Friday, January 10, 2014

Mitten Mood

In my quest to use up stash, I've gathered up the odd balls of chunky yarn, some left over from other projects, and some that just caught my eye at the yarn store or on sale.

I balls before I stopped counting.  There are another few bags that I hadn't looked in.

If these were all the same color, that would be enough for a whole sweater, maybe 2 even.

Since they are odd balls, 1 or 2 each, they are only good for knitting mittens or hats.  With all the cold weather around the nation, mittens seems about right.  Fortunately they knit up pretty quick.  Here are 4 pairs heading to family on the East Coast.  (4 down, 18 odd balls to go) Stay warm, everyone!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Girl Talk: Say It Loud!

Today is the first day back to school after the winter break.  It seems the right day to send out a reminder to all the girls I know, and my friends who are now parents of girls.

When I was in high school, I noticed something odd in geometry class:
  • When girls gave an answer out loud, they did it in this tone rising, often phrased like a question more than an answer way, sometimes whispered: "Is it 7?"   
  • When boys answered, they answered quickly, confidently, loudly, "7!"
I thought at first, maybe the boys were more confident because they knew the right answer.  Nope.  The confident loud boys were just as likely to be wrong, and the whispery, anxious-sounding girls were just as likely to be right.

Maybe I noticed because we had a woman teacher.  I loved her, and I loved geometry.  I was a bright student, diligent, straight A's, and of course, I almost always knew the right answer.  And because I had noticed this subtle thing about how kids answered questions in math class, I answered strong and loud, with full breath support.

Sounding uncertain of your answer didn't make it any less embarrassing to be wrong.  And when the boys got it wrong, it wasn't any big deal, even if they had answered confidently.  The teacher didn't pick on them, no one laughed at their hubris.  They just offered what they thought was the right answer, got corrected, and we all learned.

And I learned to project myself, which has served me well throughout my life.

I owe inspiration for this post to Bad Mom, Good Mom, the blogger I most want to be.  I came across her post about Admiral Grace Hopper, an interesting woman STEM pioneer.  What really caught my attention, though, was the part about Professor Jenny Harrison (halfway through the post), and her battles in academia as a woman teaching mathematics.

I used to love math as a girl.  I was one of the top math students in my high school, and if not for some poor choices my senior year, I would have expected a career in physics or mathematics.  I could well have been a genius computer programmer, or financial whiz.  Fast forward three decades, and I have come full circle, back in software and accounting but from a different side of things.

I'm not really sorry for the route I've taken.  Reading postings from Geisha School Dropout, I have a feeling I wouldn't have been that happy if I had stayed on that course.  In the road I did take, the times I was in male-dominated fields (sales, consulting, e.g.) were the times I was least happy.  Not because I was harassed--I wasn't.  Not because I wasn't successful (I was sometimes).  Mostly it was the culture.  Very competitive, hardly nurturing.  I'm happy to have lived the life I have, but still I wonder, what if...?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Resolutions Again

So, Resolutions.   Same old, same old:
  • Lose weight
  • Get rid of stuff
I did make some progress on the weight goal last year.  Though this year's holiday binge-ing has put the lost weight back on, I did diet some, exercised more, and lost about 3 pounds over the year.  Not stunning progress, I know, but that means I managed to keep off the 5 pounds I had lost in 2012.  I had all  my pants taken in, after a colleague commented on my saggy butt (the pants, not me).  She didn't use those words, but when I checked myself out in the work mirror, I saw her point.

Exercising 2-3x per week has become a habit.  Largely thanks to the exercise band we got from work last year.  The electronic pat on the head has been helpful. So has the precor we purchased from craigslist last year.  When it stares at you in the living room, and you don't have to go out in cold weather, that is helpful.

This year, I will try to up it to 75 minutes of moderate exercise per week.  If I get that done by Friday night, my reward will be to sleep in on Saturday morning.  Else I will make myself get up and finish whatever time is remaining.

On the Stuff:  I have worked through a tiny bit of stash, but I am afraid I brought more fiber into the house than I got rid of.  Mostly through friend's stash sales and purges.  I will try to sew/knit through some of it this year, but my goal will remain to BUY no more unless it is needed for an *immediate* project.  Good luck to me on that one...