The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Judith Viorst

Judith Viorst QuotesI’m not sure that the words of any author or poet out there have touched my emotions as simply and directly as Judith Viorst’s have. In the world of children’s authors, she is best known for her oh-so-true picture book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The character Alexander gave us the quote for which Viorst is perhaps best known. “Some days are like that. Even in Australia.” Who can’t relate to that? But Viorst has written many other wonderful books and collections of poems that are just as relatable. So much so, for myself, that I sent copies of her poetry collection  How Did I Get to judith viorst quotesBe 40 & Other Atrocities in lieu of invitations to guests invited to my fortieth birthday party. Viorst published the collection in 1976 when I was a young child, but the feelings behind the poems still spoke to me. Loudly! This is what poetry is all about. I was not surprised to find that her quotes spoke to me as well.

For a short biography of Judith Viorst, click HERE

Judith Viorst Quotes

  • Growing up means letting go of the dearest megalomaniacal dreams of our childhood. Growing up means knowing they can’t be fulfilled. Growing up means gaining the wisdom and skills to get what we want within the limitations imposed by reality—a reality which consists of diminished powers, restricted freedoms and, with the people we love, imperfect connections.
  • A normal adolescent is so restless and twitchy and awkward that he can manage to injure his knee—not playing soccer, not playing football—but by falling off his chair in the middle of French class.
  • Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces, and then eat just one of the pieces.
  • We will have to give up the hope that, if we try hard, we somehow will always do right by our children. The connection is imperfect. We will sometimes do wrong.
  • Superstition is foolish, childish, primitive, and irrational – but how much does it cost you to knock on wood?

Aren’t those wonderful, insightful, and down to earth? 

 

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: MAKERS.com

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While researching the modern women’s movement for a novel, I came across a remarkable documentary called MAKERS: Women Who Make America. Using interviews, it told the story of the social revolution by American women who fought for their share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy.

That documentary led me to MAKERS.com, self-described as “a dynamic digital platform showcasing thousands of compelling stories—both known and unknown—from trailblazing women of today and tomorrow.” This ongoing initiative aims to be the largest and most dynamic collection of women’s stories ever assembled.

Yep, video interviews with thousands of Nerdy Chicks!

Founded by Dyllan McGee (her story here) and developed by AOL and PBS, MAKERS.com introduces you to strong, committed women from such categories as: Groundbreakers, Politics, Arts, Science & Tech, etc.

Here’s just a sample of these very Quotable Nerdy Chicks:

Anna Maria Chavez, CEO, Girl Scouts of USA

• Don’t let other people create your persona. Don’t let other people paint the picture of who you represent.

• We need to bring a more diverse thinking around the business table, around the government table, around any table where tough decisions are being made.

Erin Brockovich, environmental activist

• Someone, somewhere, went out on a limb. They created a law. They changed a life. They made a difference.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, first Latina elected to Congress

• Is this a great country or what? To think that a Cuban refuge could come to the United States, not know a word of English…I’m now a member of Congress. I’ll always have that little niche in the history books.

If you were born after 1960, you owe it to yourself to better understand how women’s roles in America evolved from the 1950s to today. Meet the courageous women who stood up and demanded to be heard by clicking here and watch MAKERS: Women Who Make America. Six more documentaries will be released later this year.

The Quotable Nerdy Civil Rights Activist

As we here in the United States celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr Day, we thought it would be nice to take a moment and celebrate the Civil Rights Movement, especially the many women who influenced it. The women we quote below were all leaders of the Civil Rights Movement; several were recipients  of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal. We hope you are as inspired by these quotes — and these women — as we are.

Source: The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

Source: The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

“Give light and people will find the way.”

-Ella Baker, Activist

“No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his or her own way is without enemies.”

-Daisy Bates, Journalist

444px-Bethune42h“Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.”

Mary Mcleod Bethune, Educator and Activist

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

– Rosa Parks, Activist

Mary_church_terrell“Surely nowhere in the world do oppression and persecution based solely on the color of the skin appear more hateful and hideous than in the capital of the United States, because the chasm between the principles upon which this Government was founded, in which it still professes to believe, and those which are daily practiced under the protection of the flag, yawn so wide and deep.”

– Mary Church Terrell, founder of National Association of Colored Women

“Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.”

– Dorothy Height, former president of the National Council of Negro Women

377px-Fannie_Lou_Hamer_1964-08-22“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

– Fannie Lou Hamer, organizer Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.”

— Coretta Scott King

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Grace Hopper

grace hopperGrace Hopper (1909 – 1992) was born in New York City. In 1928 she graduated from Vassar College, with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics and later received a MA and a Ph.D. from Yale University. She is known for being one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer. A US Navy rear admiral, Hopper also developed the first compiler for a computer programming language. Nicknamed Amazing Grace, Hopper coined the phrase “debugging” for computer problems, and has had both a US Navy destroyer and a supercomputer named in her honor. You can read more about Grace Hopper HERE.

Grace Hopper Quotes

  • Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.
  • Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one’s superiors; care for one’s crew.
  • It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
  • A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.

I like these quotes! And while I’ve heard that third one many times, I never knew who to attribute it to. It’s true… but I hope my children don’t find this out for a while…

 

 

 

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The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Wilhelmina Cole Holladay

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Last week, I posted here about the absence of women in an art history textbook, and the founding of The National Museum of Women in the Arts.

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Photo by Tom Field

Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, collector, philanthropist, and cofounder of the museum, is today’s Quotable Nerdy Chick. Her life’s work has been to expose and advance female artists’ contributions to the world.

Wilhelmina Cole Holladay Quotes:

• In my view…art is about beauty. Art reflects our shared humanity, the traits, talents, and qualities that make us human. Art transcends politics, gender, color, religion, age, and nationality. Art is the great unifier.

• When substantial accomplishments and excellence are known, the right to be taken seriously surely will follow. Women should know their heritage which has been so long ignored.

• When I see a work of art, it awes me. I want to share it. Art is one thing everybody can join together to applaud.

• If we can heighten the awareness of great achievement by women artists so they will be included in major museums, and heighten the awareness of the inequities so they’ll be corrected, that’s a step in the right direction.

• …we’re terribly indebted to the feminists. I think some of their activities in promoting were rather unpleasant and harsh, but maybe that’s what you have to do when you’re breaking ground.

• My greatest challenge was to acquire the ability to speak in public. It has helped me so much. See, this helps you and in order to face any challenge, to be successful, you have to be able to sell. The only way you sell is to truly be comfortable in speaking.

Some quotes are taken from an oral history interview with Wilhelmina Holladay, 2005 Aug. 17-2005 Sept. 23, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Learn more about Wilhelmina Holladay here or here.

Portrait credit: Michele Mattei, Wilhelmina Holladay, 2010; Archival ink on cotton rag paper, 30 x 40 in.

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Coretta Scott King

CorettascottkingThis week, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we celebrate some well-spoken quotes from Coretta Scott King (1927 -2006. The wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Mrs. King was an activist in her own right, and continued to work for social justice long after her husband’s death. In 1969 her name was given to one of the most prestigious children’s book awards, The Coretta Scott King Book Awards. Her accomplishments are too many to mention here, but you can read more about them HERE.

Coretta Scott King Quotes:

  • Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.
  • If American women would increase their voting turnout by ten percent, I think we would see an end to all of the budget cuts in programs benefiting women and children.
  • I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
  • The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, … a heart of grace and a soul generated by love.
  • Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.

We were honored to interview one writer whose book, Ellen’s Broom, was a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration here on NCR. Click here to see the interview with Kelly Starling Lyons.

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Vera Wang

verawang1Vera Wang (b. 1949) is an American fashion designer. A former figure skater, she started her design career in 1971 with Vogue magazine and then worked as a design director for Ralph Lauren.  Wang has been awarded many honors including being named Womenswear Designer of the Year by The Council of Fashion Designers of America. Celebrities such as Halle Berry and Meg Ryan have worn her designs. To learn more about this fabulous designer click HERE.

Vera Wang Quotes:

  • Ready-to-wear is what I’ve wanted to do since the beginning…I’m not a girl who spends my life in a ballgown
  • A woman is never sexier than when she is comfortable in her clothes.
  • As the mother of two daughters, I have great respect for women. And I don’t ever want to lose that.
  • Design is about point of view, and there should be some sort of woman or lifestyle or attitude in one’s head as a designer.
  • When you have a passion for something then you tend not only to be better at it, but you work harder at it too.

Every time I see a Vera Wang dress I love it. What an eye for line she has! And I agree with what she says about passion too….