Things that Made my Brain Explode: December 14, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 12.49.28 PMArticles and news stories are constantly pushing me to consider something new, broaden my perspective, or change the way I look at an issue. My husband likes to joke that my brain explodes with something new on a daily basis. These articles – and the brain explosions that result from them – are so beneficial for me that I wanted to create a place where I could share them, in case you might want to read them, too. Learn more about Things that Made My Brain Explode – and see past posts – here

Here’s a recent batch of Things that Made my Brain Explode:

  • A gift guide to shift habits, which lead me to these Diverse Book Subscription services via The Conscious Kid, one of my favorite online outlets for books, articles, reflection, and growth. What a great idea for any little book lover in your life. (If you’d rather grab titles from the library, just spend some time with The Conscious Kid‘s online resources – they have tons of great book lists and suggestions).
  • Governor Ralph Northam is increasing Virginia education spending by $269 million. “I’ve been clear since my first day in office that delivering on the promise of a high-quality public education for each and every child in the commonwealth is one of our highest priorities and greatest responsibilities.”
  • Creating a Diverse Classroom Library, in easy, doable steps for anyone. YES YES YES YES YES DO IT.
  • As an out-of-the-box thinker with a consistently disappointing GPA, I identified with this piece: What Straight-A Students Get Wrong. Then, a reader comment blew my mind: “Straight As may not matter as much if you are a middle to upper class white guy. But try to get ahead or taken seriously as a minority or woman or even a working class rural white guy with your awesome creativity and see if you can make it or pay the bills. This pierce is not only simplistic and filled with inaccurate stereotypes, but it reeks of privilege.” I would never have thought of that myself. What do you think?
  • Groundbreaking Study Examines the Effect of Screen Time on Kids. Doctors and medical researchers are beginning official studies to learn more about how screens impact the developing brain. There’s not much to share yet – this article is mostly fearful opinions and guesses – but I’m eager to learn more about what they discover over time.
  • Doctors are human, so it makes sense that they can make mistakes. But I was surprised at how difficult this article states it can be to have them formally fixed:

    This patient’s medical record said she’d given birth twice — in fact, she’d never been pregnant.

  • I find the psychology behind marketing and branding fascinating. This piece about color choice in the pharma industry did not disappoint. Red Pill or Blue Pill? It Could Be a Billion-Dollar Decision.

  • I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING! Homeless Girl Scout troop smashes cookie sales goal, sells 32,000 boxes. “The biggest impact that we see, and when you talk to the girls you’ll hear them say, is that they belong to something. They have a sisterhood within the other Girl Scouts. They talk to other girls who may be in their same situation who feel alone, and they feel like they have a stronger sense of community and belonging overall.”
  • When freedom of speech clashes with employers’ code of conduct. She called herself ‘white and hot’ in a racist video. It went viral. Now she’s unemployed.

  • “Women are taught from a young age that we can make ourselves worthy and healthy through regulating what we put in our mouths (versus, say, advocating for humane boundaries in our work lives) and, moreover, that extreme control should be joyful in and of itself. […] Food presented not as nourishment but as a solution.” How two celebrity women (Chrissy Tiegen and Gwyneth Paltrow) are approaching this mindset two different ways, and both making bank. Sigh. I look forward to the day when women hating themselves isn’t big business. How Chrissy Teigen Became the Anti-Gwyneth Paltrow.

  • Did you know that there’s a word for unread books piled up everywhere? Talk about seeing yourself reflected in writing 🙂
  • “The “femtech” market is estimated to be worth $50 billion by 2025, but globally, only 10 percent of investor money goes to women-led startups.” What’s the harm in using a “health” app targeted at women, but not designed by (or even truly for) them? Turns out, there’s a lot of harm. This long piece is absolutely worth the read: Period Tracking Apps are Not for Women.
  • “Vlaming said he loves and respects all his students but when a solution he tried to reach based on ‘mutual tolerance’ was rejected, he was at risk of losing his job for having views held by “most of the world for most of human history. ‘That is not tolerance,’ Vlaming said. ‘That is coercion.’ ” Teacher fired for refusing to use transgender student’s pronouns. What do you think?
  • The story of Marvel’s first queer Latina superhero!
  • A coworker sent me this piece this week, and it left me in tears: Not Every Black Girl Survives Private School. I wish that I could yell and scream and say that it’s not true; I wish that I could guarantee change. I can’t do either.  But I can tell you that I read this piece three times. That I passed it along to other readers. That, at least at the independent school where I work, these articles are being read, these conversations are happening. We are listening, watching, modeling, learning, firmly guiding.  The passion to create change is present, burning, and spreading. We want to be better. We can all be better.

3 thoughts on “Things that Made my Brain Explode: December 14, 2018

  1. What a thought provoking list. I was really disappointed at the lack of respect the teacher showed the student though at using the appropriate pronouns – it’s all about respect….,

    My heart broke with the “Not every Black Girl survives Private School”. Again highlighting the problems in not funding education sufficiently to provide public schools for everyone. It also made me really reflect on the comment a private school parent made to me that they chose to send their child to private school to socially engineer their friends…….??????? Makes me even more determined that my own tween will go to a public school….and get to choose their own friends.


    1. I was also disappointed by the teacher refusing to use the student’s appropriate pronouns. I can imagine that it would be difficult to get on board with something that felt like it was against your religious beliefs, but to me it feels like a consent issue. Your body, you choice; your pronouns, your choice.

      That must have been a difficult comment to answer! Having worked in both public and private schools, I see the many pros and cons to both (although I don’t count adult friendship engineering among either group, because I’ve seen adults do that pretty dramatically in ALL of the schools I’ve worked in and attended…). I think that everyone deserves a quality public education, but I also feel very passionately that independent schools need to continue their work towards diversity, inclusivity, and equity. I grew up attending all public schools, so I salute your choice! And I also love seeing the independent school where I work change and grow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think for me I want to see all schools receive a fair and appropriate level of funding. In Australia the funding has become skewed and isn’t targeting the students who need it the most……

        You’re right it was a consent issue – and you should be able to be addressed in the way you want to be……


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