International Women’s Day

I am remarkably lucky.  I am also remarkably privileged but I truly believe that there is luck there, too.

Today I am celebrating the women who were doing the work before I was born.  My grandmother who was a nurse and bucked tradition by not marrying until her thirties.  My other grandmother who just turned 101 and was the first Jewish nurse in Toronto.  My mother and her friends who despite (or possibly because of) incredibly different belief systems have remained friends for over 20 years.  These women showed me what strong women look like. They were the mayor and school board members, they ran organizations for suicide prevention and raised children.  They demonstrate to me what womanhood looks like. They are what I want to be.

I am celebrating my peers and the work we do.  We study writing and make art.  We work with children, college students, and adults.  We spread tolerance and love.  We talk about important issues and support each other’s endeavors.  We push the definitions of feminism to make sure all women all included and we work on ourselves and our friendships.

I am celebrating the girls I teach and have taught.  The girls who are working on becoming women.  Who are finding their places in the world and learning to express themselves within that. They are fighting the good fight for equality and change.  They are learning younger how to love people for who they are.  They are amazing.

Happy International Women’s Day.

Personal Stuffs: Sarah was here!!!! She’s my bff from Hawaii and it was an amazing weekend.

Classroom Stuffs: I am caught up on all my work!!!!!!

Personal Change: Yoga this week?  Maybe?

Classroom Change: We are starting our game designing this week.  YAYAYAYAYAYYAY.

Reading: I am (still) listening to the Mistborn series still.  I (still) like it.  (STILL)

Watching: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!!!  It was sooooo good.

Your assigned reading: JOMO, the opposite of FOMO.

Things I am thinking about.

How am I balancing support and agency?

How am I making sure that my last class does not get a more annoyed version of me?

Do the students know how much I like them?

When am I not setting them up to meet expectations?

What is my fault?

When is fault okay and when should I give everyone a break?

Have I dived so deep in to this world of teaching and math that I am losing some of my other important works?

Am I doing a good enough job? Is there such a thing?


I miss your face.

Last year a wrote a post about selfies and about how I consider myself to be hot.  That post turned itself in to this one.  Which takes you to the #shutupandduckface challenge.  I, Anne Schwartz, challenge you, insert name here, to take a picture of yourself everyday for the month of March.  Here’s a little bit of what I wrote last year (if clicking the link as just too damn hard):

For the next month I will be taking selfies and posting them on the internet. I’m using Instagram and the hashtag #shutupandduckface.  You need an instagram account to do this.  I am 90% sure to have instagram you need a smartphone or tablet.  Just download the app and get on it.  If you just want to do this on the twitters I’m into that, too.

There are no rules.  A selfie is what you make it.  Really love your shoes today?  Take that.  Mastered eyeliner?  I wanna see. Ran three miles and are a sweaty mess?  Rock that shit. I’m impressed.

Here is my first entry to soon be on instagram.  I call it, “What Saturday looks like or I haven’t showered since Thursday.”

So this year’s could be called, “What Sunday looks  like or I haven’t showered since Friday.” *

Photo on 3-1-15 at 10.35 AM #2

Personal Stuffs: Blah.  I wrote the last one of these on Thursday so not much has changed.  There is a lot of rain right now.

Classroom Stuffs: I am behind on grading (again)  whoops.

Personal Change: I’ve been balancing work life better.  Oh! And I’m going to the DR in March!

Classroom Change: Excited about the freshman doing a probability unit.  I let them make a list from 1-20 of things and each day we roll the die and whatever it lands on we do. :)

Reading: I am (still) listening to the Mistborn series still.  I (still) like it.

Watching: ummm…. Old episodes of Crossing Jordan.

Your assigned reading: Guys, net neutrality is importante.

*I am really bad at showering.


I appreciate my students, who make me feel like I am doing something good.

I appreciate my colleagues, who are the best team of people I have ever worked with.

I appreciate this place I live and the things I have.  My life is really fantastic.

I appreciate you for allowing me this space.

Personal Stuffs: I am super late with this because this week has been rough.  Oh hai, insane migraine of Wednesday.

Classroom Stuffs: I am behind on grading because this week has kicked my ass and I am too tired to say late.

Personal Change: Nothing?  That’s not good.  oops.

Classroom Change: Must finish game for model of game presentation and also get on top of grading.

Reading: I am listening to the Mistborn series still.  I still like it.

Watching: Who knows. Oh, I watched a movie called Love, Rosie.  It was real cute.

Your assigned reading: Just in case you need an emergency dance party. 


I am reading a book right now called Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and one of the main character is a 16 year old girl.  In the book he describes her as strong and by all accounts she is.  She has survives on the streets, through beatings and hunger.  She is deemed useful in a time when most women like her would be dismissed or sold to a whore house.  When I was searching around online for reviews of the book I found a creeping pattern.  A pattern of reviews that denied her strength.  It was essentially what I am now referring to as the Sansa Stark problem.  She doesn’t act like a man, she isn’t always yelling or screaming, she doesn’t always fight back, she survives.  There is strength in that.  There is strength in fighting quietly.  There is strength in ways that are not overt.

Personal Stuffs: I walked like ten miles this weekend.  It’s not a lot but it’s something.  I am doing something.

Classroom Stuffs: I am so impressed with my students lately.  They are working so well. Also, we have three day week.

Personal Change: I went to the gym.  Well, I signed in.  So now I have a log in. That’s something.

Classroom Change: Just want to get on top of my stuff.

Reading: I am listening to the Mistborn series and I am really liking it.  My brother would tell you I like everything.

Watching: Caught up on Gotham and Blacklist.  So it was a bad tv weekend.

Your assigned reading: The story of a pregnant photo journalist.

Week 5. Not much.

Not much to report here.  :)

Personal Stuffs: I went out with friends twice this week and it was great.  I really like the people I work with.

Classroom Stuffs: This week has been really really good teaching-wise. I think I am making positive strides in my room.

Personal Change: I still haven’t been to gym.  Get it together, Schwartz. (Can I leave this from last week?)

Classroom Change:  I’ve felt really good about my classroom lately.  Don’t worry though, I’ll find something I need to do better some.

Reading: I listened to The Girl on The Train a Gone-Girl type thriller.  It was utterly addicting.  I saw the end coming sort of but also not really.  It was real good.

Watching: Just the normal stuff this week.  It was a busy week.  I am thinking of start Empire, does anyone watch?

Your assigned reading: A little bit of bell hook and Saved by the Bell for you.

Two of my favorites.

Two of my favorite former students turn 18 today.  Once they wrote a guest post for this blog.  Maybe they’ll do it again sometime?  Until then, I just want to say how stupid proud I am of you.  Except not just proud because that feels like not enough.  I am filled to bursting with joy at the people you are becoming and the fact that you still write, text, and call to tell me you are alive and well.  I miss your faces.

<3 <3 <3,  Ms. Schwartz

P.S. Enjoy the snow.  Throw some at someone for me. ;)

Week 4. Ingrid.

This series of texts happened this weekend:

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 8.21.28 PM

Ingrid is amazing but you can make yourself real sad listening to her.  The bff was listening to “The Chain” which is amazing and also sob-inducing.  Me, I’ve been singing “Be Okay” a slightly less sad but equally good song.  The chorus is simple:

I just want to be okay, be okay, be okay
I just want to be okay today

It’s an upbeat song, covering chunks of sadness.  There’s something about it that reads hopeful to me and that makes me feel better.

This post makes no sense.  Anyway, just so you know, I am actually okay and will continue to get better. :)

Personal Stuffs: Lots of apartment cleaning, cooking, and living like a grown person.

Classroom Stuffs: I missed a lot last week for sick and for PD but I got a lot out of the PD so that felt good.

Personal Change: I still haven’t been to gym.  Get it together, Schwartz.

Classroom Change:  At the PD last week the lady running it used the term “productive hurrying” I want to get better at that this week.

Reading: I just finished Bad Feminist and GOD I loved it.  I love Roxane Gay.  I think we should be friends.  Maybe I’ll go visit Nicky and creep on her.

Watching: I watched Broadchurch this weekend and well holy eff. You must watch.

Your assigned reading: This is one week of harassment on twitter.  ONE WEEK.

Week 3. On Sadness.

Trigger Warning: depression and that such.

My sadness is a thing that is separate from me.  It lives in a different apartment, sometimes in a different city or state or even country.  It often stays there, weeks, months, even years at a time, living it’s own life and not progressing towards mine.  In my early twenties it was my constant companion, my sadness and I slept, ate, and lived in the same space.  It was, and probably always will be one of the hardest times in my life.

In the last year or so my sadness has come back to town and while it doesn’t live with me quite yet it has gotten disturbingly close.  I would not be surprised to find out it lives just next door.  One of the most interesting things about being an adult for me has been the ability to really understand my sadness and to see it coming.  One of the most annoying things about being an adult is knowing I have to deal with it.  So I am. I am doing tangible life things to remind the sadness that it is not invited to my life. That it is not welcome here.

This is all to leads to a couple things.  First, we are all different and handle things differently but for me the sadness is not something to be ashamed of or to hide from.  The sadness is, a real thing for me.  If it is for you I hope knowing you are not alone helps.  Second, I did the grown up thing and I went to talk to someone.  It was the worst therapy of all time.  I got talked at for 45 minutes about something I don’t do, I got drugs pushed on me 3 times, and I was given a bipolar handbook to, “track my moods.”  (Just fyi, I am not bipolar, I have a host of things but this is not one of them.)  Basically, I paid to be harassed.  But I will try again because I understand the importance of good therapy and it is a piece of scaring away the sadness. But seriously, eff that lady.

Personal Stuffs: Mostly, as above, also I am super sick and working on fighting that.

Classroom Stuffs: I really like the way my text is introducing quadratics.  I think it’s interesting and relatable.

Personal Change: I joined the gym this morning.  As one does when they can’t breathe through their nose.

Classroom Change:  Students are having troubling staying with the seating charts.  I’m thinking about why that is and how to help them.

Reading: Still Zadie.  Also I am listening to Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.   As soon as I get a physical copy I will be quoting the hell out of it.  I loves it.

Watching: I watched most of An Honourable Woman this weekend.  I am in love with Maggie Gyllenhal and the plot is fascinating.

Your assigned reading (actually lsitening): The new Kayne, Rihanna, Paul McCartney Song.

Week 2. I didn’t forget.

Umm… so I didn’t so much forget as had today off.  That makes today technically Sunday, right?  I’m pretty sure that’s how days of the week wrong. Also, I’m the center of the universe.

Personal Stuffs: This was boring week in terms of personal stuff, lots of work.  I did have dinner with my family though and was reminded that they really really don’t get feminism.

Classroom Stuffs: I taught my tenth graders badly all week.  This unit is kicking my ass.  I am hoping this week (test on previous unit, start new) will give me a fresh start.

Personal Change: I got a disco ball, does that count? Also, I bought myself flowers and cleaned my apartment so I am feeling ready for the week. (Can we have 3 day weekends all the time?)

Classroom Change:  New units in both 9 and 10, I want to start them both with a reflection circle on how they felt about this unit and what we as a class need to change.

Reading: Okay, so I never started Orleans and I am avoiding My Brilliant Best Friend and instead I stole Zadie Smith’s On Beauty which picked up from a friend’s classroom.  I am really enjoying reading a physical book.

Watching: Gotham, I watched the first two a while back and wasn’t hooked but my brother convinced me to try again and I love the duo of Donal Logue and Ryan from the OC.

Your assigned reading: Hermione and the Goddamn Patriarchy.   Favorite Quote: “Yes all witches. All witches have had to put up with comments like that, and worse.”

Also, Happy MLK Jr Day.  May we reach a point in which all voices are heard and all people are equal.