Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Girl Power

My formative years were shaped by the immortal lyrics of Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, and later, the Spice Girls.  When I discovered Sex and the City, I was elated - really?  Women who have their own careers, on their own terms, who have fun with each other,  and live in fabulous Manhattan?  I understand - but am still amazed by - the phenomenon of the Sex & the City sequel, forthcoming this week in theaters.  Women need these role models.  I need these role models.  An hour ago I posted a Carrie Bradshaw quote on Facebook ... "Maybe mistakes are what make our fate."  I received several responses from my treasured girlfriends.  We need movies like these to define ourselves, to make us aware that it's okay to be independent women full of spunk, intelligence, and good times.

In the middle of the desert, I find myself with a few great friends who let me be myself.  I am also reminded of the truly great friends I have in other cities, friends I desperately miss.  Girlfriends are essential to being a girl.  What does this have to do with getting my PhD?  ... Everything.  Without my girlfriends, I am not whole.  Thanks to those friends who get me, who accept me for whom I am, and who encourage me to be more.  Cheers to you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stones into Schools

I'm reading Greg Mortenson's Stones into Schools:  Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Mr. Mortenson has spent his life building schools in the more remote, forgotten, neglected parts of these war-torn countries, with an emphasis on education for girls.  His mission is clear - when you educate a community, especially girls, you provide hope for the future, a way out of poverty, a life that can fight against war.

His courage, woven through his tales of adventure and dangerous liaisons, is inspiring.  He has gone where most people would never dare, in order to help all of humanity.  Girls in these counties receive little to no education.  They are relegated to domestic duties and horrors that most women in industrialized nations will never know.  I admire Mr. Mortenson's dedication to education for girls.  His writing is a reminder that equality is still a dream - but must become a reality.