Things That Made My Brain Explode: March 10, 2020

things that made my brain explodeArticles 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:

  • We started a podcast! In case you missed it, the brilliant Kim Wilkens and I are taking our love of computer science and literacy and making it podcast-official with Once Upon a Tech: The Literacy Adventures of Ms. Fitz and Miss-Bit. Episode one is available now, and episode two is currently in the editing process. I hope you’ll listen!
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones talks to Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi About Their Book, “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You“. This is an amazing interview of two brilliant authors, and the book comes out today! I’m planning on buying myself a copy this afternoon. I can’t wait to read it.
  • I stumbled upon the poetry of Rupi Kaur via a friend, and her writing just takes my breath away. On her Instagram page, she shares snippets of poems with simple, black and white illustrations. I find myself thinking of the poems long after I’ve scrolled past them (especially this one).
  • Vashti Harrison is coming to Charlottesville for the Festival of the Book next week!!! We’ve been studying her work in our library for months. (We even made her this!) I loved this interview with NPR last month talking about her most recent work of art: Little Legends Celebrates Big Lives of Black History.
  • But when a school allows the ugly and loud voices to be valued over its own students, the school fails its students. When the interests of the misinformed and fear-driven bully parents outweigh the life-changing and often life-saving needs of its students, their experiences, and their existence, the school has failed. This week, this school taught its LGBTQ students that their stories are not valid, right, or appropriate. They taught its students with LGBTQ family members and LGBTQ friends that the stories of their loved ones are not valid, right, or appropriate. This week, this school taught all its students that LGBTQ lives are not worth as much. Their lives and their stories are worth less. As a child, when you internalize the message that your story – your existence – is worthless, you begin to believe and understand you are worthless.When Bully Parents Cancel an Author Visit.
  • And here’s what Pernille Ripp, arguably one of the most well-respected teachers and thought leaders on student reading and engagement in the country, said about that same book: A High Five for All of Us.
  • Elizabeth Warren and the Curse of ‘Electability’. Sigh. Plus a little something to read while we wait for this t-shirt to be delivered to my door.
  • 28 More Black Picture Books that Aren’t About Boycotts, Buses, and Basketball. In case you live under a rock and were struggling to find them.
  • Any other Glennon Doyle fans out there? I love the way she gives me permission to take up space, make noise, and be imperfect – permission I didn’t even realize I needed until I read her work. Maybe I’ll buy myself a copy of this one, too: A Third Glennon Doyle Memoir? Yes, and Here’s Why.
  • Frozen Songwriters to Make a Movie Musical About a Genderqueer Prince. I LOVED this book, and every single kid I’ve ever shared it with has loved it, too. I’m crossing my fingers that this movie release inspires generous movie-theater buyout movements like I saw for The Hate U Give. Our LGBTQ+ friends and students and allies deserve it.

  • No bins in 2020. The Tutu Teacher is so awesome. (Have you read this yet? Go read this.)
  • The Diet Industrial Complex Got Me, and It Will Never Let Me Go. “It’s bizarre the way that women’s feelings about their bodies, good and bad, are tied to other women, like, if a woman has a great body, this can feel like a rebuke to everyone who has a regular body. As I watched J. Lo’s Super Bowl halftime show, I thought, this is going to turn into a thing where middle-aged women get upset because they don’t look like that, and they will express this anger in racist and sexist comments about her clothing choices and the precise shape of her body. Poor innocent J. Lo’s body — here it thought its whole purpose was just to move J. Lo’s consciousness through space.

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