Archives for February 2011

I'm a Weird Mom and Proud of It

Here I am on far right with a girls club I formed in my first teaching assignment, junior high.

Here I am on far right with a girls club I formed in my first teaching assignment, junior high.

I have loved school for as far back as I can remember.

My kids think this is downright weird.

I loved the smell of the books, the vibrant colors of the crayons lined up in the little black box we were each assigned, the smooth finish of my desk with a black inkwell in the upper right corner, and especially I loved my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Bordeaux. In my mind she was the smartest person in the world, and I counted on her to teach me all the things I needed to know to become educated. I also thought she was the most beautiful person in world, resembling popular actress of the day, Loretta Young, and dressing as elegantly.

Because I loved school so much it’s not surprising that I became a teacher. First, in junior high school English in Watts, CA and later in various colleges and even my own private tutoring program. I finished my formal career after teaching critical thinking at Fullerton College in Fullerton, CA for 20 years.

Everyone didn’t find school as pleasurable or inviting, I know. Some students were not even able to attend school due to upsetting home conditions or because their work on the farm conflicted with school schedules. Other students attended school but experienced cruel and unwelcoming teachers, dampening their enthusiasm for learning.

I was mindful of these things as I taught throughout the years, and insisted that my classroom be a welcoming and encouraging environment. I also insisted that my kids learned to read and write well, no matter how rocky the experience was at times.

Not only do I love school, but I also love libraries–small local ones and large university ones. And then there are bookstores. I can spend hours, days quite comfortable and cozy in either one.

When I went to Columbus, OH to rendezvous with a group headed to Obama’s Inauguration, one of my favorite places was a bookstore called The Book Loft in German Village. It’s located in a former church building and has 32 small rooms on several levels. I was fascinated not only with the variety and discounts, the fact that every room was playing a CD since they sell CDs also.

My kids think my love of bookstores is weird too.

Then there’s the computer.

The advent of the computer has made learning available for all who want it in so many forms. I just love it that I can meet people from around the world through their blogs and benefit from their insight and thoughts. Too often I get lost in what I call Alice’s hole when I follow link after link along an interesting trail of people, ideas, and cool tools.

It’s absolutely amazing how the 1,000’s of social media sites keep you in touch with friends–old and new–and enable you to make business contacts as well.

When I need to know how to use a piece of software or learn about a new beauty, cooking or other technique, I am grateful that YouTube makes information so accessible.

In addition, through the Internet I’m able to network with people from around the world who I may have never met otherwise. Through one group,, for example, I have hosted and been hosted by wonderful people who believe couchsurfing’s slogan: creating a better world, one couch at a time.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I may break into singing when I hear my favorite song or suddenly start dancing when the right song moves my feet.

Yes, I love school, books, libraries, the Internet, and a variety of music, and I’m proud of it!

By now you may agree with my kids that I’m weird.

No problem. My grandkids think I’m great!

In what ways are you weird?