letter to Only Daughter’s teacher


I would like to start by introducing myself. I’m “Only Daughter’s” mom, and regret that I am unable to come to conferences for the 27 1/2 minutes each semester they are offered, as those minutes fall during the hours of my job. Please don’t cause that to make you think I don’t care about my child or about her education. Exactly the opposite, in fact.

I would like also to thank you for your hard work with Only Daughter in learning her parts of speech. Despite the fact that these are, apparently, the same grammar lessons she had last year, she reports that you are “not as bad of a teacher” as the one she had last year, so I suppose that the review is worthwhile.

I can’t help but wonder whether your lessons on grammar and effective writing might not be better taught using samples of beautiful writing from actual literature, but I’m “just” a layperson who has only read something like 500 books, so I probably don’t actually know what I’m talking about, so will defer to your expertise.

I was wondering, though, whether you were under some kind of misapprehension that led you to believe that I, too, was enrolled in your freshman English class, as I keep getting emails updating me about the class content, homework assignments, online reviews, and upcoming quizzes.

See, the thing is, I’m actually done with high school. In fact, I graduated in 1982. (I’m going to guess, given your teaching style, this was many years before you were even born.) And from college in 1986, masters in 1988, and a doctorate in 2005. Now granted, none of those degrees required that I knew the difference between a linking verb and a helping verb, but nonetheless, I am no longer a student.

My daughter, on the other hand, is. And while I recognize the importance of a parent encouraging and supporting their child, including making sure that their day is well structured, they have adequate sleep and healthful meals, I don’t believe that it is the parent’s responsibility to be checking that every single bit of homework is done. See, I believe that is the child’s responsibility. And the sooner we let the CHILD know that, the better off everyone would be. That includes them, you, me, their future boss(es), their future spouse(s), their child(ren), etc. etc.

They have a job to do, and that is to be a student. You have a job to do, which is to teach them, and to stimulate and engage them enough that they want to do the work and do it as well as possible. And I have a job to do, which IS NOT TO DO THE WORK FOR THEM.

See, this is how it goes. Only Daughter gets home from school. I ask her how her day was, listen, give her a hug, watch her get her snack, ask her if she has homework, if she says yes, ask her when she plans to do it, ask her if she needs me to take her phone for a while to help her keep from getting distracted, and then I sit at my desk and do MY WORK while she goes and does HERS. And if she doesn’t do her work, she doesn’t get a good grade, and then she realizes that it might affect her dream of getting into medical school some day, and the next time it comes around she tries harder. AND I DIDN’T REALLY HAVE TO DO ANYTHING. It’s a beautiful system. And from what I read from the latest in child development research, probably the best one out there.

I’m actually surprised you haven’t read it.

Let me help.

Click here

And here.

And here.

I could go on. But I won’t.

The thing is, you’re the “expert” in this field — shouldn’t you have read them already?

Maybe you were too busy sending parents emails about the next review: Indefinite Pronouns!



More better feminism

Give us a twirl.


Clearly you have issues.





And not just because it’s in the title.


oh, THAT’s what I’m doing

better pay

Getting them jobs.

I thought I was teaching them stuff.



today’s feminist non-rant, aka on my Facebook feed today



(click on the picture to read the article)

Then this:


(“…If you add up, in terms of the numbers of people, I would say that competing for [the] No. 1 [concern] would be violence against females worldwide. If you add up all the forms of violence, whether it’s domestic violence in this country, which is at an enormously high rate — I mean, the most dangerous place for a woman in this country is her own home, and she’s most likely to be beaten or killed by a man she knows — or it is FGM, female genital mutilation, or it is female infanticide, or honor killings or child marriage. … “)

and this:


Too bad that only the last one was from 40 years ago.

And somewhere else.



what’s wrong with this picture?

Ann Taylor Loft

Marisa fit — for women who are shaped like women

“Perfect fit if hips are proportionate to your waist.”



I can’t even look at them. It hurts my eyes.


Umpqua and Enough is Enough


This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loves ones because of our inaction. When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. We have seatbelt laws because we know it safes lives. The notion that gun violence is somehow different—that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt, and protect their families, and do everything they do under such regulations—doesn’t make sense.” —President Obama on the shooting in Roseburg, Oregon

Like he says, thoughts and prayers are not enough.

How can this not be the easiest thing in the world to see?

We don’t need to keep access to high powered rifles in case our government takes us over. We have access to changing the government if we want to — it’s called voting.

We can’t keep doing this, we just can’t.

Call me paranoid, but every Sunday when I’m sitting at the piano at my church job, or in a large crowd outside in my city, or teaching a class at my community college (where students have been escorted from classrooms, or police have knocked on the door looking for someone) I realize that this could happen to me. It could happen to anyone.


Voters who think one issue is the most important often feel that way because of abortion. But consider this: if you actually believe life begins at conception you also have to realize that life does not end at birth. Are you therefore willing to vote to support access to healthcare, food support for poor families, decent education opportunities for EVERYONE (not just the children in your neighborhood), clean air and water, preservation of the planet, and THE RIGHT OF US TO LIVE NOT IN FEAR OF THIS HAPPENING NEXT WEEK, at your place of work, or at your children’s school?

This has passed beyond ridiculous.

Please pardon my language, but enough is fucking enough already.

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