The Alumni Blog : humor
What an amazing time for geeks! First, Stanford is ranked as the 2nd nerdiest college in the United States by Localicious (http://www.local-icious.com/blog/10-nerdiest-american-colleges/). Then, this week I was introduced to a new term which will forever be cemented into the lexicon of my geeky life: "Adorkable." Seriously? Adorkable? How have I missed this? Or rather, how did I not coin this phrase years ago? Regardless, whatever FOX intern/producer/writer coined the phrase to describe Zooey Deschanel's character on the new sitcom New Girl is my new hero.
For anyone who has watched the pilot and 2nd episode of New Girl, you'll totally get what I'm talking about here. Zooey's character is quirky, smart, geeky, prone to spilling and, well, simply adorkable. With her glasses askew and a proclivity for singing her own theme song ("It's Jess!"), Zooey's role captures all that I love about geeks, dorks and nerds - the ability to be completely self-effac...
When your kids are little, you work hard to establish ‘home rules.’ You know, things like, “Remember to flush the toilet” or “This is a family, so everyone has to pitch in and do chores.” Garbage day is Monday, the cat needs to be fed every day, if you can’t see your floor, it’s time to clean your room, etc.
Then, the day comes – more quickly than you can imagine – when your kid heads off to college. You (and your student) discover that there are now NEW rules…dorm rules, dining hall rules, new rules for friends, RA’s, professors. Suddenly, ‘home rules’ are obsolete.
But here’s the big secret: The real difference between Home Rules and School Rules is that at college there are NO rules.
No one to wake your kid up in the morning to make sure she gets to class. No one to oversee what or when he eats (or doesn’t eat). No one to check whether homework gets...
Just this week, the United States National Science Foundation released its annual report listing the "geekiest cities in America." The findings were less than surprising. Hello, San Francisco! Great to see you, San Mateo! How's the weather, Boston? A few dark horses threw themselves in here and there (Nice to meet you, Destin, Florida!), but for the most part the so-called "geekiest" cities were just about where you'd expect them to be. What was surprising about the report was the definition of "geek" as detailed by the Foundation. According to them, a geek is "any worker with a bachelor's level of knowledge and education in science or engineering-related fields or workers in occupations that require some degree of technical knowledge or training." Now, granted, this definition of geek works specifically within the parameters of the Foundation itself and is meant more as a broad term for those engaged in the technical or scientific professions. But then are they really geeks? Are...
When your first child leaves for college, there is a gaping hole in your life. The child that you so carefully cared for and natured for 18+ years is suddenly gone. When your second child leaves home, the loss is less severe, since you know what to expect.
When my youngest left for Stanford, I became a proverbial ‘empty nester.’ But, since we live just a baseball toss from the University, the change was more one of degree than substance. Somehow, the fact that home was just a few miles away meant that the separation (at least for me) did not carry the agony or grief of the first loss.
And then something begins to happen. The house that seemed preternaturally quiet without the thumping sounds of hip hop music, mad dashes out to school, friends coming and going, etc. suddenly seems…peaceful. I could sleep in past 6:45 am. I could watch what I wanted on TV. No more school lunches! And there was less laundry. Lots less ...
This Friday, July 1, 85,000 hybrid drivers will be kicked out of California’s carpool lanes and into the log-jammed ghetto from whence they came six years ago. I’m one of them. I’ll be the one sobbing in my 2003 Prius.
In 2005, California offered precious, shiny yellow stickers to cars that got at least 45 mpg: the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic and Insight. We were special. We could drive alone in the carpool lane, blasting by SUVs in the regular lanes as we commuted to work. And in California we have serious commutes. This sticker is not a little thing. This is better than money*. We special people were given the gift of time. TIME! And for six years we lived like sunburned teenagers—thinking that time would always be on our side.
Until it wasn’t.
On Friday, I become Goldie Hawn thrown Overboard into a life of drudgery. Except Goldie had it way better because at least she couldn’t remember having been rich. I remem...
When my son was four years old, he promised to live with me forever. Being that he was my first child, I took him at his word. And it didn’t occur to me that Thomas Wolfe might have had a point.
Now, some 20 years later, I’m finding that living at home forever might not be the best idea. For one thing, my kids have too much stuff. It all started innocently enough with our well-intentioned efforts to make sure that each child (one he, one she) started college life as well-equipped and comfortable as possible. A UC Berkeley dorm-regulation mattress? Ugh! That old desk in my daughter’s freshman dorm room in Stern Hall? Not! I remember those from my days in Larkin North…and that was many days ago.
This summer we have suffered ‘re-entry syndrome’ as one soon-to...
Kid shows are melting my brain. Some are definitely better than others: I love Sesame Street (which Sally knows, so she claims it is boring) and I enjoy Olivia. But most have these incredibly annoying repeated lines, or just types of lines that make me want to back over the flat screen with my car.
Bubble Guppies - "What time is it? It's time for lunch!"
These weird little mermaidy kids live in a world without physics, one of my pet kid show peeves. Though annoying, their lunch line has become embedded in the Batte family arsenal of quasi-witty comebacks.
Dora the Explorer - "Say MAP! LOUDER! SAY MAP!"
If ever given the chance, I will kill Dora.
Berenstain Bears - "Gosh, I didn't think of it that way."
The Berenstain kids are super-duper wholesome, yet somehow manage to spend 20 of the 22 minutes available to them teaching your kid how NOT to act. But you know what bothers me most ...
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