gratitude-a-thon day 169: The story of GoldieBlox

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The inventor with a new toy that just might replace Barbie.

First of all, I really am digging the site Upworthy. It’s all positive and inspiring stuff that makes me want to stand on top of the world and yell, “I knew it, we ARE all good.”

Here’s a video of a Debra Sterling, an engineer, telling her story of what she did to improve the odds of little girls going into engineering. Did you know that 89% of the engineering jobs are held by men? Debra thinks a female perspective is necessary for us to have a good future. So, she created a building and reading (because girls like to read) game to replace Barbie dolls in the arsenal of toys that girls play with when they’re little, in hopes that the skills they learn from the game GoldieBlox will inspire them and help them understand that engineering is an option for them in the future. Cool idea. Great little game. Gutsy woman.

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God, I loved Barbie dolls.

I was all Barbie all the time when I was a kid. I made clothes, built houses and furniture, and created stories around my little doll friends with the mini 36-24-36 bods. I could “play dolls” endlessly. I never got my fill. Would I have been interested in Goldie Blox? I don’t know. I never had Legos. I did have Tinker Toys and I did love those. But let’s face it, for anybody who knows me, my worst skill is math. Even saying it that way does not truly drive home the point of just how HORRIBLE my math skills are. I was stellar at math until 7th grade when geometry began and things just just went to shit faster than you can say parallelogram. My dad was a super star math guy. He could add massive numbers in his head like a party trick. When he tried to help me with math homework in high school, it was a scream-fest similar to the movie Halloween. He had the patience of a fly, and when I didn’t understand, instead of trying to explain the concept, he would just yell at me. REALLY LOUDLY. It was anything but educational. Actually, it would set me up for a lifetime of hating numbers. The summer after freshman year, I went home and snagged a waitressing job at a restaurant/bar that was willing to train me,  and took the one math course I would have to take to meet my college requirement. It was like Math for Dogs (and I say that with all due respect), but still I had a hard time. I actually developed a case of hives for the length of the entire course. I squeaked by with a C and threw a fucking parade when it was over. I pledged never to have to take math again. And it is one of my daily gratitudes, THAT I NEVER HAVE TO TAKE MATH AGAIN, EVER, EVER, IN MY LIFE. My kids, by the way, are very good at math, like my dad and my husband. And man, I am grateful for that, too.

So, today it is Debra Sterling, helping little girls to know that they can do anything, be anything. I like her drive and her commitment (plus she has really cool hair), but mostly I like that she’s doing something about a problem that exists. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could all take a problem and do something about it? Like everybody in the world would take one problem and set their minds to solving it. Mmmmmm. If only. Anyway, go Debra, and buh bye Barbie. I’ll miss you.

2 thoughts on “gratitude-a-thon day 169: The story of GoldieBlox

  1. I read this right before I left to go teach a summer school – and, might I add, I teach MATH. I teach MATH – that’s right, MATH, M+A+T+H=MATH! I teach it in the summer and during the school year. During the school year, I teach it to 60 kids (that’s 3 classes of 20 students each for those of you doing the MATH). And my niece Madeline, who is starting BC in the fall, is going to be a MATH major. We love MATH in my family. We are grateful for MATH. MATH is our friend. Toni, YOU are my friend. May I tutor you (without talking REALLY LOUDLY – which is pretty much impossible because I am so deaf)?
    Love, your add-it-all-up-and-it-equals-friendship pal, Jane

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