the internet

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New Street Stories Design

I’m excited to finally be finished with migrating Street Stories to WordPress. I did it for a few reasons. WordPress is much more flexible in creating custom designs, and I was able to add to an existing child theme to make it just the way I wanted. I’m also in the process of creating my own portfolio site and migrating this blog to WordPress in the coming weeks (days? we’ll see!). 

Pop over to Street Stories to have a look. I’m going to be scouting more frequently as the weather warms up. Trying to keep up a solid street style blog in the winter kind of burned me out, but I’m excited to ramp up again this spring!

I got LadyHacked!

And it was the best thing ever.

There’s forever a hackathon going on in the Philly tech scene. They’re all pretty male-dominated. But not LadyHacks. The whole point was to introduce hackathons to the women in tech community (and the female content creators, marketers, designers, etc. who support the community). Eighty percent of the attendees, including me, had never participated in a hackathon before.

I registered because I have learned a ton from Girl Geek Dinners and Girl Develop It events, but as it got closer to the event, I started to lose interest. My recent weekends have been filled, and I just wanted a break. I didn’t know what I could contribute. After Friday night, I even considered not going back on Saturday. Hackathons fly in the face of my introverted nature, and I couldn’t picture myself participating in the entire thing. Plus, I was exhausted.

But I decided I’d let myself sleep in a little bit and not freak out over getting there on time on Saturday morning. I figured I’d stop in and see what was up for the day, then maybe take off in the afternoon.

But then I got sucked in. The energy, the collaboration, the learning, the pieces all fitting together — the day flew by. It was hard for me to even leave the after party at National Mechanics.

She Tech Philly group members Darlene, LeeAnn, and Leslie
Tristin Hightower checking in with our group
Kelsey, Lauren, and Alexandra working on the design & theme

My group worked to create a central hub for all of the women in tech events in the area. The female tech scene is so brilliant and welcoming that there’s almost always something happening. With the She Tech Philly site, interested parties won’t have to visit multiple MeetUp pages to keep track of what’s going on every month. We’re also planning to launch a Mentor Match Up forum/board, post job opportunities, and regularly spotlight a different woman from the community each week/month.

Our header, created by designer Kelsey Leljedal

And then we got to present. And I found myself speaking into a microphone on a stage at a tech event. A shy Mennonite farm girl from Central PA with a liberal arts background. It felt huge.

I showed up. I met people. I worked. I learned. I shared. I found out that I had something to say.

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I want to be a teacher, but I don’t want to quit the internet

Stories like this terrify me. Shouldn’t teachers be practitioners of their content? Shouldn’t an English teacher be expected to write and publish? A professor is. Is the purpose of high school to teach content and practice, or morals? Can’t we have both?

These stories make me wonder if teaching is worth the scrutiny. Sometimes I am a little jealous of people who don’t have to worry about every little word they put online. I worry that anything creative thing I pursue will have to be completely covert. Granted, writing erotica isn’t on my list of creative things I’d like to try, and I believe the internet is a wildly inappropriate venue for complaining about one’s students, but still. Teachers are held to an impossibly high moral standard. I’d like to be able to blog without being scared of the Ghost of Blogging Past knocking on my door years from now, getting me fired from a potential teaching job. It’s something I think of quite often, and possibly one of the reasons this blog is rather neglected. What can I put here? What should I avoid? Professors in the education department say I should be avoiding everything. Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, all of it. I’d really love to figure out to do this — how to do it well, without giving a potential employer grounds for firing me someday.

I even went so far as to change the URL. I’m thinking about taking all images of my face off of here as well.

Thoughts? Recommendations?