Friday, May 13, 2011

The Biology of Motherhood and a Question of Opinion

The girls in one of my English discussion classes (two 16 year olds) are pretty much everything I hope my Evie will be. They're responsible, thoughtful, hard-working and fun. But they hate biology. I tell them that this is a tragedy. Biology is awesome and interesting, I tell them. I also tell them a lot of other things. Anything I want. This week I will tell them about EFY in Germany and that they're totally invited.

But biology really is awesome. Although I know where my students are coming from. In 10th grade I hated it, too. My teacher sat at the overhead projector and wrote notes for us to copy all class period, every class period. Extremely boring. But then I moved on to AP Bio. With Mr. Margve. Oh, Mr. Margve was the best. He looked like he was wearing one of those fake nose and mustache thingies, only without the glasses. (as a matter of fact, my AP US History teacher was his good friend/rival, and they always played jokes on each other like Mr. M would send a dissected rat as a gift to Mr. T in the middle of class and Mr. T dressed for Halloween with a nose and mustache--glasses removed--and wearing a nametag that said "Mr. Margve".)

He had a passion for biology. He drew pictures on the board and used jokes and grand arm gestures. He made the floor of the lab into gigantic cells with paper parts so we could learn about transcription and other cellular functions by physically making it happen ourselves. I loved it all and remember much of it. I don't believe I have ever used terms like knee cap, shoulder blade, collar bone, or thigh bone, thanks to Mr. Margve. (patella, scapula, clavicle and femur for me, thanks!)

I think that is why I am so deeply in love with this song. I have an affection for biology anyway (up to the most basic college level. :) and it's a true geek song, sung by a true geek. I don't claim to be a geek AT ALL, but one who can appreciate geekiness, when properly expressed.

(as a side note, I think of the term "geek" and in smaller measure "nerd" to mean one who is overly excited about and interested in science or technology or other brainy things (with or without the social ineptness. For this reason I have never quite gotten it when people call themselves Harry Potter geeks, or worse, Twilight geeks. I am still trying to convince myself that the term can also apply to anyone who is knowledgeable about or interested in most anything, and that it doesn't necessarily have to be intellectual. (I always remind myself of how Annette tells us that language evolves and sometimes people use a term improperly enough that it becomes an actual definition, and that maybe that's the case here.)

This song is delightful (to me), the perfect balance of tackiness, catchiness, humor and just all around geekiness. I have it running through my head pretty constantly since Melancholy Smile linked to it the other day. You should really watch it, just in case it brings you as much joy as it brings me. You will learn exactly why slightly more than half of everything your children are is thanks to you. A Biologist's Mother's Day Song:

And now, a question of opinion.

I have never wanted to advertise on my blog. I have only ever wanted my blog to contain things that I personally want and choose to have on it. But now I have a dilemma.

A friend of mine (or two) has written regular, Melissa-esque blog posts that sounds exactly like her and are things that I know she would write about. They're just normal blog posts. Then at the end you read that the post was sponsored. And you think, what? Wasn't that Melissa? Yes. That was definitely Melissa. I enjoyed the post exactly as I would have without the sponsorship note at the end.

So this is a new and awesome way to monetize your blog and I'm thinking that I might want to try it. But I don't want it to feel like I'm not being real or something. But I figure, if a song about biology can inspire a post (however lame) about my AP Bio teacher, why not just let an advertisement inspire a post? For example, Melissa had one sponsored by a clothing company and she wrote about how terrible her own wardrobe is. I could write a post about my wardrobe (couldn't any woman?) and it would be just as real and natural as writing any other post that was triggered by something I saw or heard.

At least I think. But I'm just wondering, not to ask your permission, but I'm just curious as to how you feel about that? Have you read posts sponsored by Broadcast Bloggers ads? Does it feel weird to you? Wrong? Do you care?

Because I've never cared if people I like have their sidebars plastered with ads (I've seen some people complain that they don't like it), but this new way to monetize, while being slightly more in your face, is also a good way to get ideas for blog posts (I think, I still don't know exactly how it works) and still write from your own brain and heart, but also make some money (which some people are rather in need of, from what I understand...)

Anway, do you have thoughts? I mean, on the subject of this type of monetizing?

Sincerely, Lisa



MelancholySmile said...

Augh, I was really hoping someone had commented already, because I'd love to know the answer! J keeps wanting me to monetize my blog somehow, but I never want my creative outlet, my journal, my free therapy to transform into 'work'. But this doesn't sound like 'work', so maybe that's the way to go? You'll have to let me know!

Patty Ann said...

I can't say that I haven't thought about the same thing, but I can say that so far, I am only writing because I love it. I am not writing for anyone else. I don't know what the answer is. I think it has to be a personal choice.

Jillybean said...

I went ahead and signed up for the blog monetizing thing.
We'll see how it goes.

Melissa Bastow said...

That video was great. And totally geeky. Which makes it more great.

I liked biology way better than any physical science class I took. Chemistry? Ack.

Also I think you would be fab at Broadcast Bloggers, SO DO IT. Just kidding - I had to take awhile to think about it too. I was worried I was selling out or something, but now that I've written a couple posts I find that I really like it. So far. And like you said, I get inspired by all sorts of things, and as long as I get to write like me, I wouldn't mind making money doing it. (money is good.)

And also, thanks for the link! I'm always super flattered when someone links to me (it doesn't happen often...)

Susan said...

Isn't it awesome to think of how many people in the world love biology because of Mr. Margve's AP Bio class?! I also had Mr. Thompson but I think it was just a semester or something.

As for getting paid to do it, you kow I'll read everything no matter what. But is it possible to have another blog that is for product reviews and stuff? I don't really read many blogs so I'm not sure I know exactly how it goes. I can imagine that sometimes it'd be no problem, and sometimes it'd be a little awkward or forced?

If you write as well as Lisa, you ought to be paid for it, so go for it!

Alison Wonderland said...

Being the bio-geek that I am I can't really tell you how much I loved that song. But it was a lot.

Heidi said...

Since hearing about this new blogger thing, I have wondered if that many bloggists could blog as advertisment without coming across as a bit fake. However, knowing you, I am sure your total sincerity will save the day and you won't chase a single person away. You deserve to earn money from your writing, anyway. And science teachers-aren't they fun? Mine was always doing practical jokes to the guy next door and vice versa and it was a hoot.

Lacy@uphillandsmiling said...

Oh gosh, just because of this video, I am now your BIGGEST fan!! I hope you don't mind if I put it on my blog. I'm a biology major and wow, this was great! I remember taking Developmental Biology when I was 7 months pregnant with my first child. Boy, did I get some looks... and my professor often used me as a class example. "Lacy, how far along are you? okay, so then by now the fetus is this big and her body is doing this..." Yeah, it was a bit embarrassing, but kinda COOL at the same time. But I will be the first to admit I am the biggest science geek there is. My middle school science teacher started it all for me :)

Not sure about the monetizing,
I've wondered myself. Are you obligated to do posts on whatever they want you to? I worry that it will be a product that I am not okay with, something inappropriate? Maybe you could say no, but I wouldn't want my blog to send the wrong message.

I have friends that have review blogs just for this, I've considered doing it too. Good luck :)