Seven Years

It’s taken me (give or take)
l            o            n            g
To get this project (almost)

And Worrying:
(thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive? digital literacy? gender literacy? architectural literacy? digital? feminist? architectural? is it (I know, I know, but I have to ask:) possible to switch to a Master’s of Gender Studies in the                         middle                        of a Master’s of Education program? (in case you’re wondering, the answer is no. at least, not on the prairies.) thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive? thesis? comprehensive?)

And (finally)
Deciding (actively deciding or resigning myself to the fact?)
on the

(Wondering once more: did I make the right choice? if yes, why do I feel this need to explain my choice? as though a Comprehensive is somehow inferior to a Thesis, but it is, right? everyone knows that Real Scholars go the Thesis route so that they can roll merrily along into a ph. d. but that’s not my reality. and although the amount of blood, sweat, tears, thought, snot, you name it, that I have put into these

Seven (Give or Take—take 1 year off for having twins and see if you manage to Pass Go and Collect $200 ever again.)

is Equal if not Greater Than some who are writing a thesis, by choosing the comprehensive route I still feel Less Than. and not without merit: it’s definitely more difficult to be accepted to a Ph. D. program without a thesis, even though an M. Ed. is an M. Ed is an M. Ed. there are no extra letters for a thesis)

l            o            n            g
And this project (M. Ed., no more, no less)
Is (almost)
It’s (about) time

(For something new)

–J. Amy (July 13, 2016)

Notes: I’ve been absent for a long, long time. I know this, and hopefully this poem explains some of the ‘why’ behind my absence. I’m hoping to be back (regularly) on this blog in the not too distant future. Thanks for your patience. 

If you would like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me at: judyamy74(at)gmail(dot)com or tweet me @JudyAmy74

Language, lovely language.

I’ve been noticeably absent on my blog lately. I’ve been writing. About blogging. Just not blogging. Does that make any sense? I mentioned earlier that I was giving a presentation at a local university regarding my experience blogging about (but not limited to) gender. I gave the presentation today, and overall I think it went okay. I’m never completely sure about these sorts of things. At any rate, when I was writing my presentation I was having a great deal of difficulty organizing my thoughts. Then I came across a beautiful quote about writing that helped me frame my paper. Here it is:

Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives. —Audre Lorde

There is so much more to say about the incredible beauty and meaning in this lovely language, but I think it needs to just sit and settle for a bit. I will leave it to you, dear Reader, to enjoy at your leisure.  And perhaps we can consider this quotation and all of its implications another time.

If you’d like to read Lorde’s entire essay here’s a good link:

 If you’d like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me: or tweet me @JudyAmy74.

René at Home: A Postcard Story

I look in the mirror, dissatisfied at the lumps that no matter how tight I bind them still seem obvious. At least they are to me. Tori says I could go to the mall and pass for a guy but I’m not sure. She’s my friend, and besides, she’d say anything to go to the mall. I saw someone like me at the movies once. He walked confidently up to the counter and bought a ticket. Then I saw his hesitation as he paused by the bathrooms, deliberating. Eventually he walked into the girl’s bathroom. I understood. Too risky.

The transgender pride flag

The transgender pride flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notes: This piece came from a Writing Workshop I attended this summer. The task was to write from the perspective of a different gender. Since I am not a big believer in a gender binary, and also because I could not figure out how to write as a guy, I chose to write as a transgender teenager. It was still a big stretch because it’s been years since I’ve been a teenager. I didn’t have the postcard framework in mind when I began writing this piece, but in the rewriting/revising process, I decided that it would be a good match.

If you would like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me at: or tweet me @JudyAmy74

Catalina at Home (A Postcard sort of story)

I open the door, throw my keys into the bowl on the side table which is supposed to be just for keys, but which at this moment also holds three lipsticks and a lone earring.

Mitzy runs toward me, yapping non-stop. I go into the kitchen, refill her water dish and turn on the radio. I grab my lemon-infused super water that I bought at the new health store on the weekend and plop down on the couch next to my laptop.

I boot it up and check my profile. How many potential mates are waiting for me today?

English: This is my dog. His name is Doodles. ...

English: This is my dog. His name is Doodles. He is a half Pomeranian and half Chihuahua. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notes: This post is a hybrid of two writing workshops that were part of my Summer Course. The first one was to take someone from real life whom you didn’t actually know (ie the mail carrier, the grocery store clerk, the man from the dog park) but whom you saw on a fairly regular basis. The next task was to imagine that person’s life and have that person become a character for you to write about. Finally you are to enter your person’s home and begin writing. The second workshop was one that I led, which involved taking a postcard or photograph and writing a story from the image in one hundred words or less, one that might fit on the back of a postcard. The writing in the above story is based on both of these workshops–my character and her home is taken from the Familiar Stranger workshop and the format is taken from the Postcard Story workshop. I rather like the character of Catalina, and I hope that she returns another time.

If you would like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me at: or tweet me @JudyAmy74

38 Special

Raised by WASPs, Judy wonders who would ever feel empathy for her struggles. After all, they are self-created, aren’t they? Her therapist tells her to just “buck up”—after all, she’s rapidly approaching 40. But how can Judy explain that she had never planned on living past 34 and these extra four years have added even more conflict to her seemingly overly complicated life. Isolated and alone, while surrounded by numerous family and friends, Judy meanders through issues of sexuality, self-identity, and the true meaning of love. A fantastic coming of age story . . . except that Judy’s almost 40.

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Blue Woman #3 (Rough Draft)

Blue Woman,
Blue Woman:

One side of a coin.
You tell your story
I’ll tell mine.

But it’s always been
Tails for you,
Hasn’t it,
Blue Woman,
Blue Woman?

Your art discarded,
Because it would be
A simple task for you
To sew another jacket.

Your voice silenced
In the negotiations
As your husband,
Smoked the pipe
And made the agreement.

You and I are not as different
As we might seem,
Are we,
Blue Woman,
Blue Woman?

Staying in the background
Our presence felt
Yet not acknowledged
Our light hidden in shadows.

Your look of determination
And the love strewn
Throughout your hair
Makes me think
It’s our time,
Blue Woman,
Blue Woman.

You and me,
Blue Woman.
This is our
Time to shine.

Now is the time
For our story
To be told.

Notes: Today we had a workshop at the museum entitled We Are All Treaty People. We saw many artifacts associated with some of the treaties signed between the colonialists and the First Nations people. There was a piece of art included in a display. It was a applique wall hanging with beads, created in 2004 by Patricia Ningewance Nadeau, entitled Blue Woman.I was taken with it the first moment I saw it. It was a circular piece with the head of a woman on it. The woman’s face was done in blue beads and throughout her hair lay a crown of hearts lay. The image mirrored that of Queen Victoria on one of the treaty medals also in the case. When speaking with the curator of the exhibit we learned that women’s art in the form of beaded sashes, jackets, and table runners were not highly valued as it was understood that the woman could easily recreate such an item. This got me wondering about the role of Indigenous women during the crafting of the Treaties. During one of our writing sessions this afternoon, I worked on a series of Blue Woman poems. None are even remotely finished and all are extremely unpolished, but I wanted to document this experience so here’s a rough draft of one of them. Unfortunately, I cannot share a picture of this piece of artwork on this blog, so you will have to imagine a most beautiful, proud, determined Blue Woman. However, if you really need a visual follow the link below and you will see an image of the art at the bottom of the article.


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Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

I am the woman
Shivering on the corner of
Higgins and Main
As you drive by and decide
Whether or not to stop.

I am the girl
Working in a sweatshop
Miles and thoughts away
As you walk through the Gap and decide
Which shirt to buy.

I am the woman
Dusting your lamps and
Mopping your floors
As you check your phone and decide
Where to go for lunch.

I am the working poor.
I am the child labourer.
I am the illegal immigrant.

I am a slave.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights wall at ...

Universal Declaration of Human Rights wall at the UN (Photo credit: Jordan Lewin)

Notes: I’m currently participating in a Summer Writing Institute entitled Writing for/as Human Rights and Social Justice. It’s for teachers wishing to explore the possibilities for teaching writing as social justice pedagogy. Yesterday there was an activity where we each got an article from the Declaration of Human Rights. After discussing the articles in a round robin sort of way, we returned to reflect and write a response to our article. I was given Article 4. This was my response.

If you’d like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me at: or tweet me @JudyAmy74