Posted by: unlikelygrad | March 31, 2010

looking back #2: no self-esteem

I’ve mentioned before that my former advisor, SL, was a great mentor for me. But he also was something of a therapist. He was absolutely fantastic at getting me to realize that my failure of 20 years ago was NOTHING compared to what I’d accomplished since then.

To some of you, that might sound silly. How could I not realize this on my own? Honestly, I don’t know, but I had very little in the way of self-esteem until I met SL. As proof, I offer the following two blog posts, written an hour or so apart on the night of August 29, 2006:

* * *
What I’m supposed to be doing right now is writing a brief bio of myself. Now I’ve done this before; many of you have seen the blurb that appears on conference “about the speaker” pages. But, to be honest, I’m not terribly happy with that blurb. I’ve been meaning to rewrite it for whichever conferences I do in 2007.

Now–and I mean now, as in I have to send it off tonight–I’m required not only to write such a biographical snippet, I have to do it in a way that sounds good when read aloud. You see, I’m going to be on a homeschooling “radio” show (read: online radio). They need to introduce me, and they want me to be the one to write the intro.

I know what you’re all thinking–“YAY! UNLIKELYGRAD! GOOD JOB!!!”

But what I’m thinking is this: “Oh my heck! I have to say something nice about myself!” For that is something that is completely alien to my nature. My husband laughs about me sometimes, because I just don’t know how to take compliments. You say I did a fantastic job, and I say that anyone could have done it, or that you would have done a better job. You say I’m smart, and I say I’m too absent minded to be intelligent. I can’t say anything nice about myself, and I don’t even like to hear other people say nice things about me. And yet somehow, I have to come up with a biography of myself that makes me sound like a winner.

I love to market my book. Really, I do. But I hate to market myself. Blech. All right, off to work.

* * *

Sometimes I think better when I write freely without constraint. To aid in that process, here are a few silly biographies to help me come up with a “real” intro for myself.

For example, Mr. Fleming could start out by saying…

Our guest today, UnlikelyGrad, considers herself a jack of all trades. She homeschools her kids, writes books, raises chickens, speaks at homeschooling conferences, gardens, reads voraciously, tutors other people’s children, and repairs roofs, appliances, and automobiles. Now, evidently, she does radio interviews as well.


Today’s guest is an author that you should all be familiar with, UnlikelyGrad. Her book (TITLE), and the radical new approach to science that it advocates, is making waves in homeschools across America. Her unique philosophy of science education began to form when she was a child, growing up in a family of radicals and misfits loosely allied with both science and education industries. Despite the fact that she all but flunked out of one of the nation’s foremost science schools, then got pregnant 3/4 of the way through her college years, ZooMama somehow managed to scrape a bachelor’s in chemistry from a nearby degree mill otherwise known as a state university. She and her husband had decided to homeschool long before they had kids, so she used her kids as guinea pigs for her methods from the moment they left the womb. She wrote her book so that she could make some money and also so she could convince all of you to become misfits and radicals too.

Nah, too wordy. OK, back to the drawing board.

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