Showing posts from July, 2011

Do We Treat History Like a Dead Language?

Originally published on Huffington Post:

A sweltering parking garage filled with wand-wielding Harry Potter enthusiasts (all waiting in line for the midnight premiere of HP and the Deathly Hallows Part 2) may not seem like the most obvious place to quiz one's sister's friends about current events, but it was still an hour until the theater doors opened and I was bored. So I started a trivia game and out popped a question that I was dying to see if anyone could answer:

"Who's Betty Ford?"

It actually wasn't such a random question. Mrs. Ford had passed away only a couple days before. It had been all over the news -- radio, television, the Huffington Post. That said, I wasn't expecting much. My mom had asked the same question to two of my sister's friends the day before to receive blank stares.

"Uh ... related to Henry Ford?" was the response.

I felt it…

Somewhat Haphazardly-Organized Thoughts on Girls and Leadership

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, gave a TED Talk a while back, which I watched; I was impressed with her poise and interesting opinions (but then again, which TED speaker doesn't have those qualities?)  Her talk helped answer a very important question: why we have too few women leaders.

I would like to challenge, however, the widely held idea that since girls aren't becoming leaders as a result of naturally being less boastful, entitled, and commanding than most boys, girls need to start assuming those qualities in order to become CEOs. (That's paraphrased). This does, however, seem to be the idea-- girls don't speak up enough, take the lead enough, boast enough.

As Sheryl Sandberg pointed out, when girls try to be commanding, it's called bossy. When a girl boasts about her personal appearance or her latest work, it's being a show-off, etc. (This is all speaking in very general terms, mind you. If you haven't already watched Sheryl Sandberg's speech, …

TEDxRedmond not receiving support from local school district (at least not easily)

TEDxRedmond, the event I'm organizing with fellow youth (for the second year), is all about learning, inspiring, and doing good, from the unique perspective of young people. In response to the question, "Why attend TEDxRedmond?" we've heard amazing responses from attendees, like this from an 11-year-old: "I really, really enjoyed TEDxRedmond last year.  I loved that everyone there is trying to make the world a better place. Since last year I have been very busy trying to do the same.  I have been volunteering my time with the Riverview Youth Council,  I am the youngest in the group, most of them are in High School and I'm 11.  We work on teen suicide prevention, preventing tobacco use, and other healthy choices.  I also have been volunteering to serve food at tent city and helping the local women's shelter and sponsoring people on Kiva.  But the biggest thing I have been working on is anti-bullying.  I am working to help create a safe and bully free scho…

Supporting TEDxRedmond

I wanted to let everyone know about the youth event I'm organizing again this year (along with an amazing committee of fellow students): TEDxRedmond. An independently organized TEDx event (TED is a prestigious nonprofit and conference dedicated to Ideas Worth Spreading), TEDxRedmond's goal is to promote youth voice on important issues ranging from education to the environment. You can watch videos from last year's conference on the website, and read about why people are signing up to attend this year. We've received phenomenal feedback about last year's event--young people, inspired by TEDxRedmond, have been building bully-free schools, raising money to fight disease, joining boards, and simply taking action to help others. 
We are struggling to find a major funding sponsor this year, unfortunately, which limits us in terms of how many people we are able to bring in from out of state. There are many amazing youth who live in California and the East Coast whom we wou…

New Short Story "Cartography"

One of my favorite parts of traveling is a rather non eco-friendly one, I'm afraid (although I always do recycle or have someone else reuse them)--I absolutely love using paper maps to navigate through a city's streets. While I'm not quite the younger "Ellie" in the story, the reasons for loving maps are pretty much all mine. This short story was inspired by my recent trip to Philadelphia, where I used maps a great deal. Hope you enjoy!