Skip to main content

The Scrambled States

To say that The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Kellar has been a favorite in our house lately, is the understatement of the year. If you haven't read this one, you're missing out. I'm ashamed to say that my 5 year old son often corrects me when putting the puzzle of the US states. Owen and Marcus are officially obsessed with the United States geography.

The boys received a hand-me-down puzzle of the 50 states for xmas and have since learned all the state names and flags. In fact, we spent a good number of mornings learning to sing this:

For the record: Marcus wants to visit Georgia, and insists that we live in Texas, and that John lives in Massachusetts (where he recently traveled for work). Owen would like to do a road trip to Nevada, Colorado, Utah & San Francisco. Mommy & Daddy are exploring possible routes for a summer exploration of the continental US.


Megan said…
We have a 50 states puzzle as well. Natalie is quick to tell everyone that we live in the Alligator, since the Florida piece has a picture of one on it. :)
blissful_e said…
Those play doh replicas are truly impressive!!
Amy P said…
Iowa! Come to Iowa!!

Popular posts from this blog

An annual note to all the (NSF) haters

It's that time of year again: students have recently been notified about whether they received the prestigious NSF Graduate Student Research Fellowship. Known in the STEM community as "The NSF," the fellowship provides a student with three years of graduate school tuition and stipend, with the latter typically 5-10% above the standard institutional support for first- and second-year students. It's a sweet deal, and a real accellerant for young students to get their research career humming along smoothly because they don't need to restrict themselves to only advisors who have funding: the students fund themselves!
This is also the time of year that many a white dude executes what I call the "academic soccer flop." It looks kinda like this:

It typically sounds like this: "Congrats! Of course it's easier for you to win the NSF because you're, you know, the right demographic." Or worse: "She only won because she's Hispanic."…

Culture: Made Fresh Daily

There are two inspirations for this essay worth noting. The first is an impromptu talk I gave to the board of trustees at Thatcher School while I was visiting in October as an Anacapa Fellow. Spending time on this remarkable campus interacting with the students, faculty and staff helped solidify my notions about how culture can be intentionally created. The second source is Beam Times and Lifetimes by Sharon Tarweek, an in-depth exploration of the culture of particle physics told by an anthropologist embedded at SLAC for two decades. It's a fascinating look at the strange practices and norms that scientists take for granted.
One of the stories that scientists tell themselves, whether implicitly or explicitly, is that science exists outside of and independent of society. A corollary of this notion is that if a scientific subfield has a culture, e.g. the culture of astronomy vs. the culture of chemistry, that culture is essential rather than constructed. That is to say, scientific c…

Finding Blissful Clarity by Tuning Out

It's been a minute since I've posted here. My last post was back in April, so it has actually been something like 193,000 minutes, but I like how the kids say "it's been a minute," so I'll stick with that.
As I've said before, I use this space to work out the truths in my life. Writing is a valuable way of taking the non-linear jumble of thoughts in my head and linearizing them by putting them down on the page. In short, writing helps me figure things out. However, logical thinking is not the only way of knowing the world. Another way is to recognize, listen to, and trust one's emotions. Yes, emotions are important for figuring things out.
Back in April, when I last posted here, my emotions were largely characterized by fear, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion and despair. I say largely, because this is what I was feeling on large scales; the world outside of my immediate influence. On smaller scales, where my wife, children and friends reside, I…