Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Battle of the Hyphenated Last Name

When Mark and I got married, I was adamant that I was keeping my last name in my name, so hyphenating seemed like the way to go.  Mark, not to be one-upped (since he already had a hyphenated last name), added my last name to his middle name (yes, it’s hyphenated also!).
Why did I want to keep my last name as part of my married name?  One reason is because of my identity—to myself, to my family, and to my heritage.  My last name represented so solidly for me a part of who I was and am.  But Mark’s last name also represented our new life together, as partners, and that I was joining his family.  So, hyphenating seemed a good representation of this partnership.  (In writing this blog post, I read other blog posts, and there were a few articles that suggested that hyphenated names did not show unity between the couple.  I am not quite clear about the logic of this argument, since to me, having both names represented shows the unifying of two families.)
A second reason I was interested in hyphenating (as opposed to changing my last name to Mark’s name), was for professional reasons.  I had already published (albeit, in tiny, college-level journals), but I didn’t want my future self to have issues with a name change during the course of my writing career.  (Since my writing career has stalled, this doesn’t seem to be as critical, but one can dream.)
A lesser third reason is I’ve never been big on doing something just because it’s tradition or what everyone does.  I believe in doing the thing that rings true for me—which in this case was hyphenating my last name.
But, even though I have always used my hyphenated name on all correspondence with family and friends, no one ever seems to get it right.  At the end of our wedding ceremony, we had asked our priest to present us simply as “Mark and Christy,” instead of “Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So.”  This was done for logistical reasons (because saying Mr. Mark J-N and Mrs. Christy B-J is pretty awkward), but also because, regardless of what we were doing with our last names, saying “Mark and Christy” was the best representation of us.
I have, on many occasions, responded to wedding invitations writing in both of our full names (Mark J-N and Christy B-J), only to arrive at the reception to find a nameplate with Christy J.  At Christmas, cards come from friends and family alike addressed to Christy and Mark J.  (Even my own mother, who tried to discourage me from hyphenating because it would make my name too long, addresses it this way!)  I’ve even gotten shower invitations (from both sides of Mark’s family) addressed to Christy J.  Even more frustrating is when I’m on the phone making a hotel reservation or taking care of a bill, and I always both say and then spell out my whole last name, and inevitably, the guy (and believe me, it’s always a guy on the other end) says “ok, Mrs. J, thank you for that information.”

As someone with a Polish last name that people pronounced correctly only about 20% of the time, I will admit that I am a bit sensitive about my name.  But, as I explained above, your name represents you, who you are, and your identity.  If people aren’t getting your name right, it does feel a bit like they didn’t take the time or effort or care to make sure they identify you as you.  I try to always make sure I have people’s names correctly as they want to be called—not as I think or assume their name is—and all I ask is for the same curtesy.  Don’t call me Mark if my name is Christy-Mark! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brooklyn Bridge

It's been awhile, but here is a scrapbook page from my New York scrapbook.  This page is from a walk my friend Holly and I took across the Brooklyn Bridge.

I used Thickers to do the title for this page, and I used the "B" as the anchor for both words.

Here is a photo of Holly being sassy as we cross the bridge.  I was a beautiful day, with a great blue sky.  I used a double-sided sheet that had blue in the flowers to match the sky.

When you open the page you find more photos, a tag, and a map of Manhattan.

I liked the way the lines for the bridge crossed each other, so I took this photo.  I used a paper with blue, green, and red circles as a matte because I thought the colors went well with the flower paper.

The journalling tag is blue as well, and has flowers, tying in these two elements.  (Although, I really should journal on this tag!)

From my many trips to NYC, I have lots of maps, so I used part of a Manhattan map where you could see the Brooklyn Bridge as part of the background.

Finally, a picture of me and Holly.  The matte is a teal that corresponds nicely (I think) with the blues.

I like the bold colors on this layout, and the element of the flap, which adds a little fun to the page, I think.  :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Staying Warm this Winter

This winter wasn't as bad as last winter, but there was still a spell when it was COLD!  Last winter, Nox had a little blanket that was supposed to be a baby blanket that Karen donated to Nox.  But since Nox is 3-4 times bigger than that cute little puppy he was last year, that blanket doesn't cover very much.  We have a lot of throw fleeces and throw blankets, so I donated one to Nox:

Because we actually have more than one red fleece blanket in the house, I wrote his name on this one so we wouldn't get confused.  (I'm going to try to stitch his name on, since I'm not sure if the magic marker will wash out when I wash the blanket.)  Anyway, the blanket helped to keep him warm, and when Mark and I wrapped up in our blankies on the couch, Nox also got to get wrapped up in his blanket.  :)

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

If Nox had a Mustache...

A couple of weeks ago we were hanging out with Mark's high school friend, Heather, and her family, and we all played a board game involving mustaches.  We decided this was the one that Nox would have, if he could grow one:

Monday, February 02, 2015

Snowpocalyse 2015!

So, I wasn't meaning to, but I've been on a little hiatus from blogging, but I'll try to get back into it now.  In honor of the February 1, 2015 Snowpocalypse, here is a cute video of Nox helping Mark shovel the sidewalk:


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Diversity in Higher Ed Revisited

The Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) has a vested interested in fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science.  In an interesting article about the Fisher v. University of Texas, two things are discussed: 1) how diversity is recognized as important and impactful for making scientific and technological advances, and 2) politics can shape or harm education through the legistature and judicial branches.

In the first topic, it was discussed how UT had made a blanket 10% rule (the top 10% of each graduating senior class automatically was granted admission).  Because of a some racial/economic segregation among school districts, the 10% rule did yield more diversity (275 African-Americans and 1,024 Hispanics in an incoming class).  However, UT additionally conducted holistic review of students, which means other--and what might be considered nontraditional (or not white-centric)--forms of merit, besides test scores, were given more importance.  According to the article, the enrolling class (of a similar size) saw 335 African-American students and 1,228 Hispanic students.  These numbers may be closer to the actual racial and ethnic demographics in Texas: according to Wikipedia, as of the 2010 U.S. Census, the racial distribution in Texas was as follows: 70.4% of the population of Texas was White American; 11.8% African American; 3.8%, Asian American; 0.7%, American Indian; 0.1%, native Hawaiian or Pacific islander only; 10.5% of the population were of some other race only; and 2.7% were of two or more races. Hispanics (of any race) were 37.6% of the population of the state, while Non-Hispanic Whites composed 45.3%.

In the second topic, the point is made that if URMs want to make sure their voice is heard in the political system (besides the obvious "go out and vote" idea), they should try to get advanced degrees, as that will help them get appointed to positions that will affect policy.  I thought this was an interesting point to make, because, as noted by Professor Margaret Montoya (re: affirmative action), “When students of color are admitted, we greatly enhance scholarship outcomes and new ways of teaching happen. Consideration of race allowed debate and discussion to enter the classroom. It benefits all society. To discourage diversity is a waste of human capital at the macro level, because we are wasting human capacity.”  So not only does diversity enhance and drive science and technology forward, but it could also impact and drive the policies and laws that we as citizens live by.

To see information about 2010 census demographics (showing white people to still be the majority at 72%), check out this Wikipedia article.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


In preparation for a scrap weekend I'm going to next weekend, I thought I'd take a peek at some recent work.  So here is another page from my New York scrapbook:

I cut circles out of some bright colored paper to offset the grayness of the photos, and used that paper for journaling.

I also used a corner rounder on all the photos to tie into the round elements.

I used a piece of decorative tape to help break up the pictures.

The decorative tape also helps let the bottom photo stand on it's own.  It's a photo of a sculpture I really liked, and the physical break helps to highlight the photo.

I also used some silver bling on the pink journalling circle to further draw the eye to this section of the page.