Musings on Race

There isn’t much that I can say about race that has not already been said by people more eloquent than I. There isn’t any more profound knowledge I can add. I’ve taken the classes and read the studies for my own edification and understanding. I was born with a natural curiosity for the world; the narrative of those both like and unlike me, and this curiosity has served me well in both building bridges and understanding.

Arthur chu

The events of the last few months have both been polarizing and unifying. On occasion, I force myself to read comments on posts by the marginalized simply sharing their own narrative about police brutality, racial profiling, or discrimination. I’ve noticed a trend from those within the opposing dominant group that takes vocal offense to accusations of bias or racism, they can’t hear/digest/understand the other’s narrative.

What does it mean to be black in America, Muslim in America, poor in America, or just plain othered in America? The answer is not simple and will often be as loaded as it is diverse. But if you find yourself asking these questions with a genuine desire to gain some understanding instead of being defensive, you might find yourself on a bridge to mutual understanding and even respect.

A Season of Change

My life is one of constant change. I moved to California earlier this year and my family  followed shortly thereafter. In 2014, I’ve lived in a house in Florida and multiple hotel rooms/apartments in Southern California, and grew and so many ways.

Right before thanksgiving we moved into the loveliest little place and my non-working life has been buzzing with decorating our newest place.


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Annedroids & National Recycling Week


Annedroids Scientists

Annedroids, a flipping adorable live-action Amazon instant video show created by Emmy-nominated J.J. Johnson (Dino Dan) and Sinking Ship Entertainment, features a young female scientist, her human friends and their android assistants, and the amazing scientific discoveries they make while undertaking the biggest experiment of them all: growing up. The series spotlights, through trial and error, how science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM) can inspire children to do great things.

OM-GOSH, I love this series so very much! It’s one of those shows that isn’t terribly cheesy and believably delivers a positive and affirmative message: that children can and should use their natural intelligence to engage their environment in imaginative ways!

Annedroids shows that you don’t need expensive chemistry sets and futuristic equipment to be creative and scientific. Experiments and discovery can come from things that would otherwise make their way to a garbage dump. Thus inspired by National Recycling Week, the kiddies and I created our own random and fun experiments. We made bubble wands to go along with home-made bubble juice, made volcanoes and re-purposed paper towel rolls.

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While science fiction has grown in popularity the former (science) rather than the ladder (fiction) is being neglected in modern popular children’s series. Anne and her friends’ adventures provide many opportunities to showcase the key processes of STEM, which are often not addressed well in children’s television programming. This includes processes involved with identifying problems and asking questions, making plans and creating prototypes, experimenting and testing, reflecting and revising. In particular, it is good to see that Anne and her friends learn as much from failure as success, and see the failures as opportunities to try new things. http://www.amazon.com/annedroids

Raising Scientists

Not surprisingly, Anne, the main character of Annedroids, was recently named one of TV’s Best Role Models of 2014 by Common Sense media. When faced with a problem, she sees only possibilities– no amount of failure ever dampens her spirit. Where most people see junk, Anne sees possibility. And these are the exact ideals I want my kids to adopt!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Interstellar is the BEST Book I NEVER Read

tumblr_ncaw14BqQr1qzdglao1_500Interstellar by Laura Racero (thanks Tumblr)

The current time is 12:02 AM PST; I just left the 8:00 PM IMAX showing of Interstellar. It was super awesome.

It was super-duper awesome.

And without giving anything of substance away from the film, here is my no-spoilers review:

It hit me like a high-level spiritual epiphany, why the “SYFY” channel now sucks, the fallacy of dropping out of A.P. Physics my senior year of high school, and why Matthew McConaughey is an employed award-winning actor (a mystery that required solving for my own sanity). Interstellar brought that human component back to science fiction, that thing that made you love the stories, that enabled you to see yourself in the improbable situation of the protagonist and live it alongside them. A really great science fiction story is not meant to be consumed like a really terrible film about robots nearly destroying the world again and again, but experienced like those precious moments when you first read (Frank) Herbert or (Ray) Bradbury. Great science fiction should launch curiosity and in some cases a passion for the sciences that could lead real discovery and invention.

Interstellar was like the best book I never read as an awkward boyfriend-less teenager with strict Caribbean parents. Back when my entire life was centered around passing my honors classes, watching historical documentaries, reading science fiction novels, and renting 5 old movies for $5 for 5 days at a sketch non-chain video store.

Whoever wrote interstellar needs to be my best friend, we need to frolic in each other’s mind, record the interaction and give each other high fives!

I need a secret fifth dimensional bookcase to my senior year of high school self to say: “hey girl, I know A.P. physics is hard as hell, and you are tired because you are working 30 hours a week at the Dairy Queen to help pay for college, but stay in that sh*t because you have a passion for it and unnatural understanding of the abstract sciences”.

In conclusion, Interstellar rocked my socks, and for those that may not enjoy the film, it will undoubtedly spark an entertaining dialogue (or battle of words) with friends about (the interpretation of) its contents.

(Shout-out to my P3 gang who showed up nearly 10 deep to watch it as a group mid-workweek)

Creative Galaxy!

Watch my kiddies get CREATIVE!

Creative Galaxy

Creative Galaxy is a positive and intelligent Amazon original animated series available on Amazon Prime Instant Video. There are an abundance of animated series out there to choose from, but my struggle as a thoughtful (over-thinking) parent is finding one that won’t fill my children’s head with junk inconsistent with the values and aspirations my husband and I wish for in our children.

I’ve noticed that many cartoons, even the “age exact” cartoons, have some component that may glorify conflict (to the point of violence) and perpetuate sexism. I feel guilty enough as a Mom who works long hour, I don’t need to add child neglect in the form of exposing my children to cartoons that do nothing more than steal precious moments from their childhood. When my kids watch cartoons, I need there to be a clear value add, and since they are too young for my top 10 favorite public broadcasting documentaries, they should at least watch shows that activate their minds and imaginations in some capacity.

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Created by Out of the Blue Enterprises with Angela Santomero (Super Why!, Blues Clues), Creative Galaxy is a make-along, create-along, interactive art adventure series for preschoolers. Characters Arty and Epiphany travel around the galaxy to solve problems with art, inspiring creative thinking through crafts, music and dance. To give kids and parents the real-life tools they need to re-create Arty’s experience, a live-action piece at the end of each animated episode will take viewers through the craft project that Arty showcased in the galaxy.

Creative Galaxy 2

It’s the little things that make you smile with show. The first episode introduces a kid’s kid, Arty, who directly engages the audience by speaking directly through the TV screen and to your children. Arty is an artsy alien with a baby wearing working mom. This shows bring to light the art of daily life and highlights the importance of artistic expression to both the artist and the observer. Pretty dang impressive for a show geared toward preschoolers! There is this create along aspect of the show that may my kids beam with pride! When I came home from work they immediately show me the cool thing they made with my sister after watching the first episode!

There is something so wonderful in knowing that your children were happily engaged by knowledge of art as complex as Seurat and as simple as cotton ball creatures in the span of a few minutes, Harvard here they come!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.