Tag Archives: awards


It’s that time of year again, for graduations and award ceremonies. These are generally happy occasions, but I personally find the experience a bit mixed. You see, I am not an award winner, not the one up on stage giving a speech. I am introverted, and, truth be told, not that accomplished.

More than that, though, I can’t go to an awards ceremony without hearing about the awardee’s positive attitude, the smile on the face, the spring in the step, the can-do spirit. The awardee is invariably “more” than their grades, or their work achievements, or their sports skills, and that something extra is what “really” earned them the award. It is not, we are told, the specific accomplishment that award has engraved on it or sculpted into it—not even they are handed a tiny golden man with an even tinier ball stuck to his foot.

This is all well and good–I mean, I wouldn’t want to go back to the bad old days when the only award given out went to the worst insufferable know-it-all in the class. I like that there are more awardees these days, recognizing a diversity of contributors and achievements.

But I still can’t help wondering about the other kids, the other non-award-winners. The ones who, despite a modicum of achievement, can’t summon a positive attitude; the ones whose support systems are fraying, whose grip on mental or physical health may be precarious, or who just aren’t that into it, but who still put in the effort, come to school every day, and do the work. It’s damn hard to excel at something you dislike. But these kids do it.

I think most well-meaning adults would argue that attitude is a “choice” and if you’re not feeling it, you should just fake it until you make it. After all, it’s true that you don’t have to feel like doing something in order to get it done. And from an adult’s point of view, it’s certainly a lot easier to like and bestow favors upon a smiling kid than one who is angry, frustrated or withdrawn.

But faking it emotionally comes at a cost. Student stress, anxiety, and depression have reached alarming levels, even among those who appear to be comfortable, safe, and financially solvent. Students talk about the burden of “effortless perfection” that they feel is expected of them, especially at so-called top schools.

There are no easy answers to this dilemma. Students make these expectations of each other, and of themselves too. But I think that adults contribute to the problem when we make recognition all about the smile. I’d like to see, maybe just once during a 90-minute ceremony, a kid getting an award for completing something difficult and unpleasant, for dragging themselves out of bed and facing the inner demons for the 90th time that year, and not having fun doing it.



One Lovely Blog Award #2

I got the “One Lovely Blog” award once before, soon after I started blogging, which was a very nice thing to have happen at the beginning of this blogging journey.

Image credit: funawards.com

Since then I’ve taken a Word Press blogging class, participated in a blogfest, and discovered “award-free” blogs.  I understand the appeal of having an award-free blog, especially the comment that accompanies the announcement: “your comments are enough.” I feel that way too: comments are more than enough. It still boggles my mind (in a good way) that people I’ve never met before are reading this. Continue reading One Lovely Blog Award #2

One Lovely Blog Award!

I am thrilled to have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Muddy Mum, on her blog, Mud and Nettles!

The rules for accepting the 2015 One Lovely Blog Award are:

  • Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know.


Muddy Mum is the first person I “met” on Word Press, and she lives all the way across the ocean in the U.K. We both share an interest in geocaching, and I wish my kids were as up for it as hers seem to be. The pictures she posts of the English countryside when she is out caching are truly lovely. A big thank you to her!

Share 7 things about yourself:

  1. I quit and restarted playing the violin twice.
  2. When we were kids, my younger brother and I drew a comic book series called the “Catty Kitten Crier.” It featured the adventures of four cats named Catty, Cindy, Tigger, and T.V. Set. T.V. Set’s real name was Theodore Vanderbilt Setenarian.
  3. I only have 24 teeth. But they are in good shape and very straight.
  4. I won 50-cents from my 8th grade social studies teacher by naming all 50 U.S. states in alphabetical order, based on knowing the song, “Fifty Nifty United States.”
  5. My husband and I met online before it was a thing, and we corresponded for a year before meeting in person. The first pictures we sent were the night before we met, so that we’d recognize each other at the airport.
  6. My grandfather wrote the math book I used in 11th grade. But I didn’t have all the answers.
  7. I tend to sneeze in threes: twice, a slight delay, and then a third.

I may not make it to 15, but I would like to nominate the following bloggers (in no particular order) for the One Lovely Blog Award:

  1. Roar Loud. An outdoorsy and adventurous blog with gorgeous photos.
  2. Ramona Crisstea‘s fashion blog. I’m not very fashionable myself, but I like to look at the clothes.
  3. Song of the Lark. Extensive and thoughtful coverage of the Minnesota Orchestra and symphonies in general.
  4. Isenglass. Learning to play the violin as an adult beginner. Also knitting and running.
  5. Natacha Guyot. Eclectic and original essays about science fiction and fantasy.
  6. Pint Size Fiction. Could use more pictures, but is alternately hilarious, horrifying, unexpected, and always engaging.
  7. Davis Brotherly Love. A brother’s love for his autistic brother. And some awesome water colors.
  8. APB. Cool graphic design.
  9. DeeScribes. Following her dreams and doing important work about disability.
  10. Be a Positive Light. Inspirational stories, especially for women.