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: Maria Callas

Because Maria Callas was famous for her beautiful voice, I thought it’d be great to let you hear it before reading her quotes.

Maria Callas was born in New York City in 1923.  After completing eighth grade, she moved with her mother to Greece to pursue education, and develop a career in singing. She began her career singing opera in Italy, and returned to the United States in 1940. Maria is known as one of the most influential opera singers of the 20th century. To find out more about her click HERE.

Maria Callas Quotes

  • You are born an artist or you are not. And you stay an artist, dear, even if your voice is less of a fireworks. The artist is always there.
  • That is the difference between good teachers and great teachers: good teachers make the best of a pupil’s means; great teachers foresee a pupil’s ends.
  • An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I’ve left the opera house.

 

Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for a piece of original art by Zach OHora, and a picture book signed by both Zach and Sudipta! Click HERE for details.

 

 

 

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: Isak Dinesen

isak Isak Dinesen is the pen name use by  Karen Blixen (1885-1962). She  was a Danish author and explorer. She is best known for her autobiographical book, Out of Africa, about her time in Kenya. To find more interesting facts click HERE.  Isak Dinesen Quotes:

  • The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.
  • When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.
  • The entire being of a woman is a secret which should be kept.
  • To be a person is to have a story to tell.
  • Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever…

How much do you love that first quote? I think it might be my new favorite!

*Photo Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-54231]

100 years ago today….

Women demonstrating, 100 years ago, for the right to vote.

Women demonstrating, 100 years ago, for the right to vote.

Five thousand women marched along Pennsylvania Avenue and demanded the right to vote. This was a huge step toward being awarded that right on August 26, 1920. So today we celebrate Sudan B Anthony’s words of wisdom.  Anthony (1820-1906) is known for her work with the United States’ women’s rights movement. Today, nerdy chicks everywhere salute her eloquence.

Susan B. Anthony Quotes

• It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.

• Men – their rights and nothing more; Women – their rights and nothing less.

• The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball — the further I am rolled the more I gain.

• I can’t say that the college-bred woman is the most contented woman. The broader her mind the more she understands the unequal conditions between men and women, the more she chafes under a government that tolerates it.

• I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows.

• If all the rich and all of the church people should send their children to the public schools they would feel bound to concentrate their money on improving these schools until they met the highest ideals.

• Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammeled womanhood.

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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.