Sunday Smörgåsbord

Sunday Smörgåsbord: September 6, 2015

I’m back to work, back to graduate studies, back to blogging (a few posts a week, anyway). I’m not back to any version of what I could call “normal,” or even a “new normal,” but I’m back. I’m fighting back. And I’m worth the fight.

Here’s what I wrote this week. I dug deep. I opened up. And I’m ready to move forward.

  • Why have I been gone? Because Depression Sucks. That’s the reason, in as few words as possible. More words are available on Monday’s post.
  • Another reason? Because I stalled out after my Josh Duggar posts, and before I could do any more writing about sexual assault and abusive power structures, I had to come out as a rape survivor. A lot of my friends knew my story, but my parents did not know yet. So I drove 1200 miles to tell them. And that’s a bit of a process.
  • Fit Friday. One of the warning signs that my depression was depression, and not only medication withdrawal, was the return of some old, unwelcome thought patterns on body-image and weight.

Thank you to everyone who has jumped back on reading right along with me. Please share my posts, ‘like’ my Facebook page, and comment so we can have conversations.


Sunday Smörgåsbord: May 31, 2015

This was my last week of teaching for the spring and I cried a lot. The students I’ve had for three years are moving on to another teacher, and that is always a tough transition for me. I felt a lot of feels, and I channeled that into some aggressive pieces about which I also felt a lot of feels.

I wrote a set of three pieces triggered by the most recent case of sexual abuse in a high-profile American Christian media family. While these posts are applicable to this case, they have broader implications because the same themes emerge every time this happens: empty calls to forgive the abuser,  and attempts to maintain the power and authority structures that facilitate this kind of abuse in the first place. And all of it is disturbingly centered on the abuser while the victims/survivors are almost entirely ignored.

And, because I needed a light in that dark tunnel, on #FitFriday I wrote about my grammy, body positivity, and threw in a video of her exercising at 93 years old.

Be well this week. Stand on the side of the marginalized. And if you’re feeling down, watch my grammy exercise. The best bit is when she realizes she’s being recorded. ♥

Sunday Smörgåsbord: May 17, 2015

Syttende Mai!!!

(That’s May 17, for you non-Norwegian folk. Norway’s Constitution Day. Also, for you non-Swedish folk, a Smörgåsbord is literally a “sandwich board,” or a buffet, as we use the term in the States. So my Sunday summaries are a buffet of the Ampersandwich)

I am DONE with my first year of graduate school. I have but two weeks left of my seventh year of teaching at the school for the deaf. And what a year it’s been…

More on that later. For now, what a week it’s been… rather, two weeks:

  • Last Monday was my first day back after being sick for far too long. I wrote about being sick, and how having a treatable (and treated) chronic condition does not mean the condition no longer exists. Forgetting that fact likely contributed to the length of my illness (I’m still mad that I spent my favorite month of the year with bronchitis).
  • The following Friday, I discussed the sexism embedded in the (seeming) vast majority of K12 dress codes.
  • Next up: the double discomfort of puberty, while being unable to fully discuss it with your parents because of communication barriers.  What may be considered TMI in most classrooms is considered basic life-skills instruction in my classroom–I showed my student where I stash my tampons, and that I have hell-raising cramps, too.
  • Idaho makes headlines (again) because a school district is facing a challenge to a novel in the curriculum (again). I have words.
  • Finally, my take on standardized testing as it applies to my population, and what meaningful progress documentation really looks like for my kiddos. The kind that builds up and encourages rather than shames and discourages.

Seven teaching days left. So many words to write. Onward.

Sunday Smörgåsbord: April 12, 2015

This was my last weekend of class for the semester. My last weekend of driving the 1.5 hours to Boise for 2 days of intensive coursework followed by the 1.5 hour drive home and an epic crash in my bed with all the things in my head.

Well… for this semester, anyway. I have another such class in the fall. It’ll be awesome. But I admit: I’m looking forward to sleeping in for a few Saturdays.

My writing from the previous week was thus:

This week I have another IEP meeting and a lot of grad writing to do. I hope I cry less than I did at the IEP meeting on Wednesday. I’m pretty sure that does not count as my professional teacher face.

Sunday Smörgåsbord: April 5, 2015


It’s my birthday. I am 30 today. And since I spend the rest of my life doing ALL THE THINGS, I decided to spend my birthday doing as much nothing as possible. Hence the lateness of my usual Sunday blog.

My birthday included the following activities: Easter church service, a small lunch of roasted asparagus, a trip to the store for some provisions, eating half a pint of the most amazing butter pecan gelato ever, doing my taxes, eating the rest of the gelato, taking a nap, getting the best most ginormous buckwheat pancake at the local 24-hour diner (I brought my own maple syrup), coming home, putting on my PJs. My roommate’s parents are visiting this week, so he has his kids an extra week, too. I have a full house and a fully belly and a full heart. The first day of 30 has been perfect.

My writing from the previous week was thus:

  • Internalized Audism in the d/Deaf community was the topic of my post on Monday, as I follow the unfolding situation with sComm and their (dangerous and ableist) marketing of the UbiDuo device. I will write more on the topic of audism, since this is my field, and I there is a lot here to unpack…
  • On Tuesday I shared my email to my graduate advising committee–the perfect blend of professional passion, idealistic angst, and carefully places swears. By way of update, all three members have given tentative approval of the change to my degree plan.
  • On Wednesday I shared the ongoing saga of my right ear, and what happened when I went to the ENT for some relief from the recurring stabbing pain I experience. It’s a man’s world out there, which sucks because half the world’s population aren’t men. Also my ear still hurts.
  • Friday brought part 5 of 5 of my series on Beachbody’s 21-Day Fix program, and how I have seen it perpetuate body shaming as part of a larger problem of pervasive disordered thinking.

This week will leave little room for my preferred brand of procrastination. Gah! Here goes…

Sunday Smörgåsbord: March 22, 2015

I’m somewhere in Montana, wishing that the sixteen hours between Twin Falls and Fargo weren’t comprised of an eight-hour serving of Montana. It’s Spring Break (wooo!), and I’m helping my friend James move somewhere “back East” as they say out West. With a three-day side trip through the homeland to visit my parents and my siblings and my grammy. I hope there are cookies that involve neither chocolate chips or walnuts. Or raisins. Or enriched flour. I should call ahead and make sure she has some on-hand and thawed out…

This week was a very hair-centric week. Because my hair looked awesome. That’s why.

Sunday Smörgåsbord: March 15, 2015

As we say back home: Uff da. That’s really a thing we say. I know that a lot of people from Fargo will claim we don’t talk like the movie Fargo, but they say while talking like people in the movie Fargo. I mean, the movie is a bit exaggerated, but I really do know people who talk like the movie.

My sister’s accent has a two-drink minimum. All it takes is a 10-minute conversation with my mother before my long-O is out of contrOl.

But anyway, Uff da is a thing we say. It’s an interjection like, Ho geez. Basically, I’m overwhelmed and tired, and Boy, howdy! Was this a long week or what!

The correct answer is Or what.

  • On Monday I wrote a blog post to explain why I wasn’t writing a blog post. It was a special kind of tired that day. It followed me all week, but I was able to keep myself together (until Thursday, at which point I went to bed at 7:00 p.m. and slept for 16 hours).
  • Wednesdays have proven to be my strongest days for writing, and my best day for blog hits. This week I wrote about being consistent in teaching my kids that No Means No, and establishing early that they are the bosses of their bodies, even (and especially) if it means I have to give up a little control of my idea of an “orderly” classroom.
  • On Thursday I was good and pissed off about tired stereotypes of women appearing in my Spanish homework. Misogyny is everywhere, friends.
  • And on Friday I continued my series on the BeachBody® 21-Day Fix program, and how the disordered eating and thinking patterns it encourages are damaging to women, by writing about the twisted ideas that women’s bodies are broken and in need of “fixing.” The post was part 3 of a 5-part series.

This week is the last week before Spring Break, which starts on Friday. I’ll spend Spring Break traveling and doing a LOT of writing. And coffee. Because grad student. Uff da.