Sunday Snippets

  • Wow! It’s been a whole month since I last blogged – I don’t think I’ve ever lapsed that long. And when I came in to do these snippets I thought it had been two weeks…

    playing in a hidey hole
    playing in a hidey hole
  • We’ve been exceptionally busy. There has been some behind the scenes things (in our family, not this blog) that have resulted in a no screen time when children are awake Monday – Friday, for any of us. This means no more blogging after school while they play. But overall we are a week in and I think it is a good change.
  • Along with the rest of the world we’ve had fun with the MSQRD app. This one hasn’t been deleted from my phone yet. Lot’s were deleted in the above mentioned screen reduction. Caleb loves it.IMG_5555
  • Caleb had the flu a couple of weeks ago. Poor sad boy. But he bounced back in time for Easter.
  • We totally slacked on Easter this year. Grandmas sent some small things, so that was it. I’m giving myself grace that there are some seasons of life I will be able to go all out, and others where I just can’t.


    • Boys in hats. That is all.IMG_5583
    • Simon is still playing chess on Fridays. We need to practice more at home. He’s struggling a bit because the teacher “asks him too many questions”. In order to understand that there is a strategy beyond knowing how to move the pieces Simon has to explain the consequences of each move. It’s mentally exhausting, but I think we’ve come to an agreement that there are questions for 20-30 minutes, then only playing. He earned a gold star. Last time the teacher told him he’d get a gold star, then at the end Simon asked for his star – only to find it was a symbolic star. So this week the teacher had brought a sheet of stars just for Simon. I thought that was sweet of him.IMG_5587
    • I have a full preliminary dissertation file. Meaning I have a file with everything that is coded so far and can start analysis. But I still need to code about 20 questions and have about seven hours of audio to transcribe. So far nothing is significant.
    • And just for fun Caleb singing. He only sings two songs. Jingle Bells and Let it Go.

    • And Simon, practicing for Pre-K graduation. Which I will miss for work travel. But this video is everything.


#MicroblogMondays: school age

Microblog_MondaysA long one today…

I probably won’t actually write about the insanity that is entering Kindergarten in the NYC public school system. But just know we are in the middle of it and I’m trying very hard to not get crazy, because it’s Kindergarten.

I came across this article over the weekend, and it articulates some feelings I’ve had better than I’ve been able to. Namely, that if you are able to hold your kid back, they will still likely enter Kindergarten with a bunch of kids who were not held back.

I want to take that a little further though. In conducting my dissertation research in two places, New York City and Indiana, the issue of cut-off dates for entering school has come up. Here school entry is by calendar year, meaning kids are 4.5 – 5.5 entering Kinder. And it isn’t the easiest thing to hold your kid back with the public school. In Indiana, cut off dates are much earlier – in June. So my friends son was born July 2010 and Simon July 2011 and they are both entering Kinder this year with no holding back. So there is already an 18 month difference in Kinder entry nationwide! This could get wider with “redshirting” (although realistically by only a few months).

For Kindergarten at the local level at least the whole pool is in it together. But I’m working with middle school kids, so my kids in Indiana are older than their comparison sample. Which gets me thinking about how Simon and my friends son could be college roommates. There are huge leaps in executive function that happen in late adolescence and early adulthood. And I can’t stop thinking of the potential trouble that comes from one friend turning 21 more than a year before the other. (And yes, this happens anyway in college, but I wonder/worry that the potential for trouble could be greater for reasons I can’t coherently put words to.)

But in the short term, I’m just trying to get into Kindergarten.

My fifteen minutes…

While writing this post in my head I realized that if I’ve been in NYC for 10 years, that means I’ve been working in television and film for more than that. Weird! I got my first job in television as a Schedule Director at WTIU in Bloominton, IN in February 2002. Since then I have held various roles in film and television and media production; research analyst, associate producer, production coordinator, etc… What these roles have in common is that they are all behind the scenes. I’ve never had the burning desire to be “in front of the camera” if you will.

But somehow, yesterday, I got a chance to do a professional voice record (hence quotes above as only my voice will be on screen). Part of my dissertation is an animated video teaching about the Internet. I know a guy who animates things. I read the voice over for the animatic (basically a draft of the video) and my committee strongly recommended that I do the final voice as well. And, well, you can’t argue with that.

Rob’s bosses kindly allowed us to use their studio, and the audio director agreed to do the record and edit. So my fifteen minutes of fame ended up being more fun than I thought it would be. And once I finish my dissertation, you will be able to view the video on the Internet.

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P.S. I’m going to need a website to post the video and possibly for future professional work. Any ideas for a domain name?

P.P.S. My work life sounds more glamorous than it actually is. Promise.

#MicroblogMondays: Dissertation go time.


My dissertation has been approved by my university (IRB approval for you academics). I sent my recruitment emails. I have a flight booked to collect data in my hometown in January. I sent the first email to a parent with the live survey kids will complete before their interviews.

It’s real. If all goes according to plan the PhD will be complete by June. It’s going to be an interesting few months.

What am I studying you may want to know? The working title is “Children’s Social Media Use and Perceptions of the Lifeline of Information on the Internet” or in other words, how do kids (middle school age specifically) conceptualize the virtual world that is the Internet and the digital information that is stored there. And does their social media use have any correlation to what they do or don’t understand?

#microblogmondays – Coffee date edition

Microblog_MondaysIf we were meeting for coffee I would want to tell you all about the fabulous time we had in LA last weekend. But I’d probably end up talking about how hard it is to recover from jet lag while working and being buried under mountains of laundry. But I did finally get caught up on the laundry.

If we were meeting for coffee I would want to tell you all about how excited I am about my new dissertation project. But then the conversation would probably stop there since I’m still working on the short synopsis and not really comfortable talking about the minutiae yet.

If we were meeting for coffee I should tell you about how I got to sit in the ACTUAL THINKING CHAIR from Blu.e’s and got to attend a meeting at the United Nations (a very strange life dream of mine fulfilled). But I’d probably end up telling you about Caleb’s ENT appointment that was earlier that day. And how devastating it is to watch your child not respond to sounds you can hear even though this was just confirmation to what I already knew. Caleb has a temporary hearing loss due to chronic ear infections (hearing loss is in the slight to mild range – so REALLY not that big of a deal, but I’m the mom so I’m allowed to freak out about it). This goes to likely explain why he isn’t talking yet. And he needs tubes. For a variety of reasons we are going to wait a few weeks and recheck his ears before proceeding. I’m not sure what scares me more, surgery and anesthesia or waiting with the possibility the ears don’t clear and it’s that much longer before he can hear well.

If we were meeting for coffee I’d probably cry a little. And I’d say thank you for listening.


And I’m hoping to pull myself out from under school and sick kid stress and post a TON of pictures very soon. The blog may also remain quiet for awhile longer.


This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. What’s that? A post that is not too long. Head over to Stirrup Queens to join the fun.