Originally posted on Education and Class:

There’s a growing literature on how intensely middle class parents invest in their children’s success, from Annette Lareau’s now classic study  showing the “concerted cultivation” parenting of extensive  involvement in extra curricular activities, driving, advising, and being audience for children’s many performances; to extensive involvement in children’s daily challenges; to ongoing advice  and engagement in students’ college success and then negotiating connections for first jobs.

I mention this research when I’m talking with faculty and staff who so often lament that First Generation college students “won’t ask for help”.  We talk about how students who may have had to be incredibly independent and self-motivated and resourceful to get themselves to college may believe that they now have to prove that they can do it on their own, or may be doubting that they deserve help, or may simply not know that help is available.  Or they may balk at the term “help”…

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If you are about my age, a Peter Gabriel song may now be playing in your head too!

Summer is a busy place around here, with little time to write here or anywhere else. I hope to be through the second draft of my early reader book by summer’s end, and that is eating a lot of my time. For now, while I am in the bat-cave, if you haven’t checked out my novella, maybe you’d like to do that.
Here it is: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005F5D4NA#

I had it up on Nook for awhile too, and am thinking about re-publishing it there, since they work with public libraries.
Do you have thoughts or ideas on self-publishing? Do you have favorite places for self-publishing or reading self-published fiction?

And in case you are curious, I bought Montepuliciano with the $7.50 I made on this book so far. As far as cheap wines goes, it was quite good. Cheers!


Painterly science fiction art. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Whatever:

AO John Harris - Hi-res CoverIf you’ve read science fiction in the last quarter century, then you know the work John Harris: His artwork has graced the covers of writers such as Ben Bova, Allen Steele, Orson Scott Card among others, including, of course, me, specifically on my Old Man’s War series of books.

For those folks who want to get a closer look at his work, there’s The Art of John Harris: Beyond the Horizon, a very handsome collection of covers and other SF-related work, for which I was honored to write the introduction.

As a special treat, Harris has offered up some commentary on a selected covers that he’s created for my work; I’ve put them into a gallery and added some comments on my own.

Click on any picture to begin the slideshow.

The Art of John Harris: Beyond the Horizon:Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s


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The antics of the new BOE in my district are ticking me off.


So, they didn’t fire her, really. Sounds like they bullied her out.


And clearly plan to replace her with this guy (ONLY candidate)


Despite the teachers having had no pay increases in over five years, we have a great neighborhood elementary school. We have school choice where people can “option” into other Jeffco schools if their neighborhood school doesn’t meet their needs or expectations, and we have a high school that is considered one of the best in the country. And it seems that no one who is ACTUALLY INVOLVED at the schools, liberal or conservative, thinks what the new board is doing is right. It grieves me that these kinds of agendas (and make no mistake, there is an agenda here) are elected into office by people who buy into the liberal vs. conservative screaming heads in the media, by people with no involvement with the schools at the local level. This is not a liberal vs. conservative issue. It is a COMMUNITY issue, and without involvement, one cannot know if schools in ones community need to be reformed.

“Reforming” (by forcing the voucher system into place) award-winning schools that well serve their communities is downright wicked. And I can’t help but think it’s self-serving. Please be clear, I am not saying this is NEVER good idea anywhere. No doubt there places where vouchers are a good idea, but assuming that means it is a good idea everywhere is like assuming, because Fred J. Smith had gangrene and benefitted from amputation of his feet, we should all amputate our feet.

Parents, teachers, and students are making our voices heard, but it seems like the BOE does not care about us. Has something like this happened in your district? How was in handled? What happened?

A friend of mine was recently asked to speak at this event: http://devday.pl/
because he wrote this: http://thecodelesscode.com

It’s very cool. My programming friends will definitely enjoy this. For the rest of us, it’s an easy, geeky, and literary read.

“Qi” is a mysterious fellow, so that’s all I will say.



A nice summary. Full disclosure: I know the author of this blog in Real Life. She’s a great kid.

Originally posted on Everyday Eco:

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. They were meant to be in that order. When the concept of sustainability first came out, recycling immediately stepped into action. Everything about American culture tells us to buy bigger, better, more. Recycling made us feel like we were doing our part without having to change our habits. Unfortunately usually only plastics with recycling codes (the three arrows with a number in the middle) 1 and 2 can be recycled. Manufacturers are required to label plastics in this way but most people think that all plastics can be recycled.

Here is your cheat sheet:

#1 PETE: soda, water, salad dressings and mouthwash containers / recyclable

#2 HDPE: shampoo, milk, detergent, bleach and yogurt containers / recyclable

#3 PVC: piping, clear food packaging, window cleaner bottles, cooking oil bottles / non recyclable

#4 LDPE: shopping bags, dry cleaning bags, squeezable bottles / non recyclable

#5 PP: syrup and…

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Beautiful. Happy Mother’s Day Moms.

Originally posted on Poor as Folk:

via Truth

“When you didn’t eat, you made sure we did.”
I know that part resonates with a lot of you out there reading this.
Stay strong,mamas.

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Originally posted on db mcneill - Momsomniac:

This previously unpublished short story was a finalist for Glimmertrain’s Short Story Award in November 2007 and was given an Allegory Ezine Honorable Mention.  I wrote it many, many years ago. 


Between the Peas

a short story by
d.b. mcneill

They bought a house.  That’s when it started.  Lilly planted apple trees.  John accused her of wanting corn on the front lawn.  It was true.  Lilly’s hands had not touched land for years and they yearned for it.  Her small new moon fingernails pleaded for the dry dirt.  The wrinkled palms of her broad brown hands cried to be covered in manure.  Her shoulders ached for the heft of a hoe, a small one with the handle cut short so she could break the earth on her own.  She turned the earth by the front door.  She did not plant corn.

Her idea of a compromise was to plant peas.  She…

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Originally posted on Poor as Folk:

READ MORE: http://slate.me/1j6hRyo

In the series “The Secret Life of a Food Stamp,” Marketplace reporter Krissy Clark traces how big-box stores make billions from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps. What’s more, the wages of many workers at these stores are so low that the workers themselves qualify for food stamps—which the employees then often spend at those big-box stores.

This video crunches the numbers on how much Walmart, the single biggest beneficiary of the food stamp economy, might have to raise prices across the board to help a typical worker earn a living wage.

A note on methodology: Eligibility for food stamps varies according to income, number of dependents, and other factors. This estimate of Walmart’s potential cost from raising wages is based on wages for a Walmart employee with one dependent working 30 hours a week, a typical retail worker based on federal data.

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Originally posted on Reluctant Xtian:

I found out this afternindexoon that World Vision reversed their decision to allow people in same-sex monogamous relationships to have the pleasure of being employed by the largest Christian charity in the world.

It’s taken me this long to calm down and write a response…

Look, I’m not that mad at World Vision.  If you, from a charitable perspective, were facing thousands of sponsored children losing their sponsorship (food, education, clothing, shelter, companionship, medical care…you know, basic dignity), you might also have second thoughts about retaining the policy that caused the defection.

From a charitable perspective it makes some business sense.

But one ethical dilemma gives way to another…

World Vision not only reversed their policy decision, but they’ve also “asked for forgiveness.”

And, to me, the group that needs to ask for forgiveness are the bullying bigots who forced World Vision’s reversal.

Less snark in this one.  Snark…

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