The Quotable Nerdy First Lady

The saying goes, Behind every great man there’s a great woman.

It’s not clear who came up with that, though we certainly hear it all the time and in many variations. (My personal favorite variation is A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.) On Presidents’ Day, we wanted to honor the women who have supported the man in the Oval Office – while these First Ladies were not elected to their positions, without them, their husbands’ presidencies would have been very different. Let’s hear it for the women behind the Presidents.

File:DolleyPayneMadison.jpg“It is one of my sources of happiness never to desire a knowledge of other people’s business.”

-Dolley Madison

“It’s always been my feeling that God lends you your children until they’re about eighteen years old. If you haven’t made your points with them by then, it’s too late.”

-Betty Ford

File:Abigail Adams.jpg“If we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women.”

-Abigail Adams

“The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.”

-Lady Bird Johnson

 File:Rosalynn Carter chairs mental health hearings - NARA - 177626 crop.png“You must accept that you might fail; then, if you do your best and still don’t win, at least you can be satisfied that you’ve tried. If you don’t accept failure as a possibility, you don’t set high goals, you don’t branch out, you don’t try – you don’t take the risk.”

-Rosalynn Carter

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

File:Michelle Obama 2013 official portrait.jpg“Choose people who will lift you up. Find people who will make you better.”

-Michelle Obama

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: Audrey Hepburn

Audrey_Hepburn_black_and_whiteI always wanted to have Audrey Hepburn’s voice with its unique European lilt. Or those distinctive eyebrows. Or that elegant, impeccable style. Alas, the only quality I share with Ms. Hepburn is size 10 feet.

Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina, found herself in front of the camera as a model, and made her first Hollywood movie, Roman Holiday, in 1953. Not only did she get to rollick around Rome with the dreamy Gregory Peck, she earned an Academy Award. She went on to star in such memorable movies as Sabrina, Funny Face, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Charade, and My Fair Lady.

audrey-hepburn-1992-somalia---Unicef

1992—Audrey in Somalia

But Audrey felt her greatest role was as UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador. Having lived through the German invasion of Holland during World War II, she knew real hunger and suffering. For five years, Ambassador Audrey traveled to over 20 countries witnessing innocent children struggling for survival.  Today the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund continues her work of bringing help and hope to the world’s children.

Audrey Hepburn Quotes:

• For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his hands through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

• People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Never throw anyone out.

• Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands—one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

• The “Third World” is a term I don’t like very much, because we’re all one world. I want people to know that the largest part of humanity is suffering.

• Taking care of children has nothing to do with politics. I think perhaps with time, instead of there being a politicization of humanitarian aid, there will be a humanization of politics.

• Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist. I have seen the miracle of water which UNICEF has helped to make a reality.

You can read about Audrey Hepburn here and here.

Or watch this documentary about the iconic Hepburn style.

DDM coverIn case you missed it…

The winner of the DUCK DUCK MOOSE Giveaway was announced already! Click here to see who won.

The Quotable Nerdy Character

A few weeks ago, I did a workshop on creating believable contemporary characters, and in the research process, I found a lot of inspirational quotes for writers — and readers. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Picture2

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”

― Ernest Hemingway

“Your source material is the people you know, not those you don’t know, but every character is an extension of the author’s own personality.”

― Edward Albee

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

― Mark Twain

“Characterization is an accident that flows out of action and dialogue.”

― Jack Woodford

Picture1“When you’re with your wife, you don’t say I love you to your wife every day but the ways you look at her and your actions are another way to communicate. Don’t focus on dialogue, only focus on what you’re expressing.”

― Michel Hazanavicius

“I tend to relate to a character in terms of the arc: what’s interesting is where he starts versus where he ends up .”

― Edward Norton

“If you’re writing about a character, if he’s a powerful character, unless you give him vulnerability I don’t think he’ll be as interesting to the reader.”

—Stan Lee

What do you think? Are you ready to pick up your pencil (or open up your laptop) and get creating?

 

REMINDER

If you haven’t already, please remember to check out The Busy Librarian’s podcast featuring ME and enter the newest Nerdy Chicks GIVEAWAY!

 

The Quotable Nerdy Dad

In honor of Father’s Day, here are some quotes by fathers on fatherhood (and possibly some tips on how to raise a Nerdy Chicklet!)…

 

“The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them.”

Bertrand Russell 00000160

 

“Fathers, like mothers, are not born. Men grow into fathers and fathering is a very important stage in their development.”

David Gottesman

 

00000016“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

Henry Ward Beecher 

 

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

Mark Twain

 

 

“Fathers, be good to your daughters. You are the god and the weight of her world.”00000161

John Mayer

 

Happy Father’s Day, to all the men out there who play an important role in the life of a child, especially my own Dad. We love you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Education of the Nerdy Chick: A Chat with John Schumacher

This week, we are talking to Librarian-Blogger-Literacy-Advocate-Extraordinaire, John Schumacher. His Watch. Connect. Read. Blog (http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/) is one of the best sources on the internet for information about children’s books, authors, resources, and insight. As a librarian and teacher, we wanted his thoughts on The Education of the Nerdy Chick, especially when it comes to reading. Thank you, Mr. Schu, for talking to us today!

We asked Mr. Schu to finish some of our sentences — here’s what he had to say:

“The differences between girl readers and boy readers are not all that different in my school library. I encourage my students not to label a book as a “boy book” or a “girl book.” If you spent an afternoon in my school library, chances are you would witness me turn to a third grader and say, “Books do not have a gender. Babymouse, Bink and Gollie, Hound Dog True, Marty McGuire, Ivy + Bean, Keena Ford, Clementine,Squish, and Stink are for ALL readers. Read what you want to read, regardless of what a marketing team might have thought when deciding on a book’s final cover or its targeted gender.”  My students know I will never create book lists with the following titles:

  • 10 Books Every Boy Should Read
  • Top Picks for Boy Readers
  • Every Tween Girl Should Read These Books
  • Listen Up Girls! You Must Read These Books

I work tirelessly to match my students with the perfect books. I consider their interests, age, and personality. Gender is not a part of readers’ advisory.”

“Girls can be reluctant readers, too. To get girls to read, I ask these questions:

  •    What are some of your all-time favorite movies?
  •    What do you do for fun on a Saturday afternoon?
  •    What does the perfect day look and sound like?
  •    Have you ever been lost in a book?
  •    What’s the last GREAT book you read?

It all boils down to this: the more I know about her, the better chance I have of recommending a book that helps her realize how awesome and gratifying it is to be a reader. It’s a magical moment when a dormant reader bonds with a book.”

“It can be hard for younger girls to embrace their inner Nerdy Chick. But what is great about when that happens is she discovers a supportive reading community that wants to discuss books and celebrate authors and literacy.

The Nerdy Book Club (http://www.nerdybookclub.com) is the perfect example of a supportive and enthusiastic community.”

“Even Nerdy Chicks need guidance. To help her expand her reading interests, I would discuss a balanced reading diet and encourage her to try different genres and formats. If she’s only reading historical fiction, why not read a graphic novel every so often? If she’s only reading dystopian fiction, why not try nonfiction?

My booktalking sessions always include a nice balance of genres, formats, fiction, and nonfiction.”

“If I was a Nerdy Chick, I would wear stickers advertising my favorite books, tweet nonstop about MUST-READ titles, host book birthday parties, recommend picture books and middle-grade novels to strangers, and give away hundreds of books.  🙂 ”

Once again, a big thank you to Mr. Schu for joining us. Want to read more of his brilliant thoughts? Follow his blog, Watch. Connect. Read. And go throw a book birthday party today!

 

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Michelle Rhee

File:Michelle Rhee at NOAA.jpgToday’s Quotable Nerdy Chick is someone I have admired for a long time. Michelle Rhee is the daughter of Korean immigrants who has become a force on the American education stage. Not everyone agrees with her positions — I can’t say that I always do, either — but it is impossible to deny her passion for school reform and her commitment to every child’s right to a quality education.

Michelle started her career as a teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1997, she founded The New Teacher Project, a non-profit organization that has trained over 43,000 teachers to work in many of our country’s city schools. Between 2007 and 2010, she was chancellor of the Washington, D.C. public schools, and when she left that position, she founded StudentsFirst, an organization which is devoted to political advocacy on education reform issues.

Quotes from Michelle Rhee: 

  • “As a nation, we should get engaged and involved in changing laws that are not serving kids.”
  • “Are we beholden to the public school system at any cost, or are we beholden to the public school child at any cost?”
  • On the perceived failures of the public education system: “I have talked with too many teachers to believe this is their fault. I know they are working furiously in a system that for many years has not appreciated them — sometimes not even paying them on time or providing textbooks. Those who categorically blame teachers for the failures of our system are simply wrong.”
  • “My job is to hear all the input, and then as the leader, then decide which are the things that I think are going to move student achievement forward in this district. And I have to make those decisions. That doesn’t mean that I’m not listening. It just means I have to choose to take into consideration all of that input.”
  • On teacher’s unions: “People often say to me the teachers unions are here to stay, that they are big players, that I have to find a way to get along. I actually disagree with that. It’s important for us to lay out on the table what we’re willing to do, but what our bottom line is for kids. The bottom line is that if you can’t come to agreement then you have to push your agenda in a different way, and we’re absolutely going to do that.”
  • “Creativity is good and whatever. But if the children don’t know how to read, I don’t care how creative you are. You’re not doing your job.”

To learn more about Michelle Rhee, click HERE.