Friday, May 10, 2013

Making the Marakon Ways

My 8 year old son, Griffin, just published a fantasy novel called The Marakon Ways. I helped him with the publishing, but not the writing. In fact, he didn’t even tell me that he was writing a book until he was a few chapters in! According to his teacher, Matt, at the start of the school year Griffin decided he would write a book and asked for help typing it up. Over the next four months, Griffin dictated his story, watching over his teacher's shoulder to make sure everything came out just the way he wanted it to, and learning a lot about patience and politeness. 

The Marakon Ways

I am very proud of my 8 year old son, Griffin! Over the past seven months he wrote an 8 chapter, 60 page fantasy novel that tells a "clever and engrossing story." From the book's back cover:
Lily and Daniel don't realize, when they first see a wolf in the kangaroo pen at the zoo, that they are about to embark on an amazing adventure. But after the wolf disappears into thin air, the two children quickly discover that things in the real world don't always happen the way that grownups tell them they should. Lily and Daniel become trapped in a vortex that transports them to an unknown world called Wolf Land. There they learn that they must save a strange breed of wolf-people and an entire way of life from Arclos and his five evil sons using an ancient martial art called the Marakon Ways. Written by eight year old Griffin Hehmeyer and illustrated by his classmates, The Marakon Ways is an entertaining fantasy story that appeals directly to the child in all of us.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Child-Friendly Conferences

I feel lucky to be part of an awesome, inclusive community that is flexible and thoughtful about how to help people with different constraints participate and contribute. Everyone wants great researchers to produce great work, so we try to remove the obstacles that get in the way. Following Friday’s post with advice for traveling to conferences with children, several conference organizers have expressed interest in how they might help make it easier for parents to attend. What follows is a list of ideas for supporting parents at conferences, compiled with the help of colleagues*:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Attending a Conference with a Baby

I was just in Paris, attending CHI 2013, and felt a little homesick because none of my children were with me. For over six years, while I was pregnant and nursing, at least one of my four boys came with me to every conference I attended. Griffin, for example, traveled one hundred thousand miles in his first year of life. Below are some things that I found made attending a conference alone with a baby a little easier for me.