Guest Blog: STEAM Heat


Hi, All!  It’s IdealisticRebel’s sister, and I’m hijacking her blog for the day (with permission, of course).

Tomorrow, I will be participating in a panel hosted by the American Association of University Woman (AAUW) in what is being called a STEAM Conference which encourages young women, still in Middle School and High School, to enter traditionally male fields.

You may have heard of STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math.  AAUW recognizes that there is a growing need for women to enter the realms of digital Art as well, so STEM becomes STEAM, and I will be doing my part to encourage the young attendees to break out of traditionally female roles and join the ranks of the STEAM Women.

What’re my credentials?  I’ve worked in male-dominated fields for 22 years — first in Architecture, as a Computer-Aided Drafter/Designer, and now as a Technical Support Analyst for a major software company in North East Ohio.  More than that, my first attempt at a college degree was in Engineering.  Currently, I hold 3 degrees — Associates’ in both Architectural CADD and Computer Networking, and a Bachelor’s in Network Security Systems.

What’s my message?  It’s not the traditional one that so many women have heard all their lives:”math is hard” and “technology is for boys”.

Math can be hard, but it can also be fun — and you really do use it everyday (try balancing your checkbook without it)!  Technology wasn’t made for boys, it was made for people and the last time I looked, Women And Girls Are People, Too (I know, this comes a shock to some people, but it’s a fact of life, nonetheless).

Is it easy being “the only chick in class”, as I was for most of my last two degrees?  Not always, but that shouldn’t stop the next generation.  Because if enough girls and young women enter STEAM fields, they won’t be the only female in class; they’ll be part of the norm, no longer a sidebar, but the main article, as it were.

That’s not enough reason to do it, of course; just to increase the numbers isn’t a reason why anyone should go into any field.  The reason should come from you:

Because Science means that when you look up at night, you don’t just see “diamonds in the sky”, you see balls of hot gas, billions upon billions of light years away, with worlds swirling around them, and the fact that the light of those little diamonds left their home stars before the Earth was born blows your mind, and you want to know more.

hubble1

Because Technology means that you know the difference between a bit and a byte and you want to make Apps that make people’s lives easier.

Because Engineering means that when you see an electric car go by on the road and your first thought isn’t that it looks cool, or even how much money it costs to run, your first thought is what makes it go?

Because Art means that you play video games, alone or online, and you find yourself sketching the characters and want to make those characters you sketch come alive.

Because Math  makes sense to you, because numbers never lie and they make the world a more orderly place.

But mostly, just because you are YOU and you deserve to do what you love, no matter what that is, and no matter what other people think is ‘gender appropriate’.

Because you’re a person, too, and people get to make their own choices.

Make your choice, whatever it is, traditional or not.  Just be sure the choice you make is yours.

Why Does She Stay?


I worked for years in Domestic Violence, and I have heard many, many stories of abuse.  I think that educating people about Domestic Violence, and that there IS help and that people DO care about their safety, and the safety of their children is the most important thing we can do to stop the violence.  There is away out, and people around you will help find it.
I have heard this story in many variations from hundreds of women.  There is nothing like hearing a victim’s story, and that she safely got out, to give a victim of abuse the courage to begin breaking their own silence and to begin planning their own way out.

 

domesticviolence_logo

 

Today We Thank Mother Earth


“Lord, the air smells good today, straight from the mysteries

within the inner courts of God.

A grace like new clothes thrown

across the garden, free medicine for everybody.

The trees in their prayer, the birds in praise,

the first blue violets kneeling.

Whatever came from Being is caught up in being,

drunkenly forgetting the way back.”

 

—Rumi

 

Zinnias grown, photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

Zinnias grown, photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

 

The beauty of the earth is everywhere, mankind has not destroyed what we have been given. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

The beauty of the earth is everywhere, mankind has not destroyed what we have been given. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

“too much industry

too much eats

too much beer

too many cigarettes

 

Too much philosophy

too many thought forms

not enough rooms—

not enough trees

 

Too much Police

too much computers

to much hi fi

too much Pork

 

Too much coffee

too much smoking

under slate grey roofs

Too much obedience

 

Too many bellies

Too many business suits

Too much paperwork

too many magazines

 

Too much industry

No fish in the Rhine

Lorelei poisoned

Too much embarrassment.

 

Too many fatigued

workers on the train

Ghost Jews scream

on the street corner

 

Too much old murder

too much white torture

Too much one Stammheim

too many happy Nazis.

 

Too many crazy students

Not enough farms

not enough Appletrees

Not enough nut trees

 

Too much money

Too many poor

turks without vote

“Guests” do the work

 

Too much metal

Too much fat

Too many jokes

not enough meditation.”

 

—Allen Ginsberg, twentieth century Beats poet

 

 

The skies are filled with the beauty of Mother Earth. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

The skies are filled with the beauty of Mother Earth. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

May we all remember to thank Mother Earth for what we have been given. May we ask forgiveness for what we have destroyed. May we do restitution to our planet to undo what we have destroyed. May our words, prayers and actions make a difference.

Female lion on watch. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

Female lion on watch. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

Family TIme Under the Sea


This weekend, my Sister, Son, Daughter-in-law and Grandson went the Cleveland Aquarium.

 

We had a wonderful time, watching the sea creatures (and a couple of land creatures) and remembering the importance of other species in our world.

 

Watching my grandson, and all the other children (and grown-ups) learning new things, exploring a new world was both exhilarating and oddly peaceful, as was walking under sharks and other fish through a huge plexiglass tube running through the aquarium.  It was amazing to see sharks and barracuda going right over your head.  It was also dizzying and little weird, but one of the most incredible experiences.

 

Here’s a small view of what we experienced.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Sandtiger Shark - Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Sandtiger Shark – Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Sea Anemone - Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Sea Anemone – Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Sunburst Starfish - Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Sunburst Starfish – Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Starfish - Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Starfish – Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Snowflake Eel with Coral - Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Snowflake Eel with Coral – Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Tortoises - Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Tortoises – Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015