Peace and Quiet

I forget sometimes how much I enjoy a little peace and quiet. Having the house to myself and being able to completely switch off. I don’t have to be anyone other than myself. I don’t have to be mommmy, I don’t have to be a wife and I’m treating myself with a day off so I’m literally just doing nothing and being myself.

E has taken Tae into the city for an Easter Egg Hunt. She was very excited. There’s also an Easter Bonnet competition that she has an entry for. I’ve been feeling like I’m coming down with a cold so have chosen to stay at home. I’ll miss taking part in the festivities but at the same time will be thoroughly enjoying some alone time.

I’m curled up on the couch, a steaming mug of cinnamon-y coffee and a plate of grilled cheese for breakfast. I have a book next to me, the newspaper and Kenny Chesney is singing to me. I have a solitaire game loaded up on my computer. I’m wearing my warm onesie and my fluffy slippers.

Peace. Quiet. Alone Time.
Heaven.

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Must be doin’ somethin’ right

I’ve always been very fortunate to be confident in myself, in my identity, in knowing who I am, to be able to know what it is that I love. And to not be ashamed or embarassed by it.

I love to learn. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a class, if I sit in on a lecture, if I read a book or watch a youtube video, or even just watch a quiz show on TV… learn something new every day goes the saying and that’s something I fully believe in.

I’m also lucky enough to work in the education field, to work with bright, inquisitive minds that also want to learn. I’m blessed to be able to help guide these young people, to help them find their way and their passion.

I’m one of those frustratingly annoying people (This is what E tells me) who gets up early and jumps out of bed, excited to go to work. I probably put in more hours than the average person, but it’s so easy to do because the work day just zooms right by. I happily lose track of the world and time, losing myself in the task at hand.

Work is not work as many people refer to it, but something that is fun and interesting and exciting. It’s not just a job to me but a passion.

Long Time Dead

A long lost blogger reappears
Apparently I haven’t blogged here since April 2011. That’s almost 5 years. FIVE YEARS! Where has the time gone?
I’m not entirely sure what happened, other than life.

So much has changed and yet at the same time everything is exactly the same.

Family
Tae is now an exhuberant eight-year-old who loves to help people, is obsessed with pirates and flowers and unicorns. She loves to dance and has taken after me with a love for country music. We’re starting country music dancing lessons next month.
She is still the light of my life.

I’m now married to a wonderful man who shall be referred to here as E – he has asked that I not talk about him on my blog and I shall respect that. We’ve been married since September 2015.

Life
We still live in Acton, MA. We’ve moved from our apartment to a house with a garden and I’ve discovered a love for gardening. I still work in education and am passionate about equality. I’m still involved in mentoring. I’m still in love with learning. I don’t actually think it’s possible for any of these to change.

This site
I thought about deleting all the old blog posts and just starting from scratch but then I don’t want to lose some of those memories I’ve posted. So I’m leaving them there.
I have a new layout and a new about me page.
I’ve got rid of the blogthings page. I still love taking those silly random quizzes but don’t think they need to have their own page.
I need to go through those fanlistings, update links, delete anything that’s invalid.
I need to actually post those 101 Things. I’ve signed up at Day Zero Project
I’m thinking of adding pages for book reviews and recipes.

And so…
I think that’s enough for my first update back. I’m excited to get this site back up and running, start blogging on a semi-regular basis and actually see what happens from here on in!

Hello, pretty Korean ladies, can I talk to you?

The gym we belong to is truly a “community” gym. It is family-oriented and caters to the many different cultures represented in our diverse city. At any given time you can hear multiple languages being spoken, and I especially love how the old Chinese men sit in the lobby reading their newspapers and chit-chatting.

Swimming lessons, however, are dominated by Koreans. More precisely, Korean moms and their children. Their kids somehow manage to look immaculate even while in the water. The little girls wear frilly swim caps and goggles that match their swim suits, and the boys’ brush cuts glisten with little drops of water whenever they surface. Two minutes before classes end, a line of Korean moms stand at the edge of the pool with towels-in-hand ready to wrap up their children so they don’t get cold. They are then whisked off to the showers where the mothers scrub them from head-to-toe. Even if by Western standards, those kids could scrub themselves.

The moms, sporting pastel-colored cashmere cardigans and cropped chinos, congregate together, chatting in Korean. They fawn over each other’s babies and answer newcomers’ questions about what to do in our city. They look so put-together in their jaunty-yet-sporty outfits while I sit on my bench with a book and Tae’s towel in my lap.

But, I want to talk with them! I want to say, I know I may not look it, but I’m Korean, too! I want to know which Korean market they go to. I want to know if I can get the frilly swim caps here or if they brought them with them from Korea. I want to ask if I can fawn all over the sweet little baby in the stripey sweater that sits contentedly in her stroller looking at me for the entire swim lesson.

They are so…elusive. They remind me of jellyfish. They are so elegant. So pretty. So lithe. I am so…the opposite. I fear that if I approach them wearing my normal uniform of jeans, a fleece jacket, and Crocs (it’s a pool), that I will cause them to flutter away.

So I sit there watching and admiring this group of women who, despite all the reasons why they have left Korea to be here, have found each other. Admiring that they are finding their way here despite being so far from home and, perhaps, not speaking English so well.

I imagine that if they were in Korea, they would be doing the exact same thing, spending the afternoon at the pool watching their kids swim, chatting with friends, swapping packets of candy and kim and other treats. It would be exactly the same. Except they are here.

Maybe next week I’ll “dive in” and ask them about the swim caps.

Birth Order and IQ

I recently re-read an old NY Times article which claimed that eldest children have higher IQs.

The study found an average of a 3 point difference in IQ, when other factors relating to IQ were factored out (stuff like the parents’ educational attainment, family size, etc.). The study was done in Norway, based on IQs of men born between 1967 and 1976, measured when they were 18 or 19 years old. They even compared first borns with children who were second born but became the eldest after a death in the family. These “eldests” still had higher IQs.

I’m not Norwegian. I wasn’t born between 1967 and 1976. I’m not male.

I will admit, I’m an eldest. I have one little sister, and I’m pretty sure she has a higher IQ than me (if SAT scores are any predictor). Yes, I had the benefit of having my mother’s sole undivided attention for the first 3 years of my life. Yes, I remember teaching my little sister multiplication right after I learned it in third grade. (So ironic that she’s a mathematician.) Did that make me smarter? Maybe, maybe not. But guess what? I’m happy with my life, high IQ or not. Doesn’t that count for anything any more?

I’m pretty sure that when I have more children, yes, they will get treated differently than my first born. I can imagine being slightly less paranoid with my subsequent children. But, I don’t think I’ll give them any less attention or stimulation or love. Yes, my older children will probably get to help out with the younger ones. But will that give them higher IQ scores? Does it matter? Maybe I don’t want to raise cautious children (typically, eldest children). Maybe I want to raise risk-takers (typically, younger children).

How do you think this plays out in your family?