Actually written somewhere in Germany, I think, but not posted 'till now.
Borrowing a tip from John Poelstra, here are 5 posts that have resonated with me recently.
Wrestling Buddies and unicorns, a blog post about figuring out gender identity.
I wore boys' jeans, my haircut was utilitarian instead of trendy... I wasn't a tomboy; I just didn't care enough to present myself as A Girl... Secretly, I wanted to run away with my brother's Wrestling Buddy (which he still slept with every night), bind my boobs, and live the rest of my life as a boy.
Even more secretly, though, I wanted to be a girl - and not just any girl, but a capital-G, trend-setting, epitome of femininity, datable, respectable Girl. I had the right biological accouterments. I had the right level of socialized self-consciousness... What was wrong with me that kept me from being a Girl? Near as I could tell, other girls had access to some sort of mythical well of girliness - some ace in their perfectly pressed sleeves that I didn't have. I felt like I must've been out sick on the day they taught How To Be A Girl in school.
Dave Humphrey on passion and suffering:
I need to move away from telling people that I teach programming, and toward an admission that I teach passion and suffering.
That post itself was a response to one by James Shelley:
To be passionate, truly passionate, demands a willingness to suffer for the object or cause of your passion. It is unswerving persistence and commitment in the face of pain and loss. Rooted in either cocksure confidence or calculated commitment, a passionate person earns their title because of their unflinching persistence in the face of opposition.
Abishek Parolkar on flawlessness:
We forget that flaws are reality... “flawlessness” is not about perfection, its about how complete can you become after accepting the reality. (Abishek then links to a ballet performed by a one-legged man and a one-armed woman).
I'm cheating a bit (two posts for one) on the last resonation, because the new years resolutions of Karl Wurst and Nicholas Whittier are to get involved in open source; it's hard to understate how thrilled I am that they're doing this, and how unusual I recognize it is, especially for Karl as a professor. I hope I'll be able to keep - and grow - that sort of willingness to publicly experiment as I move through my own academic journey. It's easy to say this now before I enter grad school and step back into the academic stream, but I hope I'll have that sort of courage even when I have a lot to lose.