Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Sex Education

In honor of Valentine's Day, this installment of the Subversive Children's Book Club will be the annual Valentine's Week Installment on Sex Education.  If the rates of sexually transmitted infections among young adults are any indication, at least one in two sets of American parents are seriously falling down on the job when it comes to sex education.  In states like Texas, where schools are required to teach the highly ineffective "abstinence only" version of sex education, there is no one to take up the slack when parents flake out on this.  Knowledge is power, people.  Don't leave your kids with helplessness instead.  Mom up - it's your job.  Below are some very useful classics. 



  • It’s So Amazing:  A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families by Robie H. Harris
  • It’s Perfectly Normal:  Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris
  • The Period Book: Everything You Don’t Want to Ask  (But Need to Know) by Karen Gravelle
  • What’s Going On Down There? Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask  by Karen Gravelle
  • The Care And Keeping of You:  The Body Book for Girls by Valorie Schaefer.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Black History Month 2016

In honor of Black History Month, this installment of the Subversive Children's Book Club features books about important events and people in African-American history.  Some are non-fiction and some are historical fiction about true historical events and movements, but not necessarily real characters.  Enjoy.

Primary and Lower Elementary 
  • If A Bus Could Talk:  The Story of Rosa Parks by Faith Ringgold
  • Ruby Bridges Goes To School:  My True Story by Ruby Bridges
  • Sugar Hill:  Harlem's Historic Neighborhood by Carole Boston Weatherford
  • The Case For Loving by Selina Alko
  • Sit-In:  How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson  
 Upper Elementary
  • The Watsons Go To Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine 
  • Moses:  When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
  • Fires of Jubilee by Alison Hart 
  • Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • From Slave Ship to Freedom Road by Julius Lester 
  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • My Mother The Cheerleader by Robert Sharenow
  • Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Patillo Beals.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

I Am A Delicate Tropical Flower, Phil

I understand that the weather rodent did not see his shadow today.  There is hope!

Monday, February 01, 2016

Register to Vote Today! Deadline for Primary Election!

Today is the last day to register to vote if you wish to vote in the March 1st Primary Election (either one of them).  Register by 5pm!  Vota!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Don't Drink The Water In Ingleside

What is it with Coastal Bend cities not taking care of their water supply? It really is not acceptable.  For the past couple of days, residents of parts of Ingleside have been told not to drink the water (not a boil water advisory because apparently boiling won't help with this one). 

The Eye of The Needle

So apparently some church in Corpus has raised more than a million dollars in donations to build a cross that's bigger than anyone else's cross.  God help us.

Discrimination Against The Homeless in Corpus Christi

A couple of weeks ago, the City of Corpus Christi passed an ordinance banning panhandling in certain parts of the city.  They have all kinds of excuses as those who think they know best for others always do.  Really, though we know what it was make businesses happy, to coddle the comfortable so they don't have to feel uncomfortable by being spoken to by the poor...whatever.

The first amendment is for everyone.  This is not okay.

Register To Vote!

Tomorrow, Monday, February 1st, at 5pm is the deadline for registering to vote if you want to vote in the primary election (either primary election - Republican or Democrat) on March 1st.  If you are not registered, get on it!

Vota!  Vota!  Vota!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: The Case for Loving

Today's edition of Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club features The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko (and illustrated by Selina Alko and her spouse, Sean Qualls). This beautiful children's book tells the story of Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter, who married in Washington, D.C. because their home state of Virginia did not allow interracial marriage.  Virginia still refused to recognize their marriage, though, and charged them with unlawful cohabitation, forcing the couple to move away.  Unhappy away from home, the Loving family took their case to the Supreme Court...and won.  The case for Loving won.

A timely tale.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Of Back To School and Desserts

The Lone Star Baby and Lone Star Pa have been back to their respective schools for awhile now.  Classes at the Lone Star Girl's college started today, as did they at mine.  We took her back to school on Saturday and had a nice RGV day of, basically, dessert tourism (there's a Ben and Jerry's shop in the RGV - I'd never been to one - and a cupcake shop that won on Cupcake Wars).

Already I really miss having her in the house.  I like everything much better when she is sleeping in this house at night.

Monday, January 18, 2016

MLK Day of Service

Today we celebrated this day of honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.'s work as we usually do, by taking the Girl Scout troop to the local MLK Day March.  It was great.  Sometimes only a few of our girls are able to attend this event due to parents' work schedules, etc., but seven of our nine girls came today and the weather was beautiful and it was just wonderful to see them march.  Our troop had spent the last couple of weeks collecting hygiene items for the homeless and had sent out a call to other local troops to bring any donations they collected to the March, which some did. After the March, the girls sorted all the donations into hygiene bags for people who are homeless and we dropped them off at the Mother Teresa Shelter after we left, so we definitely got in our Day of Service in honor of Dr. King.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: This Side of Home

Today's edition of the Subversive Children's book club addresses an issue that our so-mobile society seems to want to avoid:  the importance and necessity of people being rooted parts of communities that have history and traditions and the kinds of identities that only grow and develop with time, but which are so, so important to a healthy humanity.

This Side of Home by Renee Watson is about a high school senior growing up with her twin sister and parents in a community which, until very recently, has been primarily African American. Gentrification is taking hold in Maya's neighborhood and she is not that happy with all the new faces and new businesses that come into her community and essentially try to erase its identity, without always even knowing they are doing so.  Her sister feels differently, trying to enjoy the benefits of the new.  The book provokes serious thought about both racism and community and avoids over-simplifying the issues while still maintaining a level of sweetness that makes it appropriate for readers somewhat younger than its target audience.


Thursday, January 07, 2016

#VanillaIsis Still Needs Snacks

I cannot believe that these domestic terrorists have not yet been removed.

I am so disappointed that our culture continues to raise white men who are so blind to their privilege and whiny and entitled and dangerous.

Please do better, Mamas. Make them see.

Dealing With Sexist Dress Codes

My eleven-year-old is still in the Garden, as far as school as concerned.  She desperately wants to leave her sheltered little Montessori school environment and take on the challenges of the big neighborhood middle school, which I will probably let her do next school year (that the bus won't bring her home to our neighborhood was kind of the sticking point this year).  Last night, my college daughter was ranting about how school dress codes tend to be sexist, racist and/or homophobic (our school district's at least does not seem homophobic as many do but the other indictments do apply) and offering up various scenarios of rebellion to her younger sister.

While I am largely sympathetic, I also have to be able to hold down a job which means I need to not be getting regular calls to come deal with issues from my kid's principal, so I cried mercy on most of her ideas.  I am a fan, though, of one simple response to a school's telling a girl that her skirt is an inch too short or her shoulders are showing and other such ridiculousness:

"I'd like to speak to the district's Title IX Officer, please." (Repeat until the problem is solved.)