25 September 2007

A Recommendation

I'm afraid I still don't have my camera cord, so no pictures yet, and this post also won't contain any knitting, but I do have something quite special to tell you all about.

My dad has started blogging!!

I've been pushing him to blog for a while now, and for a long time before that I was pushing him to write a book (the blog is intended to be a sort of trial before getting into larger-scale writing).

No, it's not about knitting.

But I think some of you might be interested anyway, and I personally know it's going to be fascinating and great because I've been the audience for these ideas for many years, and it's exciting stuff.

Some of you might remember some nostalgic posts I've written about my childhood, in which I mentioned that my parents, though very young and on a tight budget, were (are) absolutely brilliant parents. My dad is also a brilliant teacher, recently retired from a career in the public schools in Michigan. I tried recently to sum up, in very few words (and you know how hard it is for me to use few words), the influence my dad has had on me. This summary was for the dedication in my newly finished dissertation. I'll quote it here, but first I have to explain that it contains a Russian word that's of central importance in the dissertation: vospitanie. The word is untranslatable because it refers both to education and to moral upbringing: it is the process through which a child becomes a knowledgeable, mature, moral, civil and generally well-rounded adult. (My dissertation is a microhistory about a single Russian gentry family in the mid-nineteenth century, and focuses on gender and ideas, especially vospitanie). Here's the dedication:

This dissertation is dedicated to my parents, who set me on this road and have been unfailingly supportive throughout. In particular, I thank my mother for teaching me to be always alert to how gender affects experience and ideas. And I thank my father for engaging me in discussions of education and history nearly as soon as I could talk, and continuously ever since. I could not have asked for a better vospitanie.

That's the best explanation I can give for why you should check out my dad's new blog, which will be a way for him to record, explore, and reflect on what he's learned in his several decades as a father and teacher. Help him get going by asking him questions! Join the discussion!

Teaching Our Children Well

23 September 2007

A Good Cause (and good prizes...)

I just donated my little bit to Heifer International as part of the Spin-Out charity drive. You can do it too, even if you can't make it to the actual Spin-Out in Central Park, NYC on Saturday.

By the way, Heifer International is this really cool thing - not only did it teach me how to spell "heifer," not only is it a really good cause, but the way it's set up just tickles me. Cara from January One started a Spin-Out "registry" - and it works exactly like a gift registry. Imagine the Spin-Out event is a wedding. All the guests want to bring gifts, so they go to the store where the couple are registered. In this case, Heifer International. There you can shop for all the wonderful, useful things that people need in the world (including sheep and warm woolies!). There are items in all kinds of price ranges, and what you buy is gifted to someone who needs it desperately. Nice, isn't it?

Oh, and you should see the link to the Spin-Out page above to see the prizes on offer. Every $10 you donate gets you one entry in the raffle. There are tons of prizes and they are AMAZING - including at least two spinning wheels!!! There's also yarn, so if you don't spin and you win, I bet Cara could arrange that you get yarn instead of fiber or spinning tools.

And I should be digging up my camera cord soon, so I can go back to regular posting!

15 September 2007

Thanks, guys!

Wow!! That's certainly a record number of comments on my previous post!! Thanks so much, to all of you, for all your support - this blog definitely played no small part in helping me to finish, by getting my popka in front of the computer every day and putting me in a good mood for the day's writing. And it has been wonderful beyond words to get so many lovely messages of congratulation from so many people!!

PS - oh, and did you see the new knitty? First, I'm just so glad there's *one* knitting magazine that isn't being forwarded somewhere I'm not this year! Knitty is always right there where you want it. Isn't muir totally going to be the next It pattern? I want to make it, anyway...(Beth & Erika, don't you think the Briar Rose would be perfect??) For the record, I also love neiman and cinderella, and am impressed as hell with henry (because of the finishing details) and Q (Hubbster will probably make me make henry and I'll die of boredom but it will be worth it in the end: a prediction). And I love love *love* back to basics. Will certainly be making that one, too.

07 September 2007

First Ph.D. in the family!

I just passed my dissertation defense - with distinction! It was great - way better than I even let myself hope, I feel great, everything is great, I'm going off to drink champagne. More soon!!