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The Alumni Blog : August, 2011

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    My Life as a Geek: Standing Up for Six Dresses

    Having been fortunate enough to be hired for an art party for a sweet little girl’s birthday, I gathered my big box of tricks and was off to a beautiful home in Orinda. The project for the day was to create a piece called “Six Dresses” in which the children would cut out, from a variety of patterned paper, dresses to place on a large piece of frameable posterboard. I arrived armed with buttons and enough paper to choke a goat and settled in for a festive and fun afternoon. The girls had a ball creating all manner of dresses: short-sleeved and strapless…some with belts…some with sashes and some with buttons all down their backs. I wanted the girls to work within a “color scheme” – to make sure that each dress had one little thing in common with the others, whether it was a particular shade of blue or a shared pattern.

    The girls’ creations were just lovely – all so wonderfully individual and, much lik...

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    Posted by Mrs. Katie Mauro Zeigler on Aug 30 2011 1:03PM | 0 comments

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    What Stanford Alums Are Reading

    Quick quiz: What do Lake Lagunita and summer reading have in common?

    If you answered “Stanford Alumni Facebook’s Summer Reading Sweepstakes,” we love you! (And—bonus—you’re correct!)

    If you answered, “Huh?,” we have one word of advice for you: Head over to Stanford Alumni on Facebook and click “Like” right now so you won’t miss out on the next opportunity to win free swag like this fabulous vintage postcard of (a very full) Lake Lag.

    In the meantime, here’s a quick lowdown on books alums have enjoyed this past summer. Please share your comments on the books on this list, add your own recommendations, and enjoy this little sampling of the literary penchants of your fellow...

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    Posted by Mrs. Amy Wolf on Aug 26 2011 12:19PM | 0 comments

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    My New Job: Family Driving Instructor

    Last week, Cameron got his learner's permit, a few days after turning 16. Unlike in my day, kids (at least where we live) aren't excessively eager to get their driver's licenses. It's easy enough for them to get around town on their own without a car, so why bother?

    The process today is a lot different than it was back then, which seems like a good thing. I may be a little off, but I think all we had to do was take Driver's Ed (in school!), then take a written test to get our permit at age 15-1/2, then take a driving test once we turned 16. Nowadays, kids have a much more structured process to go through, including logging specific numbers of hours with both a private driving school and with us. We let Cameron figure it all out, since it will be him who gets the license, not us.

    Now that he has his permit, he has to sign up for a session (or two? How would I know?) with a professional driving school. Once he's done that, it will be time to get in the car with him ...

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    Posted by Mr. Marty Beene on Aug 20 2011 10:46AM | 0 comments

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    Old Flames and Stanford Games

    It seems all the interesting things happen to me either during a Stanford football game or after. In college, sleeping out the night before the Oregon State game led to my first long-term boyfriend, I once fell down the stairs at Big Game, landing in the lap of an irate Cal fan, my in-laws met my family for the first time over the din of a Notre Dame/Stanford game..and then there was the infamous ex sighting.

    My husband Bram and I were having pizza in Palo Alto with my dear friend Peter and his fabulous girlfriend (now fabulous wife). And there, amid the smell of pepperoni and tales of motherhood, I looked up from my imported beer and saw "the ex": the man who, on his birthday, told me I smelled like onions..the one in college who told me the way I looked at him with love in my eyes was, “downright irritating.”

    Now, I am a married woman. I adore my husband. I have two sons, a great job writing and creating artwork and teaching art to childre...

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    Posted by Mrs. Katie Mauro Zeigler on Aug 17 2011 12:36PM | 0 comments

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    My Life as a Geek: Defining Moments

    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...

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    Posted by Mrs. Katie Mauro Zeigler on Aug 10 2011 8:24PM | 2 comments

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    The State of the Student: Take Back Our Kids

    With films like Race to Nowhere hyping up parental hysteria about pressure, stress and competition, it's time to take a step back and consider what is REALLY important for our kids. 

    Think back to a time when your children were little, perhaps to when they were in preschool. What did they like? Dinosaurs? Polly Pocket dolls? Playing on the swings at the park? Super Mario Bros.?

    Whatever, odds are that you can very clearly picture that child and his or her particular interests. You knew what they liked to do, what they liked to eat, what they liked to wear (or not wear). Bottom line, you KNEW your child. 

    And now you have a high schooler. What happened to that precious child, the one that could name all the dinosaurs or who loved the smell of rubber cement? The one who hated how socks felt on her feet? Or who waited for the sound of passing trains?

    How well ...

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    Posted by Charlene Scholtes Margot, M.A. on Aug 6 2011 5:03PM | 0 comments