Teachers Act Up!

Thoughts on Teaching, Language, and Social Change from Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor

Monthly Archives: January 2020

Girl Scout Cookie Sales…Again(!)(?)(meh)


Cookie sheet

I find this season a burden.  I don’t like being a salesperson and this is why I chose to be something else.  A parent must accompany a girl scout because selling door to door is CRAZY right now when everyone orders on amazon and who knows who will open a door these days! But these are the plus sides so far of selling cookies:

  1. Time with my amazing daughter and watching her present herself to clients with her clipboard.  It’s a glimpse of her power.
  2. Time with my neighbors.  I never get casual time to just see who is behind blue house or green.  We get a peek inside their mask-ed walls, incomplete puzzles on the table, nuzzles with cats, some chickens.  Lots of smiles and goodwill and some great eclectic design.
  3. Time to walk.  I forget how nice it is to take steps in the cool evening at a casual pace, up and down walkways.
  4. Girl scout cookies bring up lots of positive memories so time to watch others’ smile, especially young women.  Their sighs of joy are so sweet.
  5. Knuckle power.  Many of our neighbors do not have door bells so my daughter is getting her knuckles worked out and I think of this as good preparation should she need them in the future.
  6. Time to get over the fear factor.  It was after dark when we walked yesterday.  It was strange and weird.  There are different people walking after dark at 7:30pm then the school children in the dark at 7:30am.  So it’s time to see a different side of public life.
  7. Time to talk about what people need and want to know.  We didn’t have change and then we did.  Most boxes are $4 except for two that are $6.  One is gluten free; one is vegan; none are sugar free or fat free; none of them are free.  Yes we take checks, cash, donations. The Girl Scout troop number is 12051. We don’t know when we will be back to deliver them (shoot).  We can leave them on your porch if you’re not home.  Yes, there’s a new cookie, Lemon ups.  Yes, the troops is saving for activities, eventually a hoped-for trip abroad.  And yes, she can take care of your cats and dogs.  It’s a lot of information and my daughter got fluent in all of it, had great answers, and it was nice to watch a ten year old coming into herself.

Other than that, I find girl scout cookie sales a time that I wish would pass more quickly but for now, day one, it was alright.


Cookie Seller

Academic Social Networking – Oxymoron?

First, I love the word oxymoron.  I love writing the word moron in a word that means to write something contradictory and the that moron and academic are oxymoronic.  The view of an academic sitting alone, absorbed in books may seem like an oxymoron to an active social media life but what better distraction from writing papers or grading them on a laptop then to drift over to a new tab and check with what our interesting friends are doing on facebook and instragram, posting pictures of Christmas trees made of broccoli, Frozen themed birthday parties or big sighs after viewing Hamilton or Little Women.  I am distracted all. the. time.  I am trying to stay current with the world through the changing platforms beyond facebook: instagram, twitter, snapchat, wechat, whatsapp, whatthef**k.


Backdrop: Judy Chicago painting in the permanent collection at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

And now, I am learning there are more social networking sites on which I am behind.  I thought not clicking endless emails from academia.edu was cool, I was ignoring the fad–reminiscent of when I was a hold out for the answering machine, then the cell phone, then the iphone, then the tweet.  Now I want it all. I don’t want to miss the president’s rants or wars; I want to know when the mayor shoots the canon in my hometown and that it’s not a bomb.  Yes, I want to know what you think is the best date night dinner.  Now, I find that I can also know what you published, where, how many citations you have, what theory you’re reading, and what the most current thinking is on teaching and learning languages.  To play this new party trick I feel I must spend time updating my profiles on these many sites.  And so I have.  I am playing. Are you playing too? I turn to you, oh tech savvy social media friends, to learn how you navigate all of this cybersphere and still have time to cook dinner.

I forgot to add that I am really current now on my wordpress blogging…..

Here’s part of what an academic does at the end of the day when she’s too tired to plan her class further, write her next book, read her students’ papers and books, review that tenure file or article.







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