Saturday, May 23, 2009

Meeting my blog readers

Meeting people in real life who you know online can be a very interesting thing. So far I have met other bloggers in real life: a) many of my science blogging friends I met at ScienceOnline in January; b) I met Shark Fu (parental discretion) at the Missouri History Museum (kind of sort of, I sat behind her whispering to myself thinking it was her, she was doing the same. We confirmed each other’s identities on Facebook and officially spoke, c) I met Lisa at a Cracker Barrel in Illinois, and d) Jamie B at an Urban League meeting.

But meeting readers – who don’t also blog – is another experience. Meeting someone who follows your blog gets to know your style and sometimes you as someone they visit daily or weekly or even occasionally is very different experience. It’s very humbling. I’m reminded that I have a responsibility to update my content, to be fair and upfront about my message and accurate, too. I’m especially glad to hear from adults who love my page and share it with their children/students. To have someone call you out before you can shake their hand is great. My first such experience was with one of the teens (Djordje) at the ScienceOnline09 conference recognized me immediately as Microtus Shuffle Girl. How crazy. And today, I’m hanging out at my newest blog and fan’s house – Kim N. A couple of weeks ago, she was listening to Hallelujah FM and Kenneth T. Whalum played a clip of a poem she liked. She was surfing the internet trying to find out more about the author of the poem; and while searching for him she came across C.T. Herd of Planning and Preparing for College, whom she had heard speak before. As she was surfing her page she came across my name and link on the page – DNLee. She comes to Urban Science Adventures! (c) and surfs around and sees a face she thinks is familiar. She reads and reads and finally decides to email me. As it turns out, Kim is a family friend since I was in elementary school, and she discovered my page all by serendipity! How grand is that? She’s been hooked every since.

So, I’m at her house spending time with my other family celebrating Memorial Day, her son’s graduation, and daughter’s birthday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Call for Submissions for the Diversity in Science Carnival - STEM Diversity Initiatives: What Works and Why?


I am back from my hiatus. I was busy getting better and now I'm back to a hundred percent. Plus, I've just returned from Washington, D.C. and the 59th American Institute of Biological Science Meeting. It was awesome and I will tell you all about it and the great people I met. But first, the next installation of the Diversity in Science Carnival must be announced!

I have extended the deadline for submitting super fabulous posts about STEM Diversity Initiatives. Taking a bit of a break from the profiling theme, I would like to engage bloggers and readers to think about the variety, quality, and effectiveness of past, present and future STEM Diversity Initiatives. Share posts about programs, personal accounts, or stories of how people or institutions promote/deal with diversity issues and inclusion in STEM. I'll be sharing my personal stories. However, this is a perfect opportunity for administrators and program chairs to weigh in on these programs and how they must juggle both institutional and real-life demands of feeding the pipeline. Oh, and if you're such a person with something to say, but no blogging/website platform, let me know. You can submit a guest post to my page.

Deadline to submit is Wednesday, May 27th, and I'll post the Carnival Friday, May 29th.
Submit your post by visiting this link.

And get ready for the June edition of the carnival - celebrating LGBT Month over at The Oyster's Garter!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

135th Kentucky Derby

Today marks the 135th Anniversary of the Run for the Roses in Louisville, Kentucky. I love the Derby. It is the first race of the Triple Crown races. Three year colts (and the occasional Philly) compete to win the one and a quarter mile race at Churchill Downs – a truly beautiful track. It is described as the most exciting two minutes in sports.

Though I usually review books on Mondays, I have two books all about horseraces I wanted to introduce you to. It’s timely.

Title: Behind the Scenes The Racehorse
Author: Nikki Tate
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside

This book explains the domestic history of horses and how humans have harnessed their strength and speed over the ages. Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses are the preferred breeds for racing. The book is a great intro book – explaining the various employment roles of people at racetracks, companion and training animals, training facilities, husbandry and horse racing culture. It also explains how to read a program book. Full of great factoids.

Title: The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby
Author: Crystal Hubbard, Illustrator: Robert McGuire
Publisher: Lee & Low Books Inc.

This book is actually written by a local author (St. Louis, Missouri). I am hoping to meet her and have her sign this book before I donate it to the children of Clay Elementary School. Jimmy “Wink” Winkfield was born and raised in rural Kentucky and love to ride horses. He was a natural. By the age of 19 he was racing horses professionally, and won his first official race in 1899 at the Harlem Racetrack near Chicago, Illinois. The following year he raced in the famed Kentucky Derby and placed 3rd. In 190l, Wink rode His Eminence and won the first race of the Triple Crown; and won again in 1902. His final Derby race was in 1903. He placed second and that was also the last year an African-American competed in the Kentucky Derby.

Well, now I’m off to find my hat and find a great seat to watch the race!

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