My Goodness...

I just sent off the first big edits for an article for Slate, solicited by the editor from "the Liralen who inspired Jordan."

It's interesting realizing that that was more than thirty years ago, and how much I've changed since and how much I've done and gone through. And also how much the same I am as that ambitious girl who wanted to be an electrical engineer...

And how much the world has changed since, too.

It was also kind of cool, after all the writing I've done, that getting an article down to 1200 words was entirely doable, and dealing with Ms Bosch's edits makes me appreciate editors all the more.

I've been spending the last two or three weeks working on our church's Fellowship Hall remodel, doing the things I do. The whole congregation helped with the demolition and it was fast, dirty, but safe work. I've managed to avoid most of the insulation, but did drywall, thousands of drywall screws, including ceiling screws, and then doing taping, mudding, and letting someone else do the sanding and wisely staying away from the dust.

I've actually had a lot of fun doing the painting, too, the colors make the rooms entirely new.

I've also been dealing with all the things that happen when our senior pastor is on sabbatical with a really nice British pastor who came in for a month for a pastor swap. Rob Weston was great and his family was lovely. And our associate pastor is leaving us in two weeks, entirely planned and we've known for months, so it's not a surprise, but it has been... well... church people and change. We'll do fine in the long run.

I've also been caring for a 12-year-old whose sister is in the hospital with their parents, and he's been great. Jet's at band camp for the week and next week, too. And next week I'm supposed to be running the SCI-ence (I can't say it without the mad scientist cackle) at our church's Vacation Bible School program next week. The curriculum is wide open, so I'm actually going to be able to do real experiments instead of glorified craft projects. It should be fun, actually, and there are a few middle school girls I want to have fun doing it with.

So, yes, busy, as usual. John actually consciously cleared three days on the calendar for ALL of us just so that the three of us could take a few days of summer to go out and enjoy the 90-degree sunshine together. *laughs* 
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Oh cool! Now even MORE people can find out what a lovely writer you are!


And enjoy both the business and the blessed quiet.
Yay for the yaynesses! (Also glad to hear about safe stuff.) Also glad to hear that you've got some time to just go flop a little! O:D
Knowing that you were the inspiration for Jordan added another fun dimension to Real Genius for me. I'm looking forward to the article.

Yes - 30 years is a while ago. I'm as surprised at how much *hasn't* changed.
Yay about the article!

And, yes, that's true, too, that last. It's kind of sad, some of it. I have Limarick's picture right next to my desk, still. *laughs* So some of it is good, too.
I freely admit that I happily point out that Jordan was based on someone I know every opportunity that I get. :)
Nothing deep to say, just thanks for the update! Enjoy the time off!
Hi, I'm an anonymous fellow who spent over a decade working at Caltech, and I just finished your terrific Slate piece. I found it an informative read on both the iconic movie and your journey as a woman with a long successful STEM career. In the time I spent at Caltech, I saw these issues play out again and again; although it's indeed better there than it was, it's still a work in progress. Congratulations on the publication!
Re: Thanks!
Thank you so much! Yeah, I think it's a work in progress in the whole of society, as well as at Tech. There's a lot of attention on it in the last few years, so there may well be more progress as we go. Good luck! And thank you again.
Smart women rock! I know. I married one.
I just read your article on Slate and was moved to write. What you've done in your life is great and you deserve all plaudits. My wife is in technology and started her own consultancy last year. It is still a much harder row to hoe for women than men in this field. But, like you, she is a positive example for other talented women in the field. She is simply the best and brightest person I have ever met. I am so damn proud of her! PS. It doesn't hurt at all that I still find her completely adorable after twenty plus years. :)
Re: Smart women rock! I know. I married one.
Yay for you and your wife!! So glad you're supporting her in all those ways, I'm very grateful for my husband, too. Thank you so much!!
Hello from ooblick
Just read your blog post on Real Genius and remembered you from bandykin and/or tanstaafl. After all the years that have passed, please forgive my failing memory. Just thought I'd say hello. I'm not often on Live Journal, hanging out mostly on Facebook. When I skimmed the article, I remembered you, and hoped the author wasn't a usurper :-)

I'm glad your experiences in STEM weren't all sexist. I can't say that I've had the same. Also, sadly, my 23 year old daughter dropped out of STEM studies partially due to sexism. I actually think it's become worse over the years, which really makes me wonder how we older and experienced women can help.

Glad to hear you're doing well!

Mikki Barry (ooblick)
Re: Hello from ooblick
It's by me. *laughs* Sorry about the experience you and your daughter have had. it's no fun, and it's not easy.

Glad to know you're about, too!
Slate article - thank you!
Phyllis, thank you so much for writing that.

Real Genius is one of my 12-yo daughter's two favorite movies (the other is Blazing Saddles). She has and wears with pride a Surf Nicaragua t-shirt and patiently withstood the history lesson so she'd get the joke. But on one of the 23401234 re-watchings, she looked at me and asked, "Howcome no girls go to this school?"

Excellent question, I said. And then I said, "Well, there's Jordan." And she agreed, and then said, "But she's not a girly kind of girl."

Incidentally, I assigned the movie to a sci-comm class a couple of years ago -- portrayal of sci in media sort of thing -- and I got a really angry kid in my office wanting to know why students got to have so much fun and be so carefree in the 80s. And I realized I really hadn't thought -- that yeah, actually, despite all the work and melting brains, we had a blast, and we weren't freaking out every morning about debt, and there was some kind of presumption of jobs, and etc.
Re: Slate article - thank you!
You're very welcome! And your daughter nailed it. *laughs*

And, yeah, to that last. After I graduated at Tech, I just walked into the 'job fair', went to the table that had presumably come from Seattle, WA, because I knew I wanted to move there, and I asked them, "Will you pay for my Masters in Electrical Engineering?" When they said yes, I graciously said that I'd work for them. *laughs* It's really different these days.

I did have student debt then, too, but Caltech is pretty much one of the bargain private schools in the world; and it's not nearly what can happen these days. I feel for your student.

Thanks for the thoughts!!