• The Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women in Detroit is being shut down. This is a tragedy.  A big, sad, infuriating tragedy. The school is a wonder of education: a school for pregnant teens and young mothers that was also a working farm right smack in the middle of the city. It has a 97% attendance rate, and 90% graduation rate. I heard about the school on a Canadian news show about a year ago, and the students who were interviewed were so excited about their kids growing up eating the food that they had grown, and well, it all just seemed like one of those programs that was too good to be true. Pregnant women being respected! Young women full of self confidence! Organic agriculture in the middle of urban blight! It really seemed like a movie made to make indie leftie liberals faint in delight as they (we) ate kale salads and talked about John Stewart. The school is closing because of funding.  Rachel Maddow has been covering the story, but very few others have. As of yesterday, even the local Detroit press had not picked it up.  The school closes on June 17.  Take a moment to sign this petition over at .
  • Some famous Brits tweeted their homebirth on Monday.  The best part of this story is that, as it was followed by thousands, and it was during morning rush hour, there were impromptu celebrations on the tube once the baby was finally born. I love the idea of a subway car of strangers hollering for the arrival of a new person.  The tweets are short, and tell a pretty lovely story, complete with an eyemask that says “Fuck Off!”.  Twitter, again, does something very interesting.
  • More baby things, I just found the very interesting blog Public Health Doula, which has tons of good things. She recently posted this Ted Talk by a doula in Singapore that does a great job of explaining what a doula does.  PHD also has a stellar post on what she wants her friends to know, which I would like to say ditto ditto ditto to.
  • Did you know AJ Langer, she who was Rayanne from My So-Called Life, had a waterbirth? And, she’s full on Brit royalty these days.
  • You should definitely look at these portraits of rich Russian kids.  I have a bunch of old Life Magazines, and one from the 1950s has an entire spread on Russian children’s fur coats, followed by Barbra Streisand’s love letter to her panther fur jumpsuit.  Children should not have multi-thousand dollar things, especially ones they will grow out of! Barbra gets a pass, but just this once.
  • Seriously, go sign that petition.

4 Responses to Smatterings

  1. Kip Manley says:

    Heh. The reason I joined Twitter back in the day was so I could participate in the Twitterstorm surrounding the birth of our daughter. It was a thing.

    • Carla Fran says:

      My question with the Twitter birth thing–does it pull you out of the moment to constantly be summarizing and updating? Or, is it a helpful way to keep the calm and process what’s happening?

      • Kip Manley says:

        Mostly it was the jokes? I mean, the Thing itself, the Event, noway nohow was I anywhere near anything with a keyboard. (C-section, as Taran had the shoulders of a linebacker and an enormous head; just me and Jenn’s mom, who, as a nurse, was talking shop with everyone else while I’m trying not to forget to breathe.) But the long and grinding run-up of the labor? Invaluable. (The TV was on the Food Channel since no one actually wanted to WATCH anything, and there was a lot of riffing on Paula Deen and that guy who says “Money!” all the time, as I recall.) –We had a huge room and lots of friends and housemates present (our “blog lair,” recorded for posterity at LiveJournal, which, it being 2008, was still a thing: ) (Taran’s got a veritable army of godparents), but also my folks in SC and all our various and other friends and colleagues around the country, some of whom also joined just for the Blessed Event and stuck around because it was, y’know, fun.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for the nice words about my blog, and very happy to come across yours as well 🙂

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