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Stacey Loscalzo

Latest Posts

Mar 24

Our Weekend In Pictures

by Stacey

This weekend went by like a blur.

It was filled with a birthday party (Katherine’s early birthday party- scheduled a few weeks ahead of her big day), pottery and paints,

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and a dress rehearsal for Caroline who will perform as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Shrek this weekend.
IMG_4705A busy but fun weekend…

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Mar 18

Twitterature: March Edition

by Stacey

I love Twitterature, a monthly reading wrap up hosted by the wonderful Modern Mrs. Darcy.  Apparently, I didn’t read a ton this month but I did read two good books. Here goes…
11250053The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. I have described this book as a magical, fairy tale- like book and people who know my reading tastes have been surprised to hear that I loved it. This past Christmas, I gave my mother a few books that I also gave to myself and we are having a bit of a mini book club. The Snow Child was our first selection. Mom read the Snow Child first and when she began to describe it, I thought I might skip it. She insisted that I would like it and she was right. While I hesitate to recommend it now because I only want to read books about beaches and warm weather, it really is a great read.

979474An Inconvenient Wife by Megan Chance. When I fell in to bit of a reading rut recently, I asked the librarian who runs our library book club for a few recommendations. My first read off of her list was An Inconvenient Wife. I loved the beginning, found the middle a bit strange but adored the ending. Much like the time I wrote about The Other Typist, I really feel like there is little I can tell you about this book without ruining it. Just please read and it then come back here and tell me what you thought.

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Mar 18

Old School Blogging: March Edition

by Stacey

This month’s Old School Blogging is being hosted by the Miss-Elaineous Life and Co-Pilot Mom, two super fun blogs. I always have so much fun participating in Old School Blogging so here goes.

What is the last thing you watched on TV?

House of Cards. I am a few episodes in to the second season and all I can say is wow! I am now even more paranoid than I was when I was entrenched in Scandal. Who in the world can you trust!?

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When did you last step outside? What were you doing? I was out earlier this morning at the grocery store. Two stores in fact. Why is it that I can’t find one store for all of our shopping needs? Trader Joe’s for snacks, some staples and produce when the farm store isn’t open and Stop n Shop for basics.

What is on the walls of the room you are in?

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I usually write on the couch or at the dining room table where the light is better but my back and shoulders have been bothering me so I am trying out the kitchen chairs. These are the colorful prints that we have over our kitchen table.

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?

A beach house.

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Who made the last incoming call on your phone? A friend of Caroline’s.

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?

I would completely re-design our back yard and patio.

What was the last thing you bought? Groceries. See above.

Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?  My first choice is neither but if I had to pick, I suppose I would choose bungee jumping. I don’t like being a plane with my seatbelt on and the doors closed so I can’t imagine I would get a kick out of jumping from a plane.

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Nordstroms for shoes and Neiman Marcus for clothes. I’m assuming of course that who ever made the rules to this game would pay the balance.

Is the glass half empty or half full? Depends on my mood. I like to think I am a glass half full kind of girl but if truth be told, I can be a bit of a complainer.

What’s the farthest-away place you’ve been? I went to Europe for the summer in between my junior and senior year of college. Even when I was there I knew I would want to go back when I was a grown up. Hope I’ll be a grown up soon!

What’s under your bed? Nothing! We have our bed up against a window so we purposely chose a low bed to allow in the most possible light. One trade off is that there is no under bed storage.

What is your favorite time of the day? Whatever time it is when the sky looks like this.

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What Inspires You? Writers who find the time in their busy lives to get the words on the page.

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Mar 17

A Response to “Where Are The People of Color in Children’s Books”

by Stacey

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First a thank you to Carol Hampton Rasco, one of my favorite sources for children’s literature news, for sharing this article on Facebook on Saturday night. I only had time to glance at quickly but then went to the review section of the paper first thing on Sunday morning.

Where Are The People of Color in Children’s Books? asks a crucial and until now, unanswered question. In paired articles written by the amazingly talented author, Walter Dean Myers and his son Chirstopher Myers, we learn both the objective and the personal truths of multicultural literature.

There is one quote in this article, that for me, says it all.

“Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people according to a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin.”

Wow. I’m pretty sure that if I lined up 3,200 children in this country more than 93 of them would be black.

Any reader of children’s books knows how important it is for children to see themselves in literature. On a very egocentric level seeing yourself makes you more interested but on a more fundamental level it makes you feel worthy and appreciated. While the role of picture books as mirrors has long been discussed I loved the way that Christopher Myers talks about the book’s importance as both a mirror and as a map.

He writes, “They see books less as mirrors and more as maps. They are indeed searching for their place in this world, but they are also deciding where they want to go. They create through stories they’re given, an atlas of their world, of their relationships to others, of their possible destinations.”

I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about school reform in America both as it relates to my own girls in their high performing public schools and in our neighboring high poverty, low performing schools. I am constantly trying to remind people that assessing our poor children more often and with new tests is not going to put food on their tables and that applying the same rules to all children regardless of their economic lives makes no sense. In this conversation about the lack of black role models in children’s books, I am again frustrated that our education reform ignores the big issues.

Walter Dean Myers, ends his article by saying, ” I’m told that black children, and boys in particular, don’t read. Small wonder. There is work to be done.”

And again, I think back to our education reform focused on standards and assessment. What if it was as simple as publishers publishing the excellent multicultural books that are written but rejected because the “Market” doesn’t demand them? What if those publishers published those books anyway, just to see what happens.

I predict if the books were out there, they would reach important hands. Hands that might begin to understand that there is a way out and that reading is a great place to begin that journey.

As Mr. Myers says, “there is work to be done.” Let’s do it.

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Mar 14

This Moment: March 14

by Stacey

IMG_4611“The world is a great mirror. It reflects back to you what you are. If you are loving, if you are friendly, if you are helpful, the world will prove loving and friendly and helpful to you. The world is what you are.”

-Thomas Drier

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Mar 12

What’s Really in Your Bag

by Stacey

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Today I stumbled on a super fun post at A Cup of Jo called ‘What’s Really in Your Bag?’.  This post was was the first in a series co-hosted by the amazing illustrator Emily McDowell. If you haven’t had a chance to see the post, you really must go check it out because Emily drew her answer to the question and it is really amazing to see.

I have answered this question in writing a few times since being introduced to the prompt years ago by my then writing teacher, Lisa Garrigues. What I love about this prompt is that it is about so much more than what is in your purse. Writing about what is inside your purse is truly a snapshot of where you are in your life.

So here goes…

What is really in my bag:

An overstuffed wallet that is overstuffed because of receipts not cash!

A small notebook for memory keeping.

A plastic bag with 4 stale almonds in it.

5 blue pens and 2 mechanical pencils. Why is that I can never find anything to write with when I look in my purse?

A half eaten tootsie pop that I brought with me to curb my motion sickness on the school bus in to the city a few weeks ago.

A loose receipt from the postoffice for a package that I mailed that was postage paid. Still not sure why I need a receipt for these packages.

Starburst wrappers. Because I like Starbursts.

Lip gloss.

Aquaphor for when my lips are too dry for lip gloss (which was often this winter).

A bottle of Motrin.

A flyer inviting me to purchase a highlight DVD of Katherine’s basketball season.

A small envelope with two small keys to turn Katherine’s expander. I had lost ours and we went to the orthodontist last week. I guess I need to turn the expander tonight!

Loose change.

So there it is. Your turn!

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Mar 10

“She’s Being Bossy”

by Stacey

IMG_4610The first negative phone call we ever received from a teacher came when Caroline was only five years old. “She’s being bossy.”, we were told. At the time I was appalled and immediately over-reacted feeling sure that Caroline would never have another friend. We talked to her about the importance of her friend’s feelings and the need to listen to everyone’s opinions.

After reading Sheryl Sandberg and Anna Maria Chavez’s article in the Wall Street Journal this weekend, I realize that I should have said and thought something else entirely. I could have thanked the teacher for her time but then said, “She’s not bossy. She has executive leadership skills.”

As I read “Don’t Call Us Bossy”, I was struck again and again by thoughts that I have had or should have had around the common phrase, “She’s so bossy.” Below are a few key quotes from the article;

“When a little boy takes charge in class or on the playground, nobody is surprised or offended. We expect him to lead. But when a little girl does the same, she is often criticized and disliked.”

As I read, I was shocked to realize that I have certainly come to this unconscious conclusion myself. I have never used the word bossy to describe a boy. Why is it that girls are so often called bossy when their male peers are described with phrases like “natural leader”?

“Sixth and seventh grade girls rate being popular and well-liked as more important that being perceived as competent or independent, while boys are more likely to rate competence and independence as more important, according to a report by the American Association of University Women.”

This fact, while sad, did not surprise me at all. We are living this quote in our house. There have been multiple times lately when Caroline has asked me not to tell people about an academic achievement because it was embarrassing. She repeatedly tells me that she wants to be known for being athletic or popular but not for being smart. This saddens me and makes me realize just how strong societal pressures are on young girls. We have worked hard against all these beliefs in our family yet here they are.

“These stereotypes become self-fulfilling prophecies. Despite earning the majority of college degrees, women make up just 19% of the U.S. Congress, 5% or Fortune 500 CEOs and 10% of heads of state.”

Again, these are facts that I have known on some level but seeing all the statistics lumped together here was really eye opening.

Perhaps, as with so many other things, these stats can be changed with action alone. While I don’t see myself every really describing a young child as having great ‘executive leadership skills’, I certainly can promise to no longer use the phrase ‘bossy’. That is, at least, a start.

 

 

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