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.

Comments

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…

The subtle yet real racism of the Supreme Court

Judge Roberts, a member of the highest court in the land, which is currently hearing the sad story of mediocre college aspirant Abigail Fischer, recently asked, "What unique ­perspective does a minority student bring to a physics class? I’m just wondering what the benefits of diversity are in that situation?" 
Did you catch the white supremacy in this question? If not, don't feel bad because it's subtly hidden beneath the cloaking field of colorblind racism. (As for Scalia's ign'nt-ass statements, I'm not even...)
Try rephrasing the question: "What unique perspective does a white student bring to a physics classroom?" The answer is, of course, absolutely nothing! Why? Because race isn't biological, and is therefore not deterministic of cognitive abilities. Did you perhaps forget that you knew that when considering Roberts' question? If so, again, it's understandable. Our society and culture condition all of us to forget basic facts …