Saturday, April 25, 2015

Is anyone’s family truly ‘normal’?

While reading and formulating my response to Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed (Picador, April 2015), I was reminded that intentionally childless people are not alone in being criticized. In her blog posts, Kate Wasserman challenges negative views that society holds toward single parenting.

‘Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed’ (Book review)

Book cover: 'Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed' by Meghan Daum. Cover image consists of the book's title, in yellow, against a pale pink or lavender background. Over it, the book's subtitle is printed in purple: 'Sixteen Writers on the Decision NOT to Have Kids.'
Sixteen writers examine their decisions not to have children in Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed (Picador, April 2015).

Edited by Los Angeles Times columnist Meghan Daum, the book reflects Daum’s assertion that “people who opt out of parenthood ... are not a monolithic group” (2). As these writings make plain, there is no single reason why these women and men chose to remain childless.

But what unites these writers is the way in which society feels it can judge or intervene in this among the countless other decisions that can define an adult life.

Roller-derby librarians!

These librarians aren’t on the usual sort of “wheels” that I showcase, but I couldn’t resist passing along an article from the Arizona Daily Star, which proclaimed that “Librarians become new selves when not between shelves.”

Generation holds ‘fate of the earth in balance’

'The Blue Marble' photograph of Earth, taken by the Apollo 17 lunar mission.
For the first time, “a generation of people [hold] the very fate of the earth in balance.” For the Huffington Post, Marilyn Sewell, a Unitarian Universalist minister, lists 10 reasons why more people are not crying out for change. (Distributed by UU World’s The Interdependent Web.)

Cross-posted to RVUUFian Parents on Facebook

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sewing for Body Support Systems, Inc.

Had a productive day: worked my shift in Bellview Elementary School library then rode my bike to Body Support Systems, Inc., where I put in 2.5 hours of work doing industrial sewing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Neon socks with short-row-heels

Neon yellow, green and blue-striped socks on double-pointed knitting needles, in a basket with other skeins of yarn and a package of double-pointed needles.

With my sock explorations to-date, I’d used the heel-flap-and-turn technique taught by Ann Budd in her book Getting Started Knitting Socks (Interweave, 2007).

With this latest pair of socks, I decided to attempt the short-row heel technique.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Oregon Battle of the Books, early titles for 2015-2016

Two sets of books shelved between bookends, their spines facing outward. Tented signs in front of them designate the third-to-fifth grade divisions and sixth-to-eighth grade divisions, Oregon Battle of the Books. To the left, a green sign with the logo for Oregon Battle of the Books logo is propped in a wire stand.

Oregon Battle of the Books! At Bellview Elementary School​ library, students are already interested in reading next year’s selections. And fifth-graders anticipate the books they will read in Ashland Middle School’s 6-to-8 division.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

June Ingraham for National Library Workers Day

During my time growing up and entering young adulthood, one steady constant in my life was the Calistoga public library. June Ingraham was the Calistoga librarian, and I honor her today for National Library Workers Day.

Beth Volkman for National Library Workers Day

Logo for National Library Workers Day. Human figures shelve and read books among the letters NLWD, with the acronym spelled out below. Beneath that, additional text specifies April 14, 2015 and hashtag '#nlwd15'
Source of image: ALA Allied Professional Association
Today, in honor of National Library Workers Day, I want to give special appreciation to library workers who inspired me. Among them, Beth Volkman served as librarian at Calistoga Junior/Senior High School in Calistoga, Calif.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

‘Welcome to the library!’

Cynthia M. Parkhill's cartoon Bitstrips avatar stands with left arm resting on counter with books in it.  With her right hand, she makes an open handed gesture toward the books behind her at left. The caption reads, 'Welcome to the library!'
Cartoon image created with Bitstrips
I’m sure to have plenty of occasions to use a cartoon
that says “Welcome to the library!”

‘Rogues’ anthology of short fiction

Book cover of Rogues with the title written in gold across a background of green. Above the title, text states the book was 'Edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.' Below the title, text highlights 'Original Stories by' Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Joe Abercrombie, Connie Willis and Scott Lynch, 'And a New Game of Thrones Story by George R.R. Martin plus Many More.'
During the recent “Winter Reads” program through Jackson County Library Services, participants were able to select a free “gently used” book for each reading log turned in.

My selection was Rogues, an anthology of short fiction edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

I was already partial toward anthologies of short fiction for the benefits they offered the reader: short stories, easy to read in one sitting, but with a variety that transcended the collected works of only a single author.

Friday, April 10, 2015

‘Teen Crafternoon’: Poetry mural collages

Double-page spread of an open book in which words have been circled and the rest blocked out with red, orange and gold art media. The remaining words say, 'I was frustrated, ill-equipped, seriously, defiantly, seriously thinking about leaving, retiring, strenuously. Couldn't believe, couldn't believe, now you know I said in defense. Supporting a description that he was defeated. Somebody should have told me.'
Source of image: Ashland Teen Library on Facebook
I’m looking forward to another “Teen Crafternoon” activity, noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the teen area, Ashland public library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd. This time, participants will use magazines, books and art to create poetry mural collages. Ashland Teen Library has posted some photos to inspire our creative ideas.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

‘Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed’

Book cover: 'Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed' by Meghan Daum. Cover image consists of the book's title, in yellow, against a pale pink or lavender background. Over it, the book's subtitle is printed in purple: 'Sixteen Writers on the Decision NOT to Have Kids.'
In response to the question, “Why don’t you have children?,” author/editor Meghan Daum recommends this answer: “Parenting is probably one of the hardest things you could do. It’s an important job, so why should somebody who doesn’t really want to do that job, do it?”

That’s according to columnist Zosia Bielski for the Globe and Mail, who highlights a social contradiction: “Although we pat ourselves on the backs for tolerating all kinds of familial configurations in this country, we continue to reserve puzzlement, pity and judgment for adults who really don’t want to have children, ever.”

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Microsoft wants to hire people with autism

In sharp contrast to the personality screenings that seem designed to flag us for rejection, I really enjoy reading about companies that view autism as a source of talents and abilities.

In an essay posted April 3 to “Microsoft on the Issues,” Mary Ellen Smith, corporate vice president of worldwide operations, announced a pilot program to hire people who are on the autism spectrum.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Personality screenings and autistic job candidates

Cynthia M. Parkhill's Bitstrips comic avatar extends her hand to shake hands with another person who is shown from the partial back view. Nearby, three other people are shown on either side of her, also from  a partial back view. While her expression is one of smiling, two cartoon liquid drops of sweat depict the cartoon avatar's nervousness. The caption, centered in quotation marks, reads, 'You are unsure of what to say when you meet someone.'
Cartoon image created with Bitstrips
My primary purpose when creating Bitstrips cartoons is to illustrate blog posts and pages. When I found this image, among Bitstrips’ cartoons, it suggested a perfect illustration for my concern about personality screenings for job applicants.

National Poetry Month in Bellview library

Blue posterboard that reads "National Poetry Month," decorated with images from the cover of a book by Jack Prelutsky, the "Poem in Your Pocket" pocket-shaped logo, an image from the cover of a book by Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss surrounded by several of his characters

I returned to Bellview library after a week-long spring break as one month ended and another began. Out came my posterboard display for National Poetry Month, observed in April. A collage of cut-outs celebrate authors Jack Prelutsky, Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. The decorative sign accompanies several books of poetry for young readers.