Monday, November 16, 2015


I haven't written since I took my new job since one there isn't really time and it is difficult to know what is safe to discuss in a public arena.  This incident just has me shaken and I need somewhere to talk it out so to my trusty blog I go.

One Friday I was honored to be asked to speak on a Graduate Student panel to help undergraduate honor student think about their futures.  I took the time to try and catch up on schoolwork which has gone by the way side since I went back to work full-time.

As I was leaving I decided to thank the professor who had invited me and in general check-in since it had been about 6 months since I had seen him last.  In the course of conversation I was told that I poisoned his class.  I was blamed for the lack of A's.  Seriously!  He looked me dead in the face and called me poison.  I did try and argue and back him off the whole idea but still it out there.  I am poison.

I went home and told DH all about it.  Here is the worse part, DH agreed!  He agrees I poisoned the class.  Words have currency and the choice of poison was like a dagger to my ego.  I'm a nice person.  I'm easy to get along with (usually).  But now I just keep hearing that I'm poison.

After thinking it over for 24 hours and still being bother by it, I talked it out with DH some more.  He still thinks I was poison in that class but he made an interesting point.  Why the hell to do I care?  That was over 6 months ago and my grade ain't changing so what is done is done.  According to DH the reason I can't let it go has to do with the who said it rather than the content of what was said.

 I think he is right, of course.  I've been called much worse than poison so why does this one interaction bother me.  I think it felt out of the blue and mean-spirited.  The word was chosen to hurt me.  Six month and the best word the PHD could find was poison!  I thought he thought better of me.  Instead he seems to hate me.  Okay, I guess I'll file that in my trashcan and move on.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dissertation and a general update

This has been a weird few weeks.  I started a new job and I am in full swing in dissertation work.  This last semester was quite tough on me.  I had a stats professor that I seemed to connect with on a personal level but not on a stats level so I spent a lot of time trying to teach myself stats which meant very little time for dissertation work.  I ended up with a B.  I'm not happy about it but this professor did push me to be nicer to myself, the whole negative self-talk thing I do.  Just like DH, the stats professor would get on to me about my negative words toward myself.  I think I am getting a little better about it or at the very least I am more aware of it and trying to turn my words around to the positive. 

Dissertation writing has been an interesting process.  In theory you have to write about 200 pages for your dissertation.  In theory you have about 75 pages or so ready when it is time to defend your dissertation proposal.  I turned in about 67 pages when I sent in my request for a dissertation chair.  I got my first pick and he replied in about 9 hours which is amazing!  My dissertation chair is a man I really respect and most day I'm just in awe of him.  He is like the creator of the idea of the scholar-practitioner so I feel like I won the lottery!  I sent out requests/invitations for my dissertation committee today.  If they all agree then I'll have a committee of four.  If someone does not accept then we'll go back to the drawing board and see who else would be a good fit given who has accepted. 

Gymgirl had an amazing couple of month in kindergarten and will moving on to the first grade next year.  It was not an easy decision to make.  She is not technically old enough for 1st grade, missing it by five months, but leaving her in kinder would be a disservice to her.  She is reading at about a 3rd grade level and while her handwriting is a bit shaking, she is mature enough to handle herself with the slightly older children so we are letting her try it out.  I consulted with derby sisters and with doctoral cohort members and they all agree let her move on.  Maybe this will prove to be a disaster but since when does age dictate skill?

DH and I are super busy with both of us working full-time.  DH is still involved with Standpipe Coffee and Black Spot Tattoo so he works a full-time plus a part-time job.  Me, I'm working full-time plus motherhood, doctoral work, roller derby, and life as it comes at me.  In other words life is good.

Us with The Shiz 'cause why not!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Life Path - Schooling

My daughter started school today.  My daughter, the daughter of a homeschool/unschooling researcher, started school today.  I’ve spent the better part of the day crying.  I didn’t want to let her go but I know it is the right decision.  I’m afraid this makes me a fraud of a researcher and yet I can’t not send her to school.  I’m going to the principal of a school and my daughter should be attending that school.  I can’t sell my school as a wonderful place for children but not good enough for my child.  I can’t live a dual life so where does my love of homeschooling fit into all of this.  I believe in homeschooling.  Not every child belongs in school.  Not every child is successful working in a curriculum. 
Today I am discovering a new self.  I am shedding the skin of a homeschool mom.  I feel raw.  I feel everything and I know that while I am doing the right thing I am allowed to question it.  This was not my plan.  Why do I make plans?  Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.  Yes John Lennon, life just bitch slapped me.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why my daughter goes to #rollerderby with me . . .

I'm a newbie to the derby world.  Just yesterday I was telling someone that I had thought children changed everything and then derby happened.  Before derby I would have looked forward to going out on ladies nights for drinks and gossip, now I want to get more time on skates.  Before derby I coveted clothes or cool looking shoes, now I want gear!

So that is all well and good but what does it have to do with GymGirl?  GymGirl loves to go to derby.  She has made some incredible friends, other derby daughters.  She loves going to see her friends and she loves to cheer her momma on.  The second part is the big reason I want GymGirl to see me at derby.  She can cheer me on.  I'm 100% in my girl's corner.  I'm there cheering, videoing, being as supportive as possible while GymGirl does her thing.  Derby gives her the chance to do the same for me.

GymGirl sees me being strong, being weak, pushing hard, being pushed hard, working out, supporting other women, cheering other women, and the list goes on.  GymGirl knows I can't do everything at derby.  She sees me struggle and that is okay.  Struggle is a real part of life.  In the real world, the moms are strong and never let their children in on mom's struggles.  My daughter see me, all of me.  It is scary to be that raw with GymGirl.  She has seen me take some nasty falls and get back up.  GymGirl has been on the side of the rink cheering and yelling "Go Momma Go!"

We go roller skating a few times a month now.  GymGirl can not wait to be 7 and join Jr. Roller Derby.  GymGirl wants to be a rollergirl.  Derby has made GymGirl a better gymnast.  No more "I can't" instead I get "I just have to work a little harder."  She stops my negative talk and I stop hers.  We push each other to be better at the sports that we love.

Women do not often get to be in truly supportive groups.  It seems that in any group of women there is some competition going on, who is most successful, who got laid the most, who is the prettiest, who can run the longest,  and so on.  In derby, we don't have time for that.  I want each girl in derby to do her best and she wants the same for me.  If we stop to focus on who is the prettiest we are going to have our asses handed to us by the opposing team (even when that team is just our fellow roller girls).  GymGirls see women working together.  I feel like my best self at derby, even when I am on the rink floor wanting to vomit.

I want my daughter to see me at my best self, feeling like my best self.  I want to be someone she looks up to.  I want to be a hero in my daughter's eyes.  I might be a hero to her without derby but at derby I feel like a hero.  If I want my daughter to grow up knowing that she can be her own hero then I have to model that to her.  I derby for me.  Derby is for me.  Derby carries to just all other areas of my life.  After derby I keep that best self around.  Other people get to see me too.

I want my daughter to know she has the right to do something just for her.  I love having her at derby.  She loves going to derby.  Maybe one day she'll be a roller girl herself but even if she doesn't choose that path, I know seeing her mom being strong, being beautiful, being weak, being her best self, will help GymGirl feel being her best self is normal.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My derby/corset connection

Since starting derby and really committing to passing minimum skills, I started wearing a corset regularly.  You might ask what in the world does one have to do with the other?  Well let me write you the connection.

I've always played around with wearing corsets and have loved the look always!  I think girdles are more pinup but the extreme curves women can get in a corset has always made me love them over girdles.  I bought a fashion corset for performing on stage and that lead me to buying my first waist-training corset from Orchard Corset.  The first thing I noticed about wearing a real corset was that my posture was so much better.  The lifting of the boobs is one part corset shelf and one part they stick out when you stand up or sit up straight. 

I have horrible posture.  Seriously!  I love to slouch since it doesn't hurt my back.  Sitting with good posture means that my back hurts so I just don't do it.  The corset left me with no choice but to have good posture because slouching in a corset hurts! 

So the derby connection, straight back with boobs out while squatting is proper derby stance.  If you don't get into proper derby stance it doesn't take much to knock your ass to the floor.  Stay in derby stance!  Do you see my problem?  Proper derby stance hurts like a mother-fucker if you are professional sloucher.  My back hurts so badly after one hour of derby let alone two.  I've taken to wearing my corset (a wasp-sized one from Orchard and gift from DH) as a way to help support my back and create good posture muscle memory.  It is totally helping!

The corset also gives me, well accentuates, my killer curves.  Wednesday I have a body by derby and corset :)  I'm contemplating buying one of Orchards new waist cinchers for working out.  I gotta get my derby stance as second nature to get into bouting shape.  So I'm not waist training, I'm posture training!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Martha

So I see myself as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man, you know from Ghostbusters.  Besides sounding crazy by admitting to this feeling, I find it also limits me in the things that I do.  I'm always afraid of taking too much room.  I worry about not having enough clearance to move around people.  This is become a painfully obvious problem in roller derby.

Roller derby requires that I am in tune with my body.  I have to know exactly where my hips are, my feet, my arms, like every part of me has to be in place or injuries and penalties will abound.  The problem is that I believe that my hips are huge.  I believe that my ass is so massive that I need extra clearance room.  If I give the room to my body that believe it needs then the jammer is going to get by me.  I'm going to try to block someone and they are going to skate right around me.  How do I move my brain past the feeling of being massive and into the reality of the situation?  The fact is I'm not that damn big!  I'm 5'4", about 230 lbs, and wear at size 14/16.  I'm just not Stay-Puft big!

I can't exactly put my finger on the when I got massive in my own mind.  Maybe it was the usually grade school teasing that made me balloon in my own head.  Being told I was super huge til the point that I believed it and made it my reality.  Just today I was walking from picking up lunch and some guy, like 20 or so, said "Hey I like your dress."  I totally ignored him.  I figured he was just trying to stop me long enough to make some joke at my expense.  What is he just liked my dress?  Anyways, at some point I will have to some to terms with my body in its real existence otherwise I'll never pass minimum skills.

Roller derby makes me see myself as strong.  Roller derby makes me push myself.  Can roller derby get me over my body image issues?  I guess only time will tell.  I can't do a proper hip check if I don't know where my hips are so I better get to knowing my body!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Random #RollerDerby Craft: Team #CrossStitch

I have another roller derby craft ready! This one took forever!

You can't tell in the picture but the star and pivot stripe both have iridescent white floss.  It was a pain to work with and I don't think it shows up too well but the whole then felt incomplete without  something in the star and stripe.

As always you are welcome to download and make the pattern: Roller Derby Team.  Here is the link to the PDF: Roller Derby Team PDF.  The star is black but the pivot stripe is blank.  Play with colors and adapt as needed.  It's free so that all crafty derby girls can make cool crafty stuff! 

Any questions or suggestions drop me a line martha (at) wheatlessmama (dot) com