I am SO ANGRY ABOUT THIS. This is just the latest example, of course, of completely mismanaged funds. (Also, just off the top of my head, try here and here.)

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Welcome to No Accountability Elementary School.

Hawaii Schools Dump Distance Learning Program Over ‘Racist’ Content

The Department of Education approved Acellus Learning Accelerator as an option for students learning remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is legitimately bad. Guns as toys, sexual innuendos as jokes, overtly racist stereotypes in lessons. And the “learning material” was videoed in the 90s — and even at the supposed high school level, would be more appropriate for grade school. Also, and this really adds insult to injury, the public school system was far too busy to find this quack themselves, so they hired a consultant to do it. Now they’ve double-paid. …

I’ve flown first class around the world, I’ve written multi billion-dollar business plans, I’ve started my own company, I’ve been on the cover of the Seattle Times Sunday Business Section, I graduated from engineering school. I’m now nine months into this mom journey, and you know what? Turns out I still had a lot to learn. And learning is hard.

One of the the great magnifiers of the difficulty of parenthood is that you have zero perspective, because you are legitimately in love with your subject matter. You spend almost every spare moment nose-to-nose with them. (Or nose to butt with them.) But you know, the life that I’ve previously led — well, that’s given me a little perspective. And I am grateful, so grateful, because I never would never have done as well at parenthood had I not done all those other things first. I’ve survived being yelled at by generals and watching dreams burn, not to mention being broke, rich, heartbroken, happy, with friends and without, completely lost in third-world countries where no one speaks English, and drinking cappuccino in Paris. I have learned, and then unlearned, a huge number of things. …

The thing about writing about parenthood is that everyone thinks they’ve been the first ones to discover how hard it is, and there’s some unnatural belief that YOU, YOU, will be the first person to successfully put into words what parenting really is.

Spoiler alert: no one will ever be able to do this.

That said, here’s my one-sentence take for today: my child’s bassinet blocks my lingerie drawer. Motherhood.

Motherhood is really just endless days that are full of things you have never done before. The learning curve is steep. There should be a different word than steep for how steep that learning curve is. A typical day might consist of me trying to make sure that I pump on time, get tummy time on time, get skin-to-skin on time, get more tummy time, get more pumping — and those are just the accessory tasks for me and the baby, not including feeding, pooping and changing diapers. Up until a month ago, I had never ever done any of those things, and now I do them every day, many times a day. The shock to the system is profound. I even speak a whole different language — I find myself uttering sentences like “My son got circumcised two days ago.” And like any beginning foreign language speaker, I hone in on and waylay other speakers of this language, that we might commune in our parent-ness. It would be extremely awkward except that other parents are just as desperate to practice their new language with me. Conversationally, we cling to each other, using the words poop and breast and vomit with complete strangers. Nothing seems weird any more; we have left weirdness behind and entered a strange land, where there are clear territories marked “feeding schedule” and “how did YOU sleep last night?” …

Seduction Technique #1: Choose The Right Victim. She was an attractive young woman; she was undeniably bright; she was selling disruptive biotech to bored, discontent, super-rich warhorses that had been put out to pasture and were one step away from the glue factory — and none of which had any scientific training. But wait, there’s more!

This article is not going to change your day; I’m not a talented enough writer and I’m not an expert on Holmes. But I couldn’t help noticing, as I’ve devoured the saga of World’s Greatest Female Con Artist, that she employs a number of specific techniques codified by author Robert Greene. If you’re not familiar with Robert Greene or his brilliant protege, Ryan Holiday, may you be forgiven.

Mr. Greene believes that human manipulation can be codified as a series of laws, archetypes, and buttons to push, and he has published most of his original research in two (massive) books: The 48 Laws of Power and The Art Of Seduction. Of the authors in this space, he is far and away the most well-researched and rigorous…and there are some striking similarities between his work and the behavior of Holmes. If you think you would never fall for a really spectacular confidence artist, well…a lot of very smart and successful people thought so, too. And they were just as wrong as you are. …

I stared at the event title. “Tacoma Women In Tech”, it read. A new business acquaintance had forwarded me the invitation and asked if I would be interested in attending. WOULD I? I bought a ticket immediately. It was what I had dreamed of, moving to this smaller satellite city thirty miles south of the Seattle hub: the chance to participate in new movement and expanding networks; possibly make some impact on the nascent technology scene; the chance to say, “I was there WHEN…”

But this was just an invitation. It was a start, but I had more in mind. …

I started working for Boeing when I was 24. With a beating heart and a sense of apprehension, I did all the normal things — filled out the paperwork on time, sent in my drug test, attended orientation, got my badge (!), showed up for my first day of work. I’d interned at the FDA and done several part-time office gigs, so I found the Boeing atmosphere welcoming and familiar. My chemical engineering degree had set me up well: Boeing was building this new plane they were calling the 7E7. “It’s made of carbon fiber,” everyone enthused. “30% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to traditional aluminum planes!” Boeing suddenly needed a lot of materials-focused engineers, and I was one of those. Even better: Boeing was starting a lot of efforts to improve air quality on planes. My junior year independent research project had been about, yes, improving air quality. I’d even attended a few guest lectures on the (then) emerging field of nanotechnology, including a lecture on buckyballs given by the inventor. It was just a passing acquaintance, but you’d better believe I played that up in my resume. …


Margaret Groves

Chemical Engineer by training, troubleshooter by nature. Boeing, Startups, and now gigging consultant.

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