Gosh I have a lot on my mind right now. Some of the things I’ve been thinking about:
-It’s such a shock to see Notre Dame burning. So many people around the world feel a connection to that space — they’ve been there as worshippers, or snapped photos as tourists, or they recognize it as a famous landmark, or maybe they’re literally (or musical) fans of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It’s strange to see something that feels so permanent burning. Seeing the spire falling was a punch to the gut. I feel so emotional about it. I’m sure I’m not the only one. (We captured footage of Notre Dame for the most watched Olive Us video, Betty in Paris.)
-Having adult children is this whole other adventure that I wasn’t prepared for. Maude is finishing her second year at Berkeley. At the end of this semester, she plans to declare a Media Studies major with a Creative Writing minor, and she’s currently applying for summer internships. Her goal is to find an internship (anything related to media studies) in New York and spend the summer there. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? (And if you have any internship opportunities/info I can forward to Maude, I’m all ears!)
-One of the most helpful things Maude did in high school was create a resumé in Google Docs, using one of their templates. I have a lot of negative memories around tediously updating my own resumé, but for Maude is was actually really easy, because she just keeps making small updates to the original resumé and never has to start from scratch. She just opens up the doc, makes updates and she’s done. I had forgotten she did this, but remembered last week and want to encourage every high schooler to do the same.
Seeing her latest resumé (she updated it to apply for internships) was also a proud parenting moment. She’s had a lot of great experiences already and it’s easy to see she’d make an excellent addition to any team.
-One more Maude-related thought. In addition to wanting to head to New York for the summer, Maude is also interested in attending NYU for a semester in the fall. We started looking into it and were left with the idea that she would have to withdraw from Berkeley and apply to NYU in order to do so — which was discouraging. But then, Maude talked with a counselor at school and they advised her to look into being a Visiting Student, which would allow her to keep her spot at Berkeley.
I had never heard of Visiting Students but from what I can tell, the whole thing is exactly designed for what Maude has in mind. Visiting Student programs allow college kids to try another campus without having to actually transfer. Applications are simple and not competitive in the same way they are for incoming freshman. And apparently Visiting Student programs are commonplace at most of the big universities.
I don’t know if Maude will end up choosing to try a Visiting Student semester, but I’m so glad to know about these programs! And so grateful that the counselor gave Maude the right term to look up. (She had been searching under transfers and kept getting bummed out. It’s crazy how knowing the right term to use can change everything.)
I know many of you are heading into the college years and I thought you might find the info helpful. Being a Visiting Student seems like a great way to access amazing schools your student might have felt were out of reach.
-Something you might not know: My Twitter thread on irresponsible ejaculations is still alive and well. It was originally shared in September, but every single day it still gets hundreds of likes and retweets. Sometimes it goes viral in another language and all of sudden there will be tons of Spanish speakers or German speakers tagging me. Just today, author Rebecca Solnit shared it on Facebook and it started spreading around again.
It has brought some unexpected opportunities. For example, the thread has been included in several textbooks (with my permission), and a couple of publishers have reached out about using the thread as a basis for a book.
I didn’t take the book idea seriously at first, but I’ve had so many discussions about the topic, and written so many additional thoughts and rebuttals since September, that I’ve decided I’m at least going to develop a book outline and then see if I want to proceed.
-There are other book projects in early phases at our house as well. Ben Blair and I were approached about writing a parenting book and we have a proposal for that ready to hand in. I confess, this makes me nervous. It feels like such a personal topic, you know?
Ben is also writing a book about the Jobs of College — meaning what a student is supposed to be getting out of the college years beyond attending classes. I’ve already found his thoughts on this to be really helpful and I’m glad he’s writing it all out.
-Lately, Ben and I and the kids have really felt drawn to moving, but I’m pretty hesitant at the same time. To be honest, I’m still a bit traumatized from the last move. (Moving is hard!)
It’s a strange thing, because we keep talking about moving, but don’t know where where to go. We’ve talked seriously about India and Mexico City. But I get pretty overwhelmed when I think about navigating visa permissions, and how to find housing, and all the stuff involved with an international move. Of course, that makes moving back to France very appealing — because we know the ropes and could jump right in.
Or maybe we should just stay put. : )
That’s it for now. Please feel free to respond to my random thoughts, or you can leave your own random thoughts in the comments. I always love to hear what’s on your mind.
P.S. — More random thoughts.