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472nd Friday Blog Roundup

So I’ve been running Hour of Code in the twins’ school (which, for me, is more like 12 hours of code as each class shuffles through), and on Wednesday, I ate lunch at their table in the cafeteria.  I was already there when their class came in and paused, staring at me.

“Oh hey,” I told a random girl who sat down near me.  “I’m Melissa.  I’m repeating third grade.”

She looked at the twins for explanation, but they just shrugged.  One of their friends squinted at me.  “No, you’re not.  You must be here for something else.”

“Nope,” I told him, cheerfully.  “Here to repeat third grade.  Didn’t do it that well the first time around and only realized that this week.  So, here I am.  Ready to do it all over again.”

And the best part was that for the next twenty minutes, they politely included me as one of their own, explaining what I would be doing now that I was an official third grader.  I will apparently learn all about a bird that can make a sound like a chainsaw, a few useful phrases in Spanish, and how to play the recorder.

Bring it on!


A long time ago, I did a sugar art demonstration in a nursery school.  Years later, I was in the grocery store one morning, and there was a group of kids there on a field trip from a local elementary school, and as I passed them in the produce section, I heard a boy say, “that is the woman with all the sugar!”  It was a kid who had seen my demonstration in nursery school!

Lesson learned: Sugar makes an impression.

So the amusing, parallel part to leading Hour of Code is that as I return to the school day after day and I lead the workshop, I can hear kids talking about me: “that’s the woman who has all the electronics!”  To be fair, I am schleping around a big bag filled with a computer, littleBits, thumb drives, math books, and a tablet with a stylus.

But it made me feel cool, like the Pied Piper of Circuits.


This is it, your last chance.  The 2013 Creme de la Creme closes to submissions on December 15th at night.  Anything that comes is after 11 pm ET will not be on the list… ever.  As in, this is it.  If you want to be part of the Creme de la Creme for 2013, submit now.  On Sunday, the list will be finalized, and it will go up on January 1st.


I always feel like I need to mention that it’s Friday the 13th when the Roundup falls on Friday the 13th.  As I wrote last time this occurred:

Though I’m usually fairly anxious around certain dates, allowing my imagination to run towards grotesquely disturbing scenarios, I’ve never had big feelings concerning Friday the 13th.  Even if I live … like … 2 miles from Camp Crystal Lake and I totally know someone who knows someone who is the cousin of the counselor who decapitated Mrs. Voorhees.

It’s one of those dates that I feel like I should have big feelings about.  If I’m not worried, then I must be a fool.

You know how girls pinched each other’s arms with a Cootie Shot to ward off boy germs?  Mentioning that it’s Friday the 13th feels like a horror Cootie Shot.

Do you care about Friday the 13th or are you not superstitious about the date?


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Anabegins has a post about shaking up her life.  Believe me, she could have been describing my life when she writes, “I’m no good at change. I get stuck in a rut and start to really like my rut, and get all cozy and comfortable with my rut, and suddenly its like ‘my beloved rut, don’t leave me!!’ You get the point.”  Oh, yes, I do.  Which is why I’m impressed with all the changes she hopes to make.  As she says, she put it online so she feels accountable.  Seems like a good time of year to do your own post about what you’d like to change in 2014.

My Lady of the Lantern has a post about waiting (or not?) for your period.   It’s clever, but it’s also veeeeeeeeery familiar; those phantom pregnancy signs.  (Is it?  Or isn’t it?) And the fact that your period always seems to show on the least opportune day.

Lastly, From IF to When has a post about understanding someone infertile.  She tackles common misconceptions, addressing both the myth and the reality.  Infertile people don’t hate those who conceive easily, nor do we want to avoid kids at all costs.  It’s a great post that you may want to leave open on someone’s computer screen by “accident.”  Just sayin’…

The roundup to the Roundup: I’m a third grader!  Or the lady who has all the electronics.  The 2013 Creme de la Creme is closing.  It’s Friday the 13th.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between December 6th and December 13th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 a { 12.13.13 at 8:42 am }

Repeating the 3rd grade is EXACTLY why I think going outside in your pajamas to spread salt should not cause anyone any consternation…

I feel that 13 is a good number for me. Now, I shall just hope that it proves itself to be true by coming through with the MegaMillions winning lottery ticket. I could use $400 million.

Here are some good ones:


2 loribeth { 12.13.13 at 11:59 am }

I really, really like this post from The Not Mom about childless/free women finding their voices. Here’s a sample quote, which really drove home the point for me:

“Women without children – NotMoms – are one more minority group finding their voice. We were more quiet perhaps, but we were here all the time. We know that we are much more than our uterine output, yet that’s where the culture scrunches eyebrows and spotlights our otherness. We can shake that up, and we are. Ongoing cultural change is more than an African American President and legalized marijuana and same-sex marriage.”


3 Ana { 12.13.13 at 2:40 pm }

Thanks for the mention Mel! Now I really feel the pressure to make good on my promise to get out of my rut.

4 Maggie J { 12.13.13 at 3:55 pm }

Thank you for mentioning my blog and my journey as being a mommy to an angel!

5 Shannon { 12.13.13 at 8:57 pm }

I loved this beautiful post this week about perspective and the journey through IF: http://there-is-a-crack-in-everything.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-view-through-windshield.html

6 Geochick { 12.13.13 at 10:13 pm }

I’m not particularly superstitious, but I usually notice a Friday the 13th, and it gives me pause. Weird! This Friday the 13th kind of lived up to the hype. School shooting (again) in my state, and we got nothing done in my super intense meeting today. (totally unrelated to each other, just examples of crappy-ness)

7 Pepper { 12.14.13 at 11:41 am }

My parents started dating and then got married (almost 40 years ago!) on Friday the 13th so they’ve always celebrated them as good luck. That’s how I was raised so that’s how I’ve always seen them.

Enjoy the 3rd grade – that’s a year I wish I could do over. I had a cold, unfriendly teacher (in my opinion as a then-8-year-old) and would love to have second chance.

8 Hope { 12.14.13 at 4:07 pm }

Thank you, Shannon! And thanks, everyone, for the Roundup — I love checking out new posts each week.

On Friday the 13th a few years back, I was waiting for results from a medical test. It was one of those scary ones that I desperately hoped (but didn’t expect) would be negative, and I was sitting on the floor so that I wouldn’t fall down when the bad news came. But it was good news after all. Such relief. Ever since, Friday the 13th has been my Luckiest of all Lucky Days!

9 Hope { 12.14.13 at 5:45 pm }

I just read these posts, which compare “fertility privilege” to other, more examined types of privilege. She describes something I hadn’t been able to put into words because it became, as she put it, “just the water I swam in.”


“What should we do with unexamined privilege? We should examine it, to start with… We should continue to approach people with humility and empathy and the firm understanding that we do NOT know what their experience is, just because we once had a brief moment of the same experience or we know someone who did.”

10 Lori Lavender Luz { 12.16.13 at 12:06 pm }

I adore the way you became a third grader. Again.

11 Katie { 12.16.13 at 12:17 pm }

Thank you for the mention, Mel. <3

12 It Is What It Is { 12.16.13 at 5:51 pm }

I am reading this, finally, on 12/16, which means that, once again, I missed Creme. I suck but what are you going to do? Looking forward to reading the submittals of others.


13 St. E { 12.17.13 at 12:33 am }

Thank you for the mention.

14 Esperanza { 12.19.13 at 9:00 am }
15 Amy { 12.20.13 at 12:05 am }

This post from Cullen’s Blessings really spoke to my heart tonight. http://cullensblessings.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/stream/

16 Aerotropolitan Comitissa { 12.22.13 at 8:38 am }

Go you crazy 3rd-grader electronics lady! You are the pied piper! Except, um, obviously without the child-stealing. (Right?)

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