Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mother rewarded with book deal for violating daughter’s privacy

Dara-Lynn Weiss, a woman who put her daughter on a diet and then wrote a Vogue article about it, had a book published in January. The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet was released by Ballantine Books.

As reported last spring by Jessica Samakow for the Huffington Post, Weiss's article drew the attention of bloggers who questioned her methods (A link to Samakow’s article was posted this week to a discussion board in my online women’s health class).

Jezebel author Katie J.M. Baker called Weiss’s piece “the worst Vogue article ever”:
“Weiss' initial quandary is a complicated one, to be sure: what do you do if your pediatrician tells you your child is clinically obese? But the justifications to which Weiss clings as she describes the abrasive, often irrational weight-loss strategies she imposed upon her young daughter are truly disgusting, as is the obvious fact that Weiss was projecting her hatred of her own body onto her child throughout her year-long diet. The ickiness of the essay is only overshadowed by the accompanying photos, in which Weiss and her now-slender daughter — who even Weiss admits is traumatized by the events of the past year — don miniskirts and giggle girlishly over tea.”
The article was published in April in Vogue’s Shape 2012 issue.

After reading the account on Huffington Post, my main issue of concern wasn’t that the child, Bea, was overweight: although, to be sure, some of the other bloggers included in Samakow’s summary seemed to have much healthier attitudes about a child who was overweight.

One blogger wrote under the name Mom De Guerre because she said she would never put her child's well-being at stake the way that Weiss had. And Samakow described a piece by HuffPost blogger Janell Burley Hofmann as an “honest, self-accepting response.”

(Hofmann’s initial response to her daughter telling her, “I'm fat,” was, “You are built just perfect -- strong and healthy.”)

From the excerpt in Samakow’s summary, Weiss displayed a self-pitying attitude that I found distasteful:
“‘Everyone supports the mission, but no one seems to approve of my methods,’ she admits and then goes on to mention her own exhaustion: ‘It is grating to have someone constantly complain of being hungry, or refuse to eat what she’s supposed to, month after month.’”
What most concerned me was the way that Weiss exposed her young daughter to public scrutiny and possible condemnation.  I know from experience that adults can be quick to judge someone else’s child’s behavior without knowing her circumstances.

Weiss crossed an important line when she wrote about her daughter’s weight.

I can choose for myself to share details of my life, including struggles and challenges. And there are details about my life that I don’t feel comfortable sharing, even as I readily disclose other areas. It’s my life, my choice what, and how much, to reveal.

Weiss could similarly make a choice to disclose her own struggles or insecurities. But her daughter Bea did not get to make that choice; Weiss took the choice from her daughter.

Now that Weiss’s book has been published, Bea’s life will be exposed before that many more people, in a story that, based on advance praise, casts Weiss and not Bea in the role of heroine. Weiss does not deserve to be financially rewarded for violating her daughter’s privacy.

My thanks to Cuesta College instructor Allison Merzon for posting a link to the Huffington Post article on our women’s health class discussion board.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Killer Bees ranked second in second half of bowling league


The Record-Bee "Killer Bees" are ranked second for the second half of Lake County Chamber of Commerce winter bowling league, based upon three weeks of compiled results.

Jeremy Walsh has a season high score of first in men's handicap series and I have a season high score of third for women's handicap game.

The Killer Bees bowled against Prather Brothers last night. We won two games and pin count with a handicap of 316 compared to Prather Brothers' 201.

Walsh, Jonathan Donihue, Shawn Garrison and I bowled for the Killer Bees. I scored 74, 100 and 83 with an average of 79. Last week's standings placed me in third for women's handicap game.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

ALA Midwinter Meeting is happening right now and I’m not there

"The conversation starts here" logo for American Library Association Midwinter Meeting 2013 with #alamw13 hashtag

The American Library Association (ALA)’s Midwinter Meeting is happening right now in Seattle, Wash. In its Inside Scoop blog, American Libraries magazine highlights Friday’s top posts on Twitter with the #alamw13 hashtag.

One of the things I hope for when seeking work in Ashland, Ore., is that my employer will send me to ALA conferences.

The focus of my studies through the Cuesta College online program is to prepare for a support job in a library: perhaps an associate, assistant or technician. Beyond being in a library, the ideal job would offer tuition-share to help me pursue my MLIS degree.

And yes, the ideal library employer would send me to Midwinter Meeting.

Midwinter Meeting is an annual winter gathering hosted by the ALA . In the words of Stephanie Kuenn writing for American Libraries (Jan./Feb. 2013):
“ALA Midwinter Meeting offers opportunities to have crucial conversations with other librarians, thought leaders, vendors, publishers, authors, and others to support an active role in the big ideas that affect our field.”
One of the highlights of last year’s meeting was a presentation by Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Random House, 2012). This year I am intrigued by an emphasis on makerspaces, specifically Maker Monday programming for ALA Midwinter Meeting.

‘Grumpy Cat’ is your editor when ...

Grumpy Cat editor says ‘No.’ Created with memegenerator.net
“Grumpy Cat” is your editor when ... you pretend to be a journalist without understanding the ethics of my profession.

Too late for Friday Cat Blogging but just in time for Caturday, I couldn’t resist generating this meme that features Grumpy Cat (reasoning that criticism of objectionable PR practices may be more palatable if delivered by an adorable feline). The image was created with memegenerator.net.
  • A man pretends to interview himself. He submits a first-person “article” by an unidentified author that purports to have talked to him and uncovered “the truth.”
  • A news submission purportedly announcing an event’s change in venue, instead devotes most of its copy to accusations of corruption against an entity a source who “wished to remain anonymous.” The author includes a claim that his tirade’s subject “could not be reached for comment.”
It offends me when people submitting press releases mimic tabloid journalism. At best, these practices reveal lack of understanding and, at worst, contempt for my character as a practicing, professional journalist.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

League bowling: Week and season high scores


Lake County Chamber of Commerce Bowling League continued Tuesday at Lakeside Family Fun and Event Center.

The Lake County Record-Bee "Killer Bees" bowled against our own average as our opponent for the evening forfeited the game. We met our goal by 19 pins with Shawn Garrison, Nathan DeHart and I bowling for the Killer Bees.

I beat my 79-pin average during the first two games, with scores of 90 and 101. As a team, our scores were low during the final game.

Last week's results placed the Killer Bees in third place for handicap game and second place for handicap series. Jeremy Walsh ranked second in men's scratch series, third in handicap game and first in handicap series.

I was ranked second in women's handicap game and handicap series behind Kelly Thorn, who bowled last season with the Killer Bees.

Among season high standings, Walsh is ranked first for men's handicap series and I remain in third place for women's handicap game.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Inauguration was high-profile moment for poetry


Among ceremonies and pomp surrounding the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama for his second term, the news that resonated most with me was that Obama’s inauguration would be a high-profile moment for poetry.

In the words of Yale University professor and poet Elizabeth Alexander as quoted by Digital First Media, “[W]e bring the nation’s great poets, musicians and singers to Washington, D.C., for an outdoor celebration of democracy in the middle of January.”

‘Support Libraries’ in two languages

"Support Libraries" crocheted tag on pole in front of Upper Lake, Calif. library
‘Support Libraries’ in English

Yarn Bombing at Your Library, my library-advocacy project, is off to a good start in 2013. This weekend, I applied my first tag of the new year: “Support Libraries” at the Harriet Lee Hammond Library in Upper Lake, Calif.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Yarn Bombing @ Your Library: Reykjhavik, Iceland

Crocheted or knitted pink circular soft-sculpture atop knitting book in library

Circa Oct. 7, 2012: Reykjhavík Underground Yarnstormers yarnstormed the Reykjhavík, Iceland library for breast cancer awareness.

Cross-posted from Yarn Bombing at Your Library on Facebook

Yarn Bombing @ Your Library: What would the Doctor think?

Woman with autism was public choice for Miss America

Alexis Wineman
Alexis Wineman/Wineman Family
As reported on Disability Scoop, Alexis Wineman from Cut Bank, Mont., was “America’s Choice” for Miss America. The online popular vote secured Wineman a place in the contest semifinals.

Her platform as Miss Montana is “Normal is Just a Dryer Setting‚ Living with Autism.”

“It’s amazing how people don’t accept other people just because they’re different. Being different is not something to look down on, but to be embraced,” Wineman told Disability Scoop. “People need to understand. I want to talk to kids with autism too and share with them that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

And even though she did not take the crown, Disability Scoop noted that Wineman made history as the first person with autism to compete in the 92-year-old beauty pageant.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Continue support for Challenge Day

Students making hand-sign
‘Got your back.’ Challenge Day’s Notice Choose Act Network 

In his commentary in today’s Lake County Record-Bee, Clear Lake High School senior Nate Bauman shares his experience with Challenge Day.

I second Bauman’s request to “Please continue to support Challenge Day so we can be the change we want to see in the world.”

I was among adult volunteers during Challenge Day in 2010 at Lower Lake High School. As someone who endured bullying and rejection during my time at school, it was -- and is -- vitally important to me that students at Lake County schools enjoy a climate of acceptance.

Challenge Day uses an “iceberg” metaphor, emphasizing that only 10 percent of what a person is, is visible on the surface. “Crossing the line” illustrates similarities among people who may superficially appear have little in common. The Challenge Day presenter recites various experiences and invites people to cross the line if this applies to them.

Adult volunteers and students alike take part in all activities.

Challenge Day and presentations like it are important to me as part of an ongoing commitment to promote zero tolerance for bullying. With it should come follow up: “Be the Change” clubs and “Next Step” workshops.

This commitment must involve the entire school community. The majority of students -- neither bullies nor victims -- must withhold from bullies the passive compliance that allows bullying to take place.

Remember too, schools provide the atmosphere where bullying can flourish or be suppressed. Teachers and, really, anyone who comes in contact with students, this is part of the job that you signed up to do.

Schools must have strong policies in place and consistently enforce those policies. Adults must examine their own practices and attitudes that allow bullying to take place.

For more information about Challenge Day, visit www.challengeday.org/.

Published Jan. 22, 2013 in the Lake County Record-Bee.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jonathan Donihue responds to question of bully registry

What do you think of Lake County Record-Bee letter writer Frank Carini's suggestions about punishment and deterrence of bullying? Should there be a "bully registry" that becomes part of a child's permanent record? I asked the question across social media and here is guest blogger Jonathan Donihue's response.

I recently saw the movie "Les Miserables." The movie and the play are both based on a book of the same name by Victor Hugo. Hugo was a Christian, a philosopher, and a passivist.

The main story line is of a man living in France at the time of the revolution. The government had become abusive and enforcement of the law had become extremely severe. If a person committed any crime, even petty theft, it followed them for life.

For "the protection of society" all law breakers were required to register themselves with the magistrate of any town they went to. If they stepped out of line at all, the were taken back to prison. And finding a job, especially in a recession, was virtually impossible for a registered criminal.

So their choices were three. They could break the law to live, they could go back to prison to be fed, or they could reform and die trying to please a society that hates them.

While I agree that bullying and violence are wrong, I think we cross a dangerous line when we start labeling people for life. I think the author should ask himself if his desire to punish both parent and child is motivated by a sincere desire to make a positive change in the world, or if instead its motivated by fear, anger, and a deep desire to lash out, to hurt, to take revenge on the perpetrator.

Our current system of dealing with crime isn't really any different than all the other systems of the past. It's a system of retribution: the inflicting of injury or punishment in return for harmful behavior. This could also be used as the definition of revenge.

I think we all need to ask ourselves if continuing the cycle of anger and violence, as we have always done in our legal systems, is really working. Is crime somehow less prevalent because of our system of retribution. If not, then why don't we start using our intelligence and our compassion to start making a permanent change in this world.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kevin N. Hume departing Record-Bee

Our newsroom held a celebration today for departing reporter Kevin N. Hume. Best of luck to you, Kevin; I enjoyed working and bowling with you for the Lake County Record-Bee.

League bowling: Walsh bowls 65 above average


League bowling on Tuesday pitted the "Killer Bees" against S&K Automotive.

The teams were closely matched with only 29 points separating their respective handicaps: 255 for S&K Automotive and 284 for the "Killer Bees."

Shawn Garrison, Nathan DeHart, Jeremy Walsh and I bowled for the Record-Bee. Walsh had a phenomenal showing: 212 during his first game (65 pins above his average) and 214 during his third.

I scored 86 during my first game, 73 during my second and broke 100 for the third time during my league bowling career: 117 during my third game. My average was 78.

The teams were tied: S&K won two games and "Killer Bees" won one game and pin count.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Study: Children with autism experience high rates of bullying

A study published this month in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics finds that children with autism experience high rates of bullying.

As summarized by Michelle Diament for Disability Scoop:
“In what’s believed to be the largest look ever at autism and bullying, researchers found that 38 percent of children with the developmental disorder were bullied over a one-month period, in many cases repeatedly. What’s more, of those who were victims, 69 percent experienced emotional trauma and 8 percent were physically harmed as a result.”
According to the study’s senior author, Paul Law, not only are children with autism bullied more, but these children also experience significant short-term and long-term effects of being bullied.

Among the findings, as summarized on Disability Scoop:
“Children diagnosed with autism and psychiatric conditions like depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were more likely to be victims of bullying, the study found. Meanwhile, kids with autism and conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder were more often bullies.”
According to Diamant, “The findings add to a growing body of evidence supporting concerns in the autism community that those on the spectrum are disproportionately affected by bullying.”

The body of evidence certainly bore out in my own K-12 experiences at Calistoga Elementary School and Calistoga Junior/Senior High School: I was physically and verbally abused and socially ostracized by the other children in school.

Effects of bullying made it difficult to trust people and recognize potential friendships. Even today, it is difficult to understand people laughing with me instead of at me.

When someone seems upset in my presence, I assume I am the cause.

There are also situations I refuse to place myself in. I object to certain civic groups publicly fining members for transgressions that seem capricious and invented. In spite of the recognized good these organizations do, I have no intention of joining one.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Daniel J. Vance and I discuss media portrayals of people with disabilities

Drawing: Daniel J. Vance
Daniel J. Vance
In his self-syndicated column this week, Disabilities author Daniel J. Vance profiles me for a second time as an editor on the autism spectrum.

The focus of our discussion: media portrayals of people with disabilities as occured in coverage of the Newtown, Conn. shootings.

As a woman on the autism spectrum as well as a professional editor, one area of particular concern to me is media portrayals of people with disabilities as they relate to efforts to diversify newsrooms.

I believe the Newtown, Conn. shootings and the murder of George Hodgins would have been covered differently in newsrooms with a reporter or editor on the spectrum.

Consider also the blanket condemnation of people with autism by Joe Scarborough of MSNBC when referring to the Aurora, Colo. theater shooting. These incidents underscore a need for diversity initiatives in journalism to include disability communities.

During our conversation, one area that Vance focused upon was the phrase, “suffered from,” to describe the shooter possessing a disability. For myself, I consider the effect of language used to describe people with disabilities. I use professional standards when editing to promote respectful portrayals.

Our conversation was an interesting one and I think readers will find Vance’s account of it enlightening. Read it at http://www.danieljvance.com/disabledweek564a.html.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Joy Luck Club is Lake County’s Big Read

NEA Big Read: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Lake County Big Read has announced this year’s selection, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. A fundraising event takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Lower Lake Historic Schoolhouse Museum, located at 16435 Morgan Valley Road.

Lake County participated for the first time in 2011 in the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)’s Big Read, with a variety of activities.

“Featured writer Edgar Allan Poe, 150 years post mortem, touched the lives of many teens with his descriptive, poetic language and obsessive fear of entrapment and oppression,” Big Read project director Robin Fogel-Shrive wrote in a column in the Lake County Record-Bee. “It was wonderful to see these kids value Poe’s literary merit and relate to personal struggles as emerging, but not quite, adults.”

“Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club is itself a joyful study in luck,” according to the NEA. “An intricately patterned novel whose author thought she was writing a short-story collection, it is also a mother-daughter saga by a writer whose own mother wanted her to be anything but a writer.”

At the time of its publication in 1989, Tan was an an unknown first-time writer. According to the NEA, “The Joy Luck Club became a reviewers’ darling and then an international best seller. The novel tells the story of new waves of immigrants who are changing and enriching America.”

I appreciate the shared experience of reading a book in common; my most recent “common read” was Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers, the 2013 selection of Cuesta College where I take distance-ed classes.

According to Fogel-Shrive, the date of the Feb. 10 fundraiser was scheduled for Chinese New Year to tie in with the novel selection. A movie based on the novel will be screened during the event. Chinese New Year refreshments, such as jasmine tea and almond cookies, will be served.

The suggested donation for tickets is $10. Tickets can be purchased at Watershed Books, 305 N. Main St. in Lakeport; Mountain High Coffee and Books, 18983 Hartmann Road in Hidden Valley Lake and 16295 Highway 175 in Cobb; and at the museum.

People who cannot attend the event and who would like to contribute can purchase tickets that will be donated to a Lake County teacher or librarian.

Fogel-Shrive said the Big Read program month has been set for October. The program month will include  reading discussions and cultural activities. For more information, email bigreadlakecounty@gmail.com.

The NEA website offers a variety of resources to enrich reading of The Joy Luck Club: the preface, reader’s guide, teacher’s guide, audio guide and films at www.neabigread.org/books/joyluckclub/.

Published Jan. 16, 2012 in the Lake County Record-Bee

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Reference librarian at work editing in newsroom

My most common edit today at the Lake County Record-Bee: researching addresses and phone numbers that were left out of press releases. It amazes me how often people omit basic information about an upcoming event. At the intersection once again between journalism and library service: The reference librarian’s search for information is an integral part of my editing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

League bowling: Killer Bees vs. Marina Grill


Lake County Chamber of Commerce Bowling League resumed Tuesday at Lakeside Family Fun and Event Center in Lakeport, Calif. The Lake County Record-Bee “Killer Bees” won three games but lost pin count to Marina Grill.

As of Dec. 18 results, our opponent held first-place season high scores for scratch game, scratch series, handicap game and handicap series. The deciding influence in last night's contest was our teams' respective handicap: 190 for Marina Grill and 309 for the “Killer Bees.”

Jeremy Walsh, Nathan DeHart, Jonathan Donihue and I played for the “Killer Bees.” My totals were 85, 62 and 73. My average remains at 79 with a 117 handicap. I remain with a season high score of third place for women’s handicap game.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Electrical fire at Lake County Record-Bee

Lakeport Fire Protection District fire engine outside Lake County Record-Bee
Lakeport Fire Protection District fire engine outside Lake County Record-Bee
Photo credit: Mandy Feder/Lake County Record-Bee on Facebook
Lake County Record-Bee staff were evacuated from the newspaper plant this afternoon, because of a small electrical fire. No injuries were reported and we are back at work producing tomorrow's editions of the Clear Lake Observer American and the Lake County Record-Bee.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Library of Congress has archived 170 billion tweets

Way to go! The Library of Congress has archived 170 billion tweets. According to Seth Fiegerman on Mashable, “The volume of tweets collected into the archive on a daily basis has grown exponentially from 140 million in early 2011 to 500 million as of October, 2012.”

Pelosi’s image: more than 'year book photo’

The Atlantic Wire on Twitter: Nancy Pelosi's office photoshopped more women into Congressional women's photo.Split-view of original and altered photos.

In the American Library Association group on LinkedIn, a commentor is chastising me for being part of a perceived “trend” to discredit members of U.S. Congress who support U.S. President Barack Obama. I posted a link to a Storify curated by Deborah Petersen because I thought it relevant to library workers’ efforts to curate historic records.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

‘Microagressions’ don’t belong in fandom


In July 2011, I weighed in on a debate whether Miss USA Alyssa Campanela was too pretty to be a genuine geek.

It bothered me that self-professed geeks would exclude someone from their ranks. I believe a person should be able to declare herself a geek and the declaration should be accepted.

In an essay published Dec. 21 on TheMarySue.com, Dr. Andrea Letamendi discusses “microagressions” directed against women in fandom.

The term “microagressions” was applied in 2007 by psychologist Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D. to encompass “subtle and seemingly harmless expressions that communicate ‘hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults’ toward people who aren’t members of the ingroup.”

Microagressions reinforce stereotypes about who belongs and who does not.

Letamendi raises an interesting question: What do we find so threatening about “imposters”? A false notion of limited resources, misinterpreted sense of ownership or resentment of changing culture? Her essay is a worthwhile read for its thoughtful perspective.

Letamendi’s essay supports my belief that there is too much exclusion in the world; real geeks shouldn’t practice it. Fandom should be an inclusive haven; it should not be an exclusive club.

New year promoting church lending library

I begin a new year promoting a Book of the Month for the Unitarian Universalist Community of Lake County (UUCLC) Lending Library with Tending the Soul’s Garden by Denise Rushing.

It isn’t as easy to maintain hands-on involvement given my family’s greater geographic distance from the church community. But I’ve cherished the opportunity to apply what I learned from library school coursework toward a hands-on practice.

My volunteer involvement  with the UUCLC Lending Library has given me direct experience in collection development, marketing and even policy-making. It has been an enriching opportunity.

Imagination Library arrives in Lake County

I realized an ambition for my community on Friday, with the announcement that a partnership between the Lake County Office of Education, the Lake County Literacy Task Force and Sutter Lakeside Hospital had brought Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Lake County.

Logo: Dolly Parton's Information LibraryAccording to the joint press release, the first 100 babies born at the Sutter Lakeside Family Birth Center will receive a scholarship for a one-year enrollment in Imagination Library.

I learned about Imagination Library last year, reading an article in the Ukiah Daily Journal: that since April 2009, First Five Mendocino had distributed more than 50,000 books free of charge to children ages 0 to 5 through its role as fiscal champion for Imagination Library.

Parton launched Imagination Library in 1996, to benefit children in her home county in East Tennessee.

According to www.imaginationlibrary.com/, Parton’s vision was “to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.”

According to the website, Imagination Library became so popular that in 2000, Parton announced that she would make the program available for replication to any community that was willing to partner with her to support it locally.

“Since the initial program launch in the United States, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to nearly 40,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, into Canada and across the proverbial pond into the United Kingdom.”

Reading the article about Imagination Library, I thought it would be wonderful to duplicate in Lake County: for Lake County to take its place among more than 1,600 communities that provide books to more than 70,000 children each month.

I wanted Lake County children to grow up in homes where books were familiar and accessible. I believed that was the reason why I avidly read today.

As it turned out, my view was shared by people who could actually make it reality. It was with gratitude on Friday that I received a press release announcing the program's arrival.

Now that it is here, I would like to see this program flourish and continue -- beyond those 100 babies, beyond enrollment for one year. I would like Lake County children to continue receiving books each month until they are 5. 

Lake County residents can support Imagination Library by sending a donation of $25, Attention: Imagination Library, to the Lake County Office of Education care of the Literacy Task Force, 1152 S. Main St., Lakeport CA 95453.

For more information, contact Stephanie Wayment at 707-262-4163 or swayment@lakecoe.org. For more information about Information Library, visit www.imaginationlibrary.com/.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Congressional women's photo altered with Photoshop

The Atlantic Wire on Twitter: Nancy Pelosi's office photoshopped more women into Congressional women's photo.Split-view of original and altered photos.

As both a library student and journalist, this is a matter of integrity and historic credibility. Curated in Storify by Deborah Petersen of the San Jose Mercury News: Four of the House Democratic women depicted in a photograph were added later. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is defending the photo alteration.

Enrolled in two courses for Cuesta College spring semester

Ordered my textbook this morning for HEED 203, "Women's Health Issues, one of two classes I am taking this spring for Cuesta College Library/Information Technology Program. The second class I'm enrolled in is LIBT 115, Technology in the Workplace.

If my calculations are correct, once I finish classes this spring, I will have only an internship to complete. Once that is done, I will have earned certification and an associate's degree. Perhaps in two years or sooner, I will be able to enroll to earn an MLIS from an American Library Association-accredited university.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Commander Hadfield tweets from space

This delights me:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Journalism Accelerator: Support for minority entrepreneurs for greater diversity in media

Journalism Accelerator logo: "JA" white on green background
Thank you, Journalism Accelerator, for highlighting my comment about media portrayals of the disability community on a recent JA blog post.

On Dec. 14, JA writer Emily Harris posted an interview with Doug Mitchell, co-director of the Unity New U Entrepreneur Fellowship program. The orgaization helps secure funding for minority journalists to want to start their own company. In so doing, it contributes to greater diversity in the media.

I advocated inclusion of the disability community among efforts to promote greater representation among minority journalists. JA posted a link to my comment on Twitter.

Lake County Record-Bee's Year in Review

My colleagues at the Lake County Record-Bee did a really nice job, a real team effort, compiling stories for 2012 Year in Review. Managing editor Mandy Feder deserves special recognition for the attractive and readable layouts in Saturday's print edition, as does staff reporter Jeremy Walsh for shepherding our contributions into a coherent whole.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz

Book cover: Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz
Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz (Razorbill, 2012) is the newest addition to my list of recommended books for people on the autism spectrum.

The book would also be a worthy addition to the young adult collection at a library.

The title character, Colin Fischer, uses the science of detection to decipher social situations: he examines the “crime scene” and analyzes clues to logically determine what is happening.

The school bully is accused of bringing a gun to school after it goes off on the school cafeteria. Fischer believes him to be innocent and decides to solve the mystery.

I could relate to Fischer’s viewpoint; like him, I observe human behavior as might what Lev Grossman describes as an “alien anthropologist” in his introduction to the book.

Colin Fischer is a worthy successor to fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. The skills of detection with which he responds to daily life serve him well in approaching this mystery.

Fischer’s observations in his notebook and authors’ footnotes to the text add an informative perspective on the traits of Asperger’s syndrome.

Colin Fischer brings a fresh, unique viewpoint to situations faced by young adults. I echo the directive of Steve Hockensmith, author of Holmes on the Range: “Get back to those keyboards, guys. I want to find out what happens to Colin next!”

Disclosure of material connection: My taxes support my public library’s acquisition of this and other resources. I consider the access I enjoy to be a “priceless” return on my investment.