What I’ve Been Reading This Week


Photo of the week.  Dressed for jumping in puddles at the park with Sprout!

Another day with a newborn, another multiple hours spent reading. Ah well, it could be worse. Thank goodness for iPhones! So far, I’ve read Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods and N.K. Jemison’s Fifth Season (so good, so many horrible things that happen to children), along with a whole host of articles.

I hate the phrase “children are small, the dishes can wait.” For whom? The dish fairy? This article’s author agrees with me, especially in the haiku “The dishes can wait / They are only young once / I hope you like ants.”

All of this talk by Bernie Sanders about the wonderfulness of Scandinavia has just made me want to visit. Although I already knew a lot of it, this article on parenting in Sweden has just further upped my enthusiasm.

The AV Club is my go-to website for pop culture reviews. Not surprisingly, their Field Guide to Parenting series, starting with an overview of trains, is fantastic. The section on the ideology of Thomas and Friends is snort-tea-through-the-nose-worthy.

I’m a giant nerd who is married to another giant nerd who is a big superhero fan. So naturally, some of that fandom has rubbed off on me. This article on times Marvel has gotten it right with their female characters is pretty great, even if they leave out Squirrel Girl and the new Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.

I’m an older millennial, right on the cusp between that much maligned generation and the Generation Xers (who were also maligned in their own time). As I’m not in my early 20s, a lot of the millennial trend articles just sound really weird to me. Which is why this series on Fusion really struck a chord, from the parody Every New York Times Millennial Trend Story to the one on millennials who are not white, upper-middle-class, gentrifiers.

Privilege, especially white privilege, is a tricky and sensitive subject to talk about. The ever-brilliant McSweeneys puts its own hilarious spin on the “invisible backpack” metaphor. The Daily Beast tackles the Mighty Whitey trope  (oh, Eat, Pray, Love, how good and yet problematic you are) and this article on Patheos posits #BlackLivesMatter as a core concern of modern Christian theology.

As the daughter of a (now retired) schoolteacher, I am a huge believer in the importance of public education. So I’m really dismayed about the move towards charter schools, especially when they destroy the foundations of public schools like in Pennsylvania and in New Orleans post-hurricane Katrina.

The other big concern of mine in terms of schools is the focus on testing. Project-based learning seems to offer a lot of potential and this article on Edutopia has a great example of how the author worked with his son on a project to make a hospital for his dolls.

The mainstream environmental movement has been expanding in the past few years to really incorporate more social justice concerns, including racial discrimination. It can even include criminal justice, as this article from Grist about horrific conditions in New York’s Rikers Island prison shows.

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