Got any fun plans this week? We’ve been on a massive campaign to upgrade our overall sleeping situation, and our new mattress arrives tomorrow! It will hopefully prove life changing. Just a few more items to check off the list before we’re at sleep-baller status. ; ) Hope you have a great rest of your day, and here’s what I found interesting on the internet this week…
We’re headed out on our first of two holiday road trips later this week, and I’m super excited to bundle up in the car and head out. (Hope Chet is down to listen to Christmas music and true crime podcasts the whole way!) We’re seeing family, and I’m looking forward to eating some favorite foods and stopping by for a stroll through a holiday lights display. Also, I hope you’ll check out this year’s holiday gift guides; I always love putting them together for you guys. Hope you have a great rest of your week, and here are some links for your Wednesday enjoyment…
If someone surprised me with one of these (filled with childhood photos), I might burst into tears.
The Confederacy was built on slavery. How can so many Southern whites still believe otherwise?
What have you been up to, my loves? Over the weekend, Chet and I drove around some nearby areas we’d yet to explore and enjoyed lunch on the Tennessee River. The weather was so beautiful and it was so nice to get out and it explore. There are so many little hidden gems to see and do! Now I’ve got work projects on the brain until next weekend. *le sigh* But hopefully squeezing in a bit of yard work, too! Hope y’all are having a wonderful week, and here are a few things I’ve rounded up for ya…
Happy Valentine’s Day!!! I hope you all are having a love-filled day! How are you celebrating the holiday? Of course today is the middle of the week so must of us are spending the day working. But do you have anything special planned? Chet and I are having a nice dinner at home and will exchange a few surprises. (Eeee!) But for now, here are some links you may want to peruse…
How much an out gay Olympian could mean to a kid now—or to a 34-year-old who’s been waiting for it his whole life.
What are you up to this week? I had an amazing long weekend complete with sunshine, shopping trips, and even got to see my brother who was up from Savannah for a wedding. (The highlight was definitely this sandwich, though!) I’m excited for next weekend and what adventures it may hold! Oh, and if you’re in the area, drop by Good Foods Co-op this Friday…it’s our Kick Off Summer Event and it’s sure to be a spectacular time (as always!). Hope you have a good week, and now here are the links…
This month in the Finding delight. virtual book club we’re traveling back to the world of cliques and cafeterias with the help of Alexandra Robbins’ journalistic prowess in The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School. This week, I’ve found some extended watching–in the way of interviews, movies and other internet gems–to help us nail down the answer to our over-arching questions: Why do things get better once you’ve taken off that high school cap and gown? How did our own differences suddenly elevate our social experience when before they felt so demoralizing? Check out the videos and review the questions raised throughout this post…remember, we’re traveling back to high school here so there may or may not be a test. ; )
More with Alexandra Robbins
An interview with the author herself in which she discusses why cliques are so prevalent, how schools help instead of hinder the teenage social hierarchy and what parents can do to dissuade their kids from feeling like social outcasts…
What would you tell a high schooler today if they confessed they feel flawed for not fitting into the social in-crowd?
Robbins delivers a quick PSA on why “You’ve got to be proud to be an outsider.” She rattles off a laundry list of now famous individuals who identified with the outsider label as children or young adults. Now that I’m far enough into “Geeks” to feel like I really know the youth Robbins follows for a year, I have begun to recognize the qualities in their teenage selves that really COULD set them apart as adults. In this video, Robbins talks about Taylor Swift being ostracized in middle school for her intense love of country music. Similarly, the outsiders have qualities which will no doubt put them ahead of the pack in terms of employment, relationships and all sorts of social standing metrics.
“Being different makes you awesome and some day people are gonna appreciate you for who you really are.”
What qualities do you exhibit which exemplify Robbins’ “quirk theory”? Can you think of more examples of individuals who went from outsider to success story?
What do these films get right about the high school experience? What do they get wrong? What’s your favorite movie about high school? Is there a movie that shaped your own teenage experience simply because it was about teens and you watched it WHILE you were a teen? #meta
Remembering the Past/Help the Future
In the end, this book strikes a cord with so many because we’ve all been there. While it may be easier to come out the other side and benefit from “quirk theory,” I’d like to challenge you to peek back through that tunnel at the person you were. Have an old VHS tape of a choir competition? Watch it. Did you keep a journal full of poetry and essays? Read it. Look through old photo albums, class assignments, defunct for a decade Livejournals. This little trip down Nostalgia Boulevard could hold valuable information for how you interact with struggling teenagers in the future. It’s easy to put the past behind us and just say “Yeah, high school sucks but it gets better.” But a more concrete answer can be a lot more enlightening. After my own excavation of high school artifacts I’ve found this example: Yes, it was crazy weird that I felt the need to deliver a rather dramatic monologue for a talent show Fall semester of my freshman year of high school. Considering all the popular kids treated speaking in public like a joke and were more focused on sports than spotlights, this was in-crowd suicide. Yet, fast forward four years and speaking in public would get me into college and earn me all kinds of resume boosting awards. Fast forward four more and things like job interviews and work-place negotiations feel like no big deal. With the clarity of over a decade’s removal from that example I can see the difference between me and the in-crowd, in that instance, was bravery.
And now that we’ve isolated some of the things which made us unique in high school and thought of concrete examples for “quirk theory” in our own lives, the final extended watching I would like you to do is….real life, current high schoolers. Go support some kids. As I’ve said before, the school system is doing everything it can to support exclusion by putting certain kids, groups and extracurriculars on a pedestal. Let’s strive to counteract this trend by building up the kids who are different in similar ways to our high school selves. Judge a speech tournament. Go to a play. Buy a piece of art. Donate to a gaming club. Speak at schools about your job. Coach something. Volunteer. Talk to kids about their interests. Cheer for the marching band. Got more ideas? Leave ’em below! I think we can all commit to doing one of these things this month. : ) Let’s do it!
If you could write a letter to your high school self what would it say? If you could sit down with one group of kids and READ them your letter to yourself who would they be?
Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…and an athlete…and a basket case…a princess…and a criminal…Does that answer your question?
As we continue on our literary journey, hiking alongside Cheryl Strayed in Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, I’d like to bring you some extra material and hopefully extend your pursuit of the female road narrative beyond the confines of Strayed’s pages. Admittedly, I can fall down the rabbit hole on a lot of subjects but I think doing so in an attempt to provide a more holistic reading experience is a worthy plummet. Along the way I’ve raised some points for you to ponder and meditate on. Let’s jump right in!
More with Cheryl Strayed
Besides some online written reviews, the first press I heard about “Wild” and Strayed’s journey was on one of my favorite radio shows, Q with Jian Ghomeshi. Here, Jian asks some poignant and thoughtful questions…
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Would you hike the Pacific Crest Trail? What do you think Cheryl means when she says she “writes in the company of fear and I’m used to it”?
Cheryl delivers a lovely TEDTalk on Radical Sincerity and explains, “our deepest treasures are buried in the crappy detritus of our life.” This idea was glaringly apparent to me with each passing chapter of her story and reiterated here. What I found so compelling throughout “Wild,” and perhaps you’re picking up on this through the pages as well, was how her physical pain throughout the hike served as a larger metaphor for her emotional pain, so much so, that it became unclear where one ended and the other began. And this is true in her speech here as well. It’s as if she could be talking about hiking 1100 miles or losing her mother at 22 or both…and for some reason I find that so beautiful.
“It was the most heroic thing I had ever done and that suffering was the greatest suffered…Carrying this weight I couldn’t bear; I bore it. Couldn’t live in a world without my mother; I was living in one.”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What is the most heroic thing you have ever done? Was it physical or emotional?
Setting off into the great unknown as a woman doesn’t have to be scary, it can be empowering. (Plus, Oprah insists she just got a cellphone. *side eye*)
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What is the longest stretch of time you’ve spent alone?
Cinematic Renderings of the Female Journey
When reflecting on on-screen odysseys of the feminine nature there are a few forms that come to mind:
Traveling home (NOW)…or with your peers for protection (THEN)…
To escape…when you’re “in trouble”…
When the trail eventually leads to a man…
I’ve watched these movies (multiple times each) and I’m drawn to these journeys and stories, too. Yet, I recognize that these can’t be the only paths. Surely there are other, unpaved roads for we women to pave…and movies we can make about the process. : )
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What film journeys come to mind when you think about a woman on the road? Do they fall into these categories? Why do you think these particular narratives are more palatable to us?
Perhaps you are like me and “Wild” has struck a cord on more counts than just acting as a positive example of a female road narrative. Perhaps, you too have dreams of backpacking far off lands and long distance hiking.
To watch some kick-ass, back-packin’ the world, travelin’ expert ladies; I would recommend checking out the travel show Globe Trekker here. If you’re not feelin’ paying to watch the episodes, I’ve checked out many Globe Trekker DVDs at my local libraries and I think it comes on PBS2 if you got channels and such. They travel all around the world and highlight tips for solo travel. Great for a hearty dose of wanderlust.
To watch some kids KILLIN’ IT on the Appalachian Trail check out this. These three hiked the length of the AT and made 31 awesome webisodes documenting their journey. Their silliness and spirit was moving and inspiring. I hope to tackle future hardships by taking a page from their book–always laughing, humbled by the beauty of nature, drawing on the strength of community and love. Once you watch their first update you’ll probably accidentally binge watch them all…so, sorry about that.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: If you could write a road narrative into being RIGHT NOW, what would that journey look like? Where would the road lead?