Today is Ada Lovelace Day. As such, I’ve been thinking about any women mathematicians/engineers/scientists who inspired me early on — and I’m coming up with nothing. My female math teachers were mostly uninspiring. And in college I had just one – a Statistics professor – who struggled to deal with the students in our class (300-level) who just didn’t belong there (and asked questions like, “what’s the difference between a mean and a median?”).
However, now, I work with a bunch of amazing women programmers, statisticians, economists and researchers. There’s no shortage of inspiration there. In fact, we celebrate often that – for one project – the entire programming team is made up of women. Woo!
I can only hope that my own children come into contact with a wide variety – male and female – of role models. There’s a fair amount of assuming that goes on at our school – that Dads work and Moms stay home – but I try and counter that when I can.
The first day went pretty well.
Bridget starts school on Tuesday. She’s thrilled about it. I know that she’ll do great. I’m not worried about her making friends, or riding the bus, or anything else. No, I’m worried about me having to meet other parents. This afternoon at lunch time we’ve got a playdate thing at the school where all the new kindergarteners are invited.
I’m sitting here getting all nervous and worked up at the prospect of having to talk to another parent. I’m forcing myself to just do it. Because honestly, the thing that I am really afraid of is silly – I’m afraid of just standing there looking like an idiot having no one to talk to.
It’s ironic really, because more often than not, I end up putting my foot into my (giant) mouth. It’s guaranteed that I’ll offend someone. It’s high time that I just embrace that, and look for the other mom who’s laughing at the offended person and be friends with HER.
Last night was our first Kindergarten (preparation) event. Bridget and I went to the school, sat in the “Cafetorium” and met the teachers. About fifteen minutes in, all the kids went back to the classrooms with one teacher and the assistant. While some of the children were hesitant, Bridget was not. She was the furthest from the exit and the first one there. I think it’s safe to say that she is excited. It’s a little disheartening to know that Kindergarten isn’t quite as much fun as it was when I was five – but I know that she’s more than ready. I am certain that as we go along, there will be certain things about the system (and certain assumptions) which will annoy me, but I am hopeful that they’ll be kept to a minimum.