Gloria Steinem came to town this weekend. She is awesome. Her advocacy for equality among all genders, races and socioeconomic classes is inspiring. She is 85 years old, brilliant, calm and quick-witted. When she greeted the audience at Nashville's War Memorial Auditorium, only to realize that her microphone wasn't working, she quipped without skipping a … Continue reading Ms. Steinem and the Cable Girl
What a delight it was to walk into the Building Construction Technology classroom at Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Nashville -- my alma mater where I spent 16 months with a herd of men -- to find the workshop filled with girls! Organized and led by the women of Turner Construction Company, the inaugural … Continue reading Introducing Girls Who Build!
Last summer in construction class, I built a tiny (really tiny) house to serve as a neighborhood library. I installed it in the perennial border at the end of my driveway, where at any given moment it holds an assortment of fiction and nonfiction, young adult novels, doggie poop bags for neighborhood canines, and a … Continue reading Mint to Share
Thursday is Chicken Day in Building Construction Technology class at Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Nashville. We used to drive to Publix to grab buckets of fried drumsticks and eat in the classroom among the sawdust. Since then, the tradition has evolved into a field trip to a nearby chicken shack. Now that I've graduated, one of the … Continue reading Ain’t Nobody Here But Us, Eating Chicken
It's that time of year again when I pony up $25 to renew my domesticated hen permit from Metro Nashville Public Health Department. Whenever that pale blue certificate arrives in the mail, I pause to think of the benefits our urban chicken coop has brought our family. I'm not just talking about fresh eggs, which … Continue reading Coop, There it Is!
Look what just arrived in the mail: my diploma in General Construction! I could not be more grateful to my unflappable instructor, Kenton Pleger, or to the whole team at Tennessee College of Applied Technology Nashville, for welcoming a middle-aged mom with no relevant experience into the school's new class in Building Construction Technology. (Nor … Continue reading Big News in the Mailbox
In the weeks leading up to graduation, our building construction technology class is burrowing into the Estimating textbook. That is to say, now that we've learned how to fix and build things, we're learning how to get paid for it. Short of standing on a ladder to trim rafter tails with a circular saw, this … Continue reading Estimating 101: What Are You Worth?
Being twice as old as as some of my construction school classmates, I miss a lot of their cultural references. Anything short of fluency in the complete Will Ferrell filmography is a great handicap when dealing with young men, I have discovered. Likewise, a lot of what I say to "the kids" slips through the … Continue reading Men, Women & The Karate Kid
So many posters make their way into our house, that if we were to display them all, our house might look something like a subway station. It's the price we cheerfully pay for sharing a hometown with the fabulous Hatch Show Print. In an effort to simplify the archiving of posters, I recently made a … Continue reading My Favorite Mistakes
My classmate Ethan, the talented joiner, is making headway on his hexagonal table. The top is largely complete, with inlay of oak trimming pine slats, so now he turns to the base. Having insinuated myself into the carpentry enterprise as Ethan's unofficial apprentice, I have a lot of questions for my patient young mentor. For … Continue reading Wooden Tables & Glass Ceilings