Sept. 9 2010

It has been a while since I updated this. Mainly the reason for this is that the webpage was intended to support a course I was teaching, and once the course was over other things took priority. However this is not to say that my interest has moved on. I've begun a new project called LUMACS: Life, U, Mathematics and Computer Science, which is fun, and of course my family has demanded ever-increasing amounts of my time.

This morning, however, I had an "aha!" moment when my 2-year-old turned on the TV before we left to catch the school bus for my 6-year-old. I've been struggling, lately, with whether or not it is worth fighting to be different. Wondering whether I should just "go along and get along", and not worry about making a difference, recruiting more women, changing society's attitudes. It's stressful, thankless, and time-consuming, after all! But this morning's message on whatever kids' cartoon it was went like this: Being different makes you special.

Yes, I know that having diversity in groups is a good thing, but trying to convince everyone else of that has felt like a futile effort lately. And yes, I'm constantly hearing "good for you" when I tell people I'm a Professor in Computer Science (with three kids), which is nice. But the ultimate message I get is "it's ok to be different". To not be the stay-at-home mom. To have a family and a career. There, there dear, it's ok. I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THAT! I want to hear that what I'm doing is good, and necessary, and SPECIAL. So thanks, morning cartoons for kids, for reminding me that being different is not just ok, it makes me special.