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Needs Coaching

Needs coaching. This phrase was recently used about me. It was assigned to me by a man.


Needs coaching. I discussed this phrase with a group of female colleagues. It was literally his job, left undone.


This blog post was not the blog post I planned for today. When I learned today was International Day of Women and Science, I could not let it pass by. Many years, I celebrated the International Day of the Woman. Now it seems not enough. Across my lap is Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World by Girls who Code founder, Reshma Saujani. More than coding, I am compelled by her story. She arrived at coding, or coding came to her, when her other paths had disappeared.


I wonder what the path, the life, the understanding of womanhood, change and world might have been if it had been framed in science, in problem solving, in game play, instead of nurturing.


In honor of Girls Who Code, in honor of stories not heard and stories not yet written, I share a series of poems from my recent coding novel in verse. It is a love letter to story, to identity, and to my niece, who I hope receives her coaching now, instead of as a warning, in her forties.



-----


“Games are not great

Without great writers.”

 

Uncharted by Amy Hennig

First woman to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

From Game Developers Choice Awards

 

Our game mentor doesn’t want

To talk

About what

We are.

 

“You might forget and choose words that are not positive

Or that are too positive.

You might describe yourself by what others see.”

 

But who

We are.

 

“It’s special to connect

Not just instruct

When you code.

 

Find a story

Hero

Find your story

Warrior

Find a center

Find a soul

In all stories.

 

Mom told me not to tell other people’s stories.

What choice do I have

if

when


All my stories

Have always been

Other people’s stories.

 

--


New day

New shirt

“Girls don’t play games”

Nothing in life is ever

Just a game.

 

Women game

Because

They know it’s not

A game.

 

Impact.

Social impact.

 

“For tomorrow,

Use the story you chose

A character,

A woman,

Who has made

An impact.”

 

I haven’t but I need.

I could

But should I?

Choose a video

Of all

My videos.

 

Click.  Scroll.

Except, these are not my stories.


New day

New t-shirt 

"Code meaningful action"

 

--

Algorithm

I do so many things

Everyday


In rhythm

I am lucky to do so many things

Everyday

 

I never stopped to

Identify what I need

To carry out

So many things

Everyday

 

I sit on my bed

Wet hair

Drips

Tears don’t

 

I unfold

All my folded papers.

 

Games teach

You

Skills

 

Games can’t teach

You

To be you

 

Courage

 

To hide you

 

Creativity

 

To define you

 

Logic

 

To deny you

 

Passion

 

To find you

 

Patience

 

In all the white spaces

Across all the wrinkles

 

I outline

My program

For me

--

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