Monday, August 22, 2005

Your Links

You guys really outdid yourselves last weekend. Here are some excellent links.

Brian Witte sent in a wonderful story about his mom after reading the "What Shall I Be" post last week:
I read your post on the '66 boardgame for girls. I thought it was funny, but in that sick way that seeing someone catch a ball in the nuts is 'funny'. My mother started college in '66, and applied to vet school when she finished. She was one of those girls who passionately loved horses and dogs and kittens, and had always dreamed of being a vet and getting to work, and help, animals every day. She received a letter back from the school she applied to, telling her that she should be ashamed of herself for trying to take the job that a man would need to support his family. the letter went on to say that they were required by federal law to admit two women to each years' class and that the quota was full - and that she should devote her energy to a more appropriate field. The worst, most gut-wrenching part of that story is that my mother felt shame for having applied.

Even though she proved her intelligence and courage (later) by joining the Peace Corps and serving in rural Costa Rica, she was still affected by that horrible, patriarchal mindset to believe, for even a little while, that she was wrong to dream of being something other than a teacher, nurse or stewardess.

I think of that story a lot, and it warms my heart to see so many women pursuing a graduate career in science (alongside me).

Brian's mom kicks ass, by the way.

My mom raised both me and my sister by herself, and went to summer school for several years to get a Master's degree in education (and she did get it). And she would have made a brilliant principal, but in Texas in that era, 90% of the principals were ex-football coaches. And she couldn't coach football worth a damn, so she never got a chance.

DQ reader Jason Gore sent in this note about the tornado that hit near Madison last week:
I live southeast of Madison and thought I'd write you.. I was completely fascinated because everyone around has been getting crap in our yards from people living in the Madison area. Bills, cards, even a cellphone ended up in our yards.

We're 65 miles from Madison.

DQ reader Fredrik Skarstedt sent in a link to a very charming and poignant animated music video about a boy and his father. It's very happy in a quiet way, and very touching. Here's the link:

DQ reader Shane Courtrille sent in a link to a fascinating, unsettling website called "Post Secret" ( The concept of the site is that people send in postcards with a secret they want to tell, and they're scanned and put online. I thought this would be funny and goofy, and it is, at times, but it's also unsettling and dark and gives you a funny feeling in the pit of your stomach, because some of the secrets are disturbing and painful to read. It's fantastic, but it's not easy.

I'm sure some of the postcards aren't telling "true" secrets, but what those secrets make you feel is true nonetheless.

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