Saturday, April 30, 2016

Rogue Commute Challenge

Two bicycles attached to a bike rack. Text in upper-right corner states, 'For each mile not driven: 0.98 fewer lbs of CO2s are released into our environment.' In lower-right corner, text states, 'Figures according to Washington State Department of Transportation'

In the spirit of reducing our carbon footprint, of enhancing personal wellness and honoring the interdependent web of life, I’m asking co-workers if they'd be interested in forming “Rogue Commute Challenge” teams.

Friday, April 29, 2016

LinkedIn ProFinder locates freelance candidates

Setting aside the hyperbole of the headline (with media coverage by the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and Dallas Morning News, it simply isn’t true that “nobody” noticed LinkedIn’s entry into the “freelancer-for-hire” marketplace), John Nemo offers an interesting analysis of the new LinkedIn ProFinder.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

‘Bullying is a Pain in the Brain’

Humor is combined with comprehensive advice about bullying in Bullying is a Pain in the Brain by Trevor Romain (Free Spirit Publishing, May 2016).

This book addresses what I consider essential components to address bullying: including a message that the target of bullying is not at fault for being the victim of abuse, a dispelling of the myth or outdated belief that bullying is a normal part of childhood and an emphasis on the power of bystanders to defuse the bully’s power.

Romain’s text, which was originally copyrighted in 1997, is being released this May in a revised and updated edition.

What’s unique about this book (part of the Laugh & Learn Series) is the humor with which it addresses its subject, without ever weakening the important and serious message.

Steve Mark’s lively, full-color illustrations nicely enhance Romain’s text.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. The opinion expressed is my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Oregon children’s favorite books for 2016

Winning titles were recently announced in two readers’ choice awards that I promoted in Bellview library.

From the Oregon Library Association came word that Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein was the 2016 winner, upper-elementary division, of the Oregon Reader’s Choice Award. And the Oregon Association of School Libraries announced that Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year by Bill Harley was top vote-getter for the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award.

The school community may be interested to know that these awards’ winning titles were favorites among Bellview students too.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Diagnostic ‘labels’: Don’t be so quick to discard

Book cover: 'Back to Normal, Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder' by Enrico Gnaulati. Image depicts a row of four plastic spoons, each holding a pill
From blogger Gail Forsyth-Vail writing at Beacon Broadside, I learned about an argument by Enrico Gnaulati, for removing children’s diagnostic “labels.” By briefly sharing my background, I hope to explain why this idea makes me uncomfortable.

When I grew up, I was painfully aware that I was not like other people. It was continually made evident by classmates who taunted and rejected me.

From kindergarten onward, I was a school-wide outcast.

I grew up in a culture that seemed governed by hidden rules that were never explained. It was clear to me that everyone else had somehow “gotten the manual,” but no one ever offered any explanation of how and why I was different.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sunglasses in church

I am a member of the last “invisible generation” of people on the autism spectrum, who missed out on diagnosis in childhood because of at-the-time rigid criteria.

Church is largely a positive experience among people who accept me as I am. One glaring exception concerns a Sunday when my husband Jonathan was approached after the service by a man whom neither of us had encountered at church before. I decided to write about, to share, this experience with a group I encountered on Facebook: a supportive community for people touched by autism, who also have in-common the religious affiliation of which I am part.

To foster understanding, I am sharing it here but want to make clear that I am not singling out a congregation or group. Unwanted criticism can come from any source, in any situation. This just happened to take place at church.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

‘Superman: Before Truth’

Book cover, 'Superman: Before Truth.' The character of Superman stands in defensive stance. He wears the smoldering ruins of a white button-up shirt and brown slacks over his blue-and-red Superman costume.
The implications of Internet privacy versus purposeful online “branding” have made regular appearances on my blog, especially during an assignment for a course in Internet ethics, to argue that people do not need a right to privacy to discharge their rights as citizens.

With this course assignment behind me, I read Superman Vol. 1: Before Truth by Gene Luen Yang (DC Entertainment, April 2016).

It fascinated me to observe the iconic character of Superman wrestle with online privacy versus public sharing. Especially compelling were the far greater repercussions that could result from such a decision, than the average person’s lapse into over-sharing.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Graphic novels: ALSC recommended lists

Recommended reading lists of quality graphic novels are available in Bellview library, compiled by the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) and updated for 2016.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

‘Buddy Benches’ need student leadership

Buddy Benches” are sweeping my Facebook newsfeed, as various adults express interest in these benches where a child who can’t find anyone to play with, can go and sit to be joined by friends.