken the fashion world by storm.
To say that I was blown away by her work is an understatement.
A collection of her thoughts (both typed and beautifully hand written), artistic imagery (collages, others and her own), music (others and her own) and photographs of her sweet bang trimmed self styled in real fashion (as opposed to an overabundance of labels), her voice is crystal clear.
Her current tilt seems to be toward a fifties and sixties aesthetic, but the photos with her friends are timeless. I love the freedom of expression; her cat lined eyes, her mix of print and pattern and form and silhouette and color.
What is there not to love, and with 50,000 hits a day to the blog (an incredible number not attained by people two, three, four times her age), it appears I am not the only one enamoured.
As I scanned the blog I got to wondering.
Clearly Tavi is an old soul; one of those people who functions outside of age. Watching her Ted presentation (below) you can see how bright she is yet the admittance that she still hasn’t, “figured it all out,” combined with her strong yet sensitive presentation, make her real as opposed to super-hero. What a great model for girls everywhere (teenager and not)!
What became more curious to me were my questions about her parents.
Who are the Gevinsons? Who are the people who created and are raising this bright and creative soul?
I was once a teenage girl who took fashion risks and cut baby bangs and wore my hair in Heidi braids crisscrossed over the top of my head, too. But beginning a fashion empire was just a dream for me. Tavi is doing it for real and her parents are allowing her to flourish and bloom.
In her adorable interview with Jimmy Kimmel she skimmed over his questions about her parents by saying something about them being “nice people,” but I discovered later in her posted Vimeo video that her father is an English teacher and her mother is an artist who weaves tapestries. She goes on to mention that her parents encouraged her (and her sister) to be creative and to read.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing all I can to raise children who will develop into well-adjusted, secure and strong girls. It’s not easy in this world of Barbie and princesses (whom my girls love) or as Tavi describes, “two-dimensional super-women…with one quality that’s played up a lot.”
I think Tavi’s parents are the example of how to do it right (whether or not a child is meant to be a prodigy). Fostering creativity, encouraging reading and allowing freedom of expression is the key.
Now if only she’d interview them. Or maybe I should try. I bet they are equally as interesting as their delightfully dynamic daughter.
Had you ever heard of Tavi’s blog or her magazine for teenage girls, Rookiemag.com? Are you as interested in learning about her parents as I am? Can you believe she’s been blogging for four years? That’s a lifetime in blogland!