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Friday, March 31, 2006

frilly skirts... and other pleasures of spring

Spring Is Here
Originally uploaded by paololluch.

hmm... where to begin... it's been a rough week. some days i'm just not emotionally prepared for the onslaught of human need that confronts me as a therapist. yesterday was one of those days. i second-guessed my ability to help others by offering a empathic ear. i lost my train of thought as each session wore on. i wondered whether i have the constitution for the breadth and depth of emotion that a therapist must endure on a daily basis.

though i'm still wondering and second-guessing, i feel a little bit better about it because i have some amazing friends. i have friends who will listen to me complain about my day and not offer advice or make suggestions about what i should do or change the topic to something that they're more interested in discussing. they'll listen with interest, and they'll support me and tell me that i am making a difference. it's hard to get too down on yourself when you have people who care about you... so, today, in addition to the beaming 70 degree weather, i am thankful for my friends.

Monday, March 27, 2006

the three rs: readin', ritin', & 'rithmatic

i was just reading the nytimes article about schools cutting back on other subjects in order to focus on improving their reading and math scores on "no child left behind" tests. though i'm pretty staunchly opposed to the bill which encourages teachers to teach for tests rather than teach for learning, there is something of this bill that strikes a chord with me. i agree that children should not be graduating third grade without knowing how to read. there is no reason why i should be seeing teenagers that still have a tough time with cat in the hat. yet, i do. i even agree that in standard classrooms, reading and basic math should be prerequisites to history and science since it's tough to read a history book when you haven't mastered silent "e"s and blends. (then again, i can find no excuse for not teaching art). i guess what i don't agree with is the penalizing mentality. penalizing schools for poor test scores; penalizing students for being in poor schools. as any behaviorist will tell you, people learn much faster with positive reinforcement than punishment. why not encourage schools to improve by rewarding positive test scores and creative teaching techniques. schools having difficulty reaching federal minimums need more support, not less. and when teachers feel the pinch, students feel it, too.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

adolescent fears

last night as i was headed home from work on the subway, i was faced with one of my worst fears of raising children in the city (and perhaps raising children anywhere). at 66th street two punk-ish-looking teen girls got onto the train (and by "punk-ish" i mean black clothes and messy hair, still young enough for their parents to forbid multiple piercings and blue hair). it was immediately clear that one of them was blasted on something. she was propped up against the subway door languidly, and her friend was repeatedly righting her so that she wouldn't slide into the woman in the seat next to the door. i could see the concern reflected in the woman's eyes... the thought, "that's someone's daughter," go through her head as it went through mine. it was actually not as bad as it could have been because she had a friend... someone to make sure that she got home okay... that she didn't get taken advantage of or end up alone on a train in coney island.

while i love the idea of having children, i fear the day that i have an adolescent daughter. that fear is multiplied when i see all of the experiences that the city has to offer anyone old enough to figure out the subway system. at least in the burbs you can control access to transportation... kids can only go so far without a license and a car. in the city, you can go from riverdale to coney island on pocket change. maybe by the time i have teens, they'll come with tracking devices...

Friday, March 24, 2006


i'm not sure if there's much worse than your first full week back after a vacation. it seems endless... monday... have to wake up early again (why is that alarm so insistent?), slog through your wardrobe to find something presentable... tuesday, oh yeah, class... were we supposed to read something? paper? next week? really? crap! wednesday... oh, wedneday, why must you be so cruel? work, then class, then field? all in one day? ugh! but then "lost"... new episode, how you move me even if your pace is that of a sloth on tranquilizers... thursday, the beginning of the end... after wednesday, a mere 9-5 seems like a dream. and friday, you wonder of a day... i know i have to work, but it's comforted by the knowledge that a nice, fluffy weekend lies at the end of the work day. even if that weekend will be full of paper-writing, at least it will be on my terms. hooray for friday! hooray for crimson's b-day party! martini anyone? (i know it's only 10am, but don't i deserve one?)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

new york minute

this morning i found myself sitting next to a young woman on the subway. she was neatly coiffed with a trendy little hat and a significantly older man by her side. being the inquisitive person i am, i noted that the paper in her lap said "college preview." i took a double-take at the girl... my first thought was: i don't look ten years older than that girl, do i? of course not!

then i realized that it had been a good eleven years since i made my own, very brief "college preview" with my own "significantly older man." my dad had a business meeting in new york, so he brought me up with him to see columbia and vassar. i spent the first night with a girl i knew from high school. she had a painted cinder-block room in the crappy, 1960s-era freshman dorm and was friends with dorky, high-achieving types... but from the perspective of my sheltered, prep-school existance this was a cultural mecca of urban sophistication. i was so excited to be there, listening to the street sounds below and imagining myself living such a life, that i wasn't able to sleep at all. (perhaps that was why the calc 2 class my chaperone took me to the next day sounded like gibberish... or maybe it was just that it was calc 2... i couldn't tell ya.) the next night my dad shuttled me up to poughkeepsie. i stayed with two rather pleasant girls in the drama department. the rooms were charmingly rustic with dark wood beams and creaky doors. the metrosexual guys and pretty girls talked at length about train rides into the city and the boredom of campus life. i realized almost immediately that it was not the place for me despite the fact that the campus doubled as an arboretum and the drama department attracted some of the most well-reputed actors of previous generations. not only was there little chance i'd meet the man of my dreams (combine my lack of initiative with a 25/75 guy/girl ratio, and you've got "no dice"), but it was an hour and a half from new york city. who wants to be an hour and a half from new york city when you can be in new york city? anyway, i applied early to cu, and the rest is history...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

the newest metsfan!

mets hat
Originally uploaded by atb20.

well, i hoarded in on metsfan family territory today as i rushed to greet their newest member and future baseball hall of famer mere hours after he breathed his first breath of new york city air. it was amazing to see the adorable couple become an even more adorable family. may we all be so lucky...

now back to my knitting... three more babies are still on their way!

Friday, March 17, 2006

home sweet home

cloudy hillside
Originally uploaded by atb20.

i survived five days of skiing with nary an injury -- primarily due to fate smiling on me versus any particular coordination on my part. we had five days of fresh, fluffy snow to cushion our falls, and a couple of days of sunshine to warm us up. all told, i skiied well, i ate better, and i got plenty of sleep, so it was a fabulous vacation that could have only been improved by the inclusion of mil in the family hijinks. mil was grateful to be left out of the skiing, but the eating and the sleeping would have done him some good. lately, he's turned into the incredible shrinking man thanks to the high stakes of mcat-ing, orgo, and physics.

anyway, not much to say, other than it's good to be back home. i'd enjoy it more without the work, but i have yet to learn how to make my money work for me... anyone got any tips?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

it's official

if you live in south dakota, mike rounds has decided that he knows what's best for your uterus. so, mike, if your teenage daughter gets raped, i hope you are able to "help her to see the value of the gift that is a child, and nurture the mother for her own sake and for the sake of her child." i hope the fact that she has to take time off from school to give birth and give up some of her own career goals to take care of another human being, doesn't upset you too much. because, you know, we women wouldn't know what to do with our bodies if we didn't have you big, strong, smart men to make decisions for us. and, okay, it's not bloody likely that i or anyone i love would make a home in south dakota (though not impossible), so what really scares the f-ck out of me is that this is likely going to go to our new and improved supreme court. abortion opponents are already sending rounds money for legal fees, so, folks, now is the time to get active. write letters, send money to planned parenthood... do whatever you can to make sure that our country doesn't turn into one, great big south dakota. (and, yes, that is a knitted womb up there. it's more womb than mike rounds will ever have.)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

happy shower day!

Originally uploaded by atb20.

mm... cupcakes!

Saturday, March 04, 2006


it's amazing how much you can get done when you have a paper to write. i've worked out. i made a decadent breakfast for myself. i've ice skated. i've created about 5 new banners for the blog... (btw, if any of you blogger folks want a customized banner, let me know because i love photoshop. i want to have like a million of its babies... not really, but i could make banners all day if it meant i didn't have to actually work.)
so, i'm counting down the days till school is over... well, months... five months. that's it. then, i reclaim my weekends! though, as you can see by the note above, i pretty much claim my weekends already, i just feel really guilty about it.

Friday, March 03, 2006

my little girl is growing up

tall izzy
Originally uploaded by atb20.

miss izzy's 5th birthday went by without much ado. february 28th marks exactly five years from the day she hatched from her little, fragile shell. a wormy little thing -- all beak and gawky legs. of course, i didn't meet her till a couple of months later when she crawled into my arms and settled into what was to be the first of many, lengthy head scratches.

that day i needed a bird. i needed a little feathered friend to offer her fluffy head during tv shows and a loud squawk on my arrival home. a mere three days after my precious squeak's untimely demise at the hands of his flaky owner. though i still haven't forgiven myself for my negligence that day i left the gas stove on and came home to find my baby lovebird konked out on the bottom of his cage, i am getting closer to whole thanks to my cranky, little pink monster.
so, it seems like the nytimes has picked up on the topic of the month with these two articles on parenthood in the 2000s. the first one makes me want to run as far from this city as possible, but as i've mentioned many times before, i just can't imagine living anywhere else. brooklyn, perhaps... westchester, that's getting a bit far for my taste. we'll see what the future holds since it ain't all up to me.