Coffee Break: Poween Snakeskin Embossed Ruffle Pump

These embellished snakeskin pumps from Isabel Marant look gorgeous. I love the mix of green and blue and beige and brown, and I think wearing these would be a great and easy way to add a lot of personality to an otherwise neutral outfit. They’re available for pre-order at Nordstrom for $595 in sizes 5–11. Poween Snakeskin Embossed Ruffle Pump

This lower-priced snakeskin pump from J.Crew also has a little extra detail at the toe and is only 1/4″ higher (although the “brooch accent” may not be for everybody).

(Also feeling some April 1 vibes here, unless you happen to want a silver lamé suit for holiday parties, in which case, you are awesome.)

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  1. *sigh* Sometimes it’s hard to see the partner I’m doing work for sh*t all over something I worked pretty hard on.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Ugh, that’s a crappy feeling.

    • It does happen. My manageing partner has recently learned to trust my instinct’s, but until then, he challenged EVERYTHING I did, thinking that he knew more about thing’s then I did. But once you learn to deal with him, he will become more and more meek; particularly if you are abel to bill 600 hours each month, the way I can. YAY!

  2. The ruffles are on shoes now, too??? I thought for a second that these shoes had horns before I realized it was a ruffle.

    • Really like the shoes … except for the GD ruffle!

      Well that and the price.

      • Same. Those shoes are amazing. I don’t mind ruffles on shoes, but pick a lane. Crazy snakeskin OR ruffle.

        • Anonymous :


          Ruffle or edgy snakeskin is awesome, both is too much.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I kind of love the silver one, though:

          • Anonymous :

            I love the silver too – awesome Christmas party shoes. But I don’t see them as snakeskin – it’s like a crackle print or something? And monotone so not as much going on as the multicolor snakeskin.

        • Eh I think once you do the multicolored snakeskin, the ruffle isn’t all that extra. I’d wear them.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I am ok with the ruffle but it looks (at least to my eye) that the ruffle is a different snakeskin to the rest of the shoe. Sad.

    • Anonymous :

      These are the perfect shoes for a Disney villain.

  3. Anon Lawyer :

    I’m a 5th year associate and was asked by an associate at another firm that we work with to speak on a panel. The subject matter of the panel is related to my practice area but isn’t specifically what I work on regularly. I should still say yes right?

    I’m sure I can get up to speed in no time – part of me just feels dishonest because it’s not my expertise.

    • Anon Lawyer :

      I should add that I know they’re trying to diversify the panel (my colleague specifically mentioned they were looking for a woman) so this feels like an opportunity that’s being dropped in my lap.

    • H*LL YES!! You should be on the panel. A man would have no problem being on a panel if his only background on the topic is that he skimmed an article in a newspaper 5 sec before the panel started!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely yes. You say you can get up to speed in no time — all that matters is that you’re up to speed the day of the event. This kind of thing gets your name out there and that’s important – not only for your firm but for you personally.

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      YES YES YES. Get up to speed. And don’t say self-deprecating things when speaking like “this isn’t really my field, but…” You’re a lawyer. You can figure things out. Go for it!

      (BTW, I speak on things that aren’t specifically what I work on regularly all the time. It’s fine.)

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Do it do it do it!!! Everyone will want you to look good, so it’s not gonna be like some sort of interrogation. And you already have a basic knowledge of the field! And you’ll be so proud of yourself!

    • Anonymous :

      Do it! A similar thing happened to me, and with a little prep it worked out just fine.

    • Anon Lawyer :

      Thank you all! I felt like I should be saying yes but I just needed a bit of a push. Imposter syndrome is real…

    • Anonymous :

      I went on cable news to talk about an area of law that was not remotely my area of expertise, with 4 hours to prepare, and did well enough that they wanted me back for other things.

      It’s a panel, not a Supreme Court oral argument. You’ll be fine.

  4. You would get roasted all. day. long. if you wore these at any place I’ve worked at.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      i am so glad that i no longer work in a place where i’d have to be worried about stuff like that.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d get complimented all day long at any place I’ve worked at except for the swimming pools where I was a lifeguard.

  5. I would like to meet the person who owns and wears that suit. I really would.

  6. I currently have roughly $45k in a high-yield savings account. It was my pre-DH emergency fund/savings, and now that DH and I have built up our own joint emergency cushion/savings, I finally feel comfortable being slightly more aggressive with how I invest this money. I don’t anticipate needing it anytime soon, though I don’t want to invest in anything too risky as it is still my “in case of extreme emergency” money (DH’s death/divorce/etc.).

    Any thoughts or ideas on how to invest this money? I was thinking of some kind of conservative-ish Vanguard funds, but I’m open to ideas.

    • Cornellian :

      I would keep some amount in that savings account for an actual emergency (say 3 months’ living expenses) and invest the remaining ~35K in low-cost index funds. I’d probably throw it all in VTSMX (their total stock market fund), but you could put it in a couple different funds if you’d like.

      I don’t think you should be conservative with money you’re investing. I’d keep what you really need in an emergency in a savings account, and then really invest the remaining amount.

  7. Help. My team is dressing up for Halloween tomorrow and the theme is to dress as a food. I’ve been out of town all week and need something easy and work appropriate (and preferably clever). Ideas?

    • Do you have time to make or get a costume or do you need to make one from stuff you already own? Sriracha t-shirt? (Or i’ve even seen a full on Sriracha foam costume.)

    • Calibrachoa :

      Do you have time to pick up a cheap wig? A green wig + monochromatic outfit = you’re a vegetable! you could be a beet, a carrot, a broccoli…. :)

      • Anonymous :

        Even without the cheap wig, some combo of pink, white, and brown and you’re neopolitan ice cream!

    • I thought these were really funny. I realize they are for kids, but I am tempted to go as the Trader Joe’s employee myself.

    • if you have a white shirt, and can get a yellow piece of felt or sharpie or paint, you can be an egg. just draw the yolk on your white shirt and if you add devil horns, then you can be a “deviled egg” or a white shirt with an S on it and you could be salt.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m stealing the deviled egg idea for the office costume party, since I’ve already got devil horns from the year I was “devil’s advocate” for the office costume party (I like my puns for the office halloween costumes).

      • Anonymous :

        I like the deviled egg idea. That is cute!

    • Get a little pig nose and your biggest shawl and be “pigs in a blanket”

    • Anonymous :

      A purple dress and green hat for an eggplant, red dress with white paper cut like seeds for a strawberry, yellow shirt or dress and then make a paper hat to look like the top of a pineapple

    • Rainbow Hair :

      (With the disclaimer that I sort of hate her site and her tone) Brit . co has cute, simple Halloween ideas.

    • You can attach a bunch of purple or green balloons to your clothing and be a cluster of grapes.

    • Anonymous :

      Wear black pants and a black top, with a felt cut out of the letter “P”. Then darken one eye with black shadow. You are a black eyed pea.

    • Camel sheath dress. Clear dry cleaning bag (if you happen to have one lying about) that you slip over your head and wear over top of your dress, like a poncho. Or maybe a clear rain poncho? I’m thinking out loud here…

      Tape some colored dots to the plastic bag. Voila! You’re a bag of Wonder Bread.

    • Brown button front shirt, brown pants or skirt, brown baseball cap, print UPS logo and tape it onto hat – voila, UPS driver costume.

  8. I’m biracial (neither race is white) and I’m about to go to a recruiting event for people of one of my races and I’m stressing out about it. I’m very ambiguous looking , which adds to my feeling like I never belong anywhere. I’m concerned that I’ll walk in and people will be like, “why is she crashing an event for X people.” This is all in my head, right? And I should just chill?

    • Oh, I’m doing the recruiting & talking to potential applicants of a particular background. Not trying to be recruited myself, if it makes any difference.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m from Hudson County NJ and sort of expect that race / ethnicity isn’t always straightforward.

      That said, I’m white, somewhat obviously so, and get sent to stuff like this all the time. It’s like my firm is saying “look, brunette woman was as close as we could get to diverse.” Which is sort of true, actually.

      And besides, if you were doing the hiring, why should anyone care?

      • I guess it makes me uneasy because when I emailed to sign up for it, the person was like “we’re happy to have you if you want, but we just want to inform you that this is an event for X candidates.” Like, she assumed I wasn’t a member of that group. I wrote back saying “I identify as X and would really like to come if that works for you.” So now I feel like I’ll be this questionable person showing up after I made a particular issue about being something probably few people can guess that I am.

        • Anonymous :

          That is just obnoxious behavior on the part of the person who e-mailed you. You didn’t make your race an issue, she did by assuming something that wasn’t true and then trying to make you feel unwelcome on the basis of her assumption.

          • I don’t know I feel like this is unfair. She probably just wasn’t sure I knew what kind of event it was and wanted to make sure I knew what I signed up for. If the situation were reversed and I was like a really white person going to the African American Student Union or something and didn’t expect it to be a specific event like that, I might be uncomfortable. Like I crashed an exclusive party or something. And I think I’d wish someone had just made it clear.

            She definitely assumed, but I don’t think she meant any harm. Not that intention is everything, but it’s not nothing either.

      • Anonymous :

        This totally happens to me too! I’m white but I’ve been mistaken for Brazilian and Lebanese a few different times. Like, dude – no, I’m still white, y’all need some actual diversity in your recruiting.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s totally normal to stress about this kind of thing but I think it’s pretty unlikely that anyone says anything. Most people realize that all members of a racial group do not look totally similar. Might make you feel better to practice a short firm but not rude one line response that you can use if you do come across any jerks.

    • I’m 1/4 Native American and was interviewed for an article, which included my photo, regarding careeer opportunities in my field. I was like, uh, I’m happy to help but I’m pale with blue eyes. I really don’t look Native American. They were totally cool with it and said it happens a lot. And at the end of the day I might have helped some native Americans with career advice so I’m glad I did it. But my sister is still making fun of me about it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      • * I didn’t word that well. The article was for a Native American publication aimed at pre-college aged kids living on reservations.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I think you should chill, yes. I mean, I would be worrying in your shoes, too, but I think the worry is unnecessary. Can you imagine someone saying to you, “Huh, you don’t look [whatever]!” at a recruiting event?! That person would be so rude!!! Like, yeah, people might actually be that rude but it’s kind of on them if they are.

      • Most people say variants of those things to me. I don’t think I’ve met a single person like…. just about ever who doesn’t engage me in the “what are you” conversation in the first couple of interactions. Even people who are generally aware, even people who hear other stories of people doing the same thing and are like “omg that’s so obnoxious!” Obviously it’s not a deal breaker for me since people kind of run the gamut of rudeness, and some people are just curious and relatively polite about it and that’s ok. I just don’t get what’s so interesting about being ambiguous

    • It’s natural to wonder what people might think or say about yourself, but I’d definitely say you should chill since your background is none of their business, and these recruiting events are never ACTUALLY by rule exclusive. I’m AA and we had students of all sorts come to our career panels and no one batted an eye, they just wanted information.

      And +1 to the above, if they ask they’re rude.

    • Is the event for people of your mother’s background? If so, and your mother has a culturally identifiable last name, maybe you could introduce yourself as Firstname Mother’slastname Father’slastname so that people who are not dense will understand.

  9. I *do* want a silver lamé suit, but not in that ugly, boxy cut.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Before I clicked the link I had a ~*vision*~ of the suit, and the reality left me pretty disappointed.

  10. My office is on the casual side of business casual. I have been given a lovely, heavy silver brooch I would love to wear, but I have no idea how to do so. I don’t currently own a blazer with enough structure to support it. I live in Florida, so my coat wardrobe is basically a couple of trenches and a light quilted jacket. Any clever ideas?

    • Calibrachoa :

      Attach it to a scarf?

    • Can you put it on a necklace? Use it to pin a scarf? Do you have a purse that it could go on? I have a tweed/fabric MZ Wallace bag that could probably hold up to a heavy brooch.

    • I like the look of a brooch rather high on the shoulder of a dress, potentially holding up a scarf. Play around with this and see if you like it.

      I believe our host Kat is a brooch-wearing expert. Perhaps she will chime in. You might search the archives for a prior post on just this subject.

      • Frozen Peach :

        I would LOVE a tutorial on how to use a brooch to keep a scarf on. I need literal step by step instructions. I can’t tell y’all how many times I have tried to do this and ended up, twenty minutes later, throwing both scarf and brooch down in frustration and wearing neither.

    • What about wearing one of those sleeveless blazers? Or other vest with some structure.

    • I wear brooches with sweaters or thicker fabric shirts. Put a makeup sponge under your shirt to help support the brooch.

    • Anonymous :

      F you have long hair, could it be mounted on a barrette/hair clip? Or maybe it’s too heavy for that?

  11. Is it the right shape to turn into a necklace?

    Otherwise, I wear heavy brooches on thinner garments by wearing them over my bra strap, which has enough strength to support them. Be careful not to snag the fabric, though, if the pin is large.

  12. Cold weather weddings? :

    I’m attending a wedding this weekend that will be outside or in a semi-open barn. Forecast is for the 40s or 50s. I have a couple dress options, but am debating whether it’s okay to wear knee high boots. It’s definitely not the best look with the dresses I’m considering, but is it reasonable when it’s that cold?

    • Anonymous :

      Ugh people. Stop holding weddings outside if there is a reasoanble likelihood it will be cold (e.g. late October). It’s just not cool.

    • I _definitely_ would wear the boots. I would prioritize being warm. I would be really surprised if you were the only one wearing them, at those temperatures.

    • Who does that?!? Yes, absolutely wear what you need to to be warm!

    • I vote no, it does not seem dressy enough.

    • What’s the dress code? Unless it’s semi-formal, I’d wear dressier black boots with a dress that works with boots.

    • I suggest you wear layers, particularly if there is going to be dancing. I wouldn’t personally wear boots if there’s going to be dancing – i find them difficult to dance in. I’d assume they’re going to have those heat lamps so it may actually be unexpectedly toasty, depnending on how close you’re sitting to one.

      So for me, it would be a dress with a dressy bolero or cardigan, tights, low heeled regular shoes, and a nice thick shawl/wrap.

      • I wouldn’t necessarily assume there will be heat lamps. I’ve gone to 2 outdoor weddings in late October/early November and neither had heat lamps. At the early November one it actually flurried… but fortunately it was only the ceremony that was outdoors for that one.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          I went to one at the end of October that had exactly two heat lamps for around 200 people when it was 20 degrees out. So even if there are some, they might not be sufficient. My family still talks about that wedding, and not in a way that would make the bride happy…

    • Anonymous :

      It’s not reasonable to have an outdoor wedding when it is that cold so you wear whatever you need to stay warm

    • Totally ok to wear knee-high boots. It’s a barn. And it’s forecast to be (seasonably) cold. Perhaps you can take a cue from the above and wear a fancy brooch on a beret or on a coat lapel! Or a faux fur scarf around your neck to make it a little more glam! Some extra tips: dress in layers on the slight chance it is ‘too’ heated, bring extra things to make you warm like hand warmers, layer socks over tights, absolutely wear a hat and gloves and scarf.

  13. I just had an appointment at the Mmla fleur shop in Bryant park NYC (I live in the Bay Area but I’m in NY for a meeting)

    I am plus sized and tall.

    I tried on lots of dresses – I was surprised at how many they have in my size. Most were good but I really liked the Nisa dress in galaxy blue. They’ll be shipping that to me, along with a Fey top (very flattering with a wrap design and ruching) and I brought home a Harlem skirt because it was the last one.

    My stylist was Nagera (sp?) and she was very nice and prepared for me when I got there. It was a nice experience overall and I recommend doing it if you’re somewhere near one of their shops.

    • I should add that the experience was low- to no-pressure, which I appreciated. In particular, I appreciated the stylist generally agreeing with me when I felt particular items didn’t look good on me, rather than being the kind of sales person who tries to convince me that I look fabulous in everything.

    • SF in House :

      Did you know there is one in SF on Maiden Lane (through 12/17)?

      • Thanks. I’m vaguely aware pop-ups come and go from SF but from what I’ve heard they don’t have many sizes. It was nice to go to their permanent shop and try on at least 20 options in my size.

  14. school choices for average kids :

    It seems from this morning that there are strong feelings about keeping non-gifted (whatever that means) kids out of gifted programs.

    If you have an average/slightly above average but not Einstein kid and your choices are questionably-adequate city public schools (which have IB middle schools that would accept slightly-accelerated kids) or very expensive private schools with smaller classes and more individualized instruction, which is likely to be better?

    I feel like maybe special kids at each end of the spectrum can maybe get more specialized attention. But if you are just a normal kid, no one much cares. I care. And when I ask this question sincerely in my ‘hood, I get nothing but spin and eyerolling about considering the one that the parent doesn’t do.

    In our district, they are sort of starting to expand eligibility for programs (like housing a gifted magnet at an underfilled “bad” school and then opening the program up for the whole school as enrichment, so even if people struggle, they are still exposed). This wouldn’t necessarily help us (we live where the schools are adequate-to-good).

    In tennis, I’m a 3.5 but like to practice against a 4.0-4.5 person (or a guy) just to grow as a player (even though it is a kindness on the part of the better/stronger player).

    • Anonymous :

      Public school with IB in middle school is plenty advanced for most above average kids. Try adding additional foreign language/arts/music/sports classes outside of school to provide more opportunities if that isn’t enough.

      I was in a gifted program and it made me miserable and socially awkward. Much better to focus on a happy kid than a kid who is overly achievement focused. What’s the point of graduating with a year of college credits if you don’t have a fun high school experience?

    • Anonymous :

      The mainstream curriculum is designed for neurotypical children. Putting a gifted kid in a mainstream class is sort of like putting an “average” kid in a special education class–the curriculum is designed to teach people who learn in a different way. A specialized curriculum for gifted kids isn’t a special extra that gives them some sort of advantage. It just gives them the same thing that the “average” kids already have. In most places there are few to no services for gifted kids, so they are actually getting *less* than the “average” kids because the curriculum is not designed to meet their needs.

    • Anonymous :

      If you have not been or have not parented or taught a gifted child, you won’t understand, but gifted kids are not just bright or high-achieving. They learn in a fundamentally different way from neurotypical children and need to be taught in a different style. Keeping gifted kids in mainstream classes, which is what most school systems do, is actually giving them less than what the “average” kids get. Appropriate instruction for gifted kids isn’t some kind of extra that gives them a special advantage, it just gives them the same opportunity to learn and maximize their potential that the “average” kids are already getting.

      • This is interesting. How are the two different?

        I am not sure if I meet the various criteria for being gifted, but I am in Mensa (but inactive, not sure why I did that except for badge collecting). I grew up in a small town, so we all were in classes together.

        And I have a kid who is verbal gifted (but not math gifted, even though performing advanced math in school) by school rules. So I am really confused — how should I try to get things arranged for her? And should she never be in “normal” classes (which she is). Our gifted kid magnet has some real logistical challenges since I work (and since a sibling might not qualify — two schools is a complete nightmare thought and might require a nanny just to drive).

        And I teach CLEs (so for attorneys, who seem to maybe more towards the gifted end of the spectrum), so maybe I am doing all things just wrong or could do better?

        • A gifted child will learn about advanced topics at a young age, before being emotionally capable of understanding. A gifted child may or may not be a good student and may very well have deficits in certain areas. Gifted children need enrichment and emotional support, not more work or to accelerate n school. There are many high achieving students who will do very well in school and college but who are not “gifted.” One is not better than the other, just different.

    • Anonymous :

      My replies keep getting eaten, but the short answer is that it is unfair to put gifted kids in a regular class because they learn differently. “Regular” kids are already getting that “special” attention–the instructional program is tailored to their needs.

      • Anonymous :

        I have a regular kid and I can assure you that she is largely ignored b/c teachers have their hands full with actual problems. So no. Maybe the program is tailored to meet her needs, but delivering it just does not really happen.

        • Anonymous :

          Then your school sucks.

          • Anonymous :

            Most schools are not ideal schools.

            Ideal schools in my area are 20K/year, so maybe we just double down on Khan Academy? Homeschooling? IDK what the answer is.

      • I’m curious about the dividing line between gifted and high-achieving regular kids. How do you determine that? Or is the term gifted being used to denote high-functioning kids on the autism spectrum?

        • Anonymous :

          It giftedness a binary thing – you have it or you don’t? Or is it like a spectrum- some are more gifted than others?

          What is an IQ of 110 or 120 or 130? And what if you are one notch below where it starts – nothing special for you?

          • Anonymous :

            At my kid’s school it is a binary thing–either you are gifted or not. The kid must have an IQ of at least 130, perform in the 97th percentile or higher on the standardized tests, and there might be a couple other things I am forgetting. But the main factor is IQ score.

          • Anonymous :

            At my school I don’t remember the exact cut off but I remember by 142 being more than enough to get special classes and privileges. I especially loved that in chemistry I was basically just my teacher’s assistant. I had unfettered access to the chemicals and mixed solutions and set up stations etc for class experiments. I don’t remember participating in actual class more than once a week I was so busy with my other projects. But let me tell you other students hated me for being basically teacher jr.

        • Anonymous :

          Gifted kids are not high-functioning kids on the autism spectrum. They are outliers in terms of cognitive capabilities. They learn faster and in different ways than kids closer to the mean. Their brains work differently. They often feel weird or different in a group of “regular” kids.

          High achievers are kids who do well in school, usually because they are pretty bright and work hard. These are the kids teachers love. Most of these kids are not gifted.

          • Anonymous :

            Are there good books on this?

            I am a bit surprised that this would be the case. I get that brains work differently for autism (a spectrum) or being bipolar or being dyslexic. But I am not really understanding how a gifted person’s brain works differently (I have always thought of it as being at a higher RPM).

            And I am gifted. I just thought I was faster, not fundamentally different.

          • Anonymous :

            Anonymous at 7:06, check hoagiesgifted dot org for info on gifted kids, and the blg Your Rainforest Mind for the challenges of gifted adults.

      • My anecdata agrees with this. I have two very close friends who are teachers in “regular” schools with “regular” classes and I’ve been appalled by what I’ve heard them say about the advanced kids in their classes (“I hate having really smart kids in my class, I don’t feel like I can offer them anything. Kids level out eventually anyway, I’m sure they’ll be nothing special in a couple years.”) On the other hand they love having kids that are right around grade-level and therefore fit into their curriculum and lesson plans perfectly.

    • Anonymous :

      Our elementary schools seem to have 4 ability-grouped math classes.

      Middle schools track as remedial (not named that), standard, standard plus, and honors.

      If you meet some criteria (not sure this aligns with gifted (not quite sure what the boundaries are for that)), you can be in some special-entry magnet schools (IB, gifted, maybe a few others).

      Musically-gifted and artistically-gifted performing arts magnets are by-audition or by-portfolio, not by interest; I’m not sure what the academics are like.

      I’m pretty sure I was “gifted,” but went to schools so small that there was no gifted education, even in private schools. I just recall things being easy and doing a lot of reading in the back of class if I got done early. In junior high, there was a gifted class and it seemed to be . . . 75% girls and the teacher just was OK with one boy bringing in a D&D set and everyone just playing that. Which can’t be how it’s done elsewhere . . .

      Could it be that schools big enough to have a gifted program are big enough not to be good schools in general? I’ve only heard of it in city schools (and those seem to be not-great generally in our city and my prior big east coast cities/closer in suburbs).

      • Nah, I went to large public schools (i.e. 1600 students in my high school) in an East Coast suburb and there was a very robust gifted program. My schools had their issues (somehow I was the only girl selected for gifted math one year…) but overall I think they did a pretty good job of grouping kids so that each learning level was taught appropriately.

    • ugh, so tired of the “gifted” moniker. It keeps normal children (which is the majority) from striving for more. Additionally, labels like these are so unhelpful. Unless your child is seriously mensa material you are setting them up for a lifetime of disappointment. Sorry, in the workplace you won’t be treated differently. I’ve seen so many “gifted” children burn out. Sorry, your child might be smart but “gifted” is WAY overused.

      • Anonymous :


      • Anonymous :

        I agree. My daughter is smart, does well socially, works hard in school, is polite, etc. all great things, but is not gifted. She is on-track to go off to college in two years, hopefully with a scholarship. My son on the other hand did test as “gifted” but is having a much harder time both socially and in finding a good fit academically for him. He is kind of a weird little guy (I love him so much and am doing everything I can to make sure we find a good fit for him), but it is different than just being smart and not always in a good way.

      • Seventh Sister :

        I wasn’t placed in “gifted and talented” classes as an elementary school kid, but by high school I was regularly acing AP and honors courses to the amazement of my “betters” (I’m sure neither they nor their parents thought I was the peer of their children).

        • Seventh Sister :

          I’m also quite tired of the gifted moniker. And it makes my inner smart-aleck bubble to the surface, especially when talking to other parents. Why no, I couldn’t possibly understand what you’re talking about, I’m not gifted, I’m just a simple-minded graduate of [insert prestigigous undergrad and grad school here].

        • Um, Seventh Sister. Good for you. Because gifted doesn’t mean better and being a good, smart student doesn’t mean you are less than. Why are you worried now? Would you rather be awkward?

      • Well, call it “IQ in the upper 3 %.” People are different and some are smarter than others. Deal with it.

      • I think that you hit on why high achievers should not be gifted. Why the burn out? Why would a good gifted program burn a child out? It is supposed to offer support. Not push them through school.

    • Anonymous :

      Well, I’d move. Since no, non-gifted kids don’t belong in gifted programs but also I can’t afford private school. That’s what people do actually

    • I was a high achiever in elementary through high school. The school wanted to skip me a couple of grades, but my parents resisted for social concerns, and I was easily valedictorian. But I turned out to be only average in my engineering degree program. In my community there was a an adequate public school, and a very expensive private school that may have been better. My parents chose the public school mostly because that’s the option they could afford. Education wise, I think it was a perfectly good decision, too. My public school had lots of AP courses and joint-classes with the community college. My college applications were full of these advanced classes, as well as lots of extra-curriculars and high test scores. Isn’t the whole point of K-12 grades to get into a good college, and to have the academic skills to achieve there? If the public school was a poor quality I would be leery of it, but otherwise I don’t know what extras the private school would offer.

      My husband went to a private school, because the public schools in his neighborhood growing up were very poor. His performance in his college engineering program was similar to mine.

      This is pretty obvious, but you can also do a lot with kids outside of school. Join a book club with them, junior docent programs at a museum, robot-wars robotics clubs, etc. My community college also let high schoolers take classes over the summer.

  15. Amsterdam! :

    I’m leaving for Amsterdam this afternoon!!! Squee!!!

    We already have tickets for the Anne Frank house and our i Amsterdam cards ordered.

    That’s all.


    • almost friday :

      Happy travels.

      I’m sure you meant nothing by it, but it was jarring to read so many “squees” sandwiched around your talk of tickets to the Anne Frank house. That place is depressing, not just for what happened there but also for what it symbolizes. Squee is not the right word. Maybe for the rest of your trip, sure.

      • I hear you. I was always disturbed when I would see tourists posing for grinning pictures in front of Anne Frank Huis. Same with all the selfies in front of Picasso’s Guernica in Madrid. Now I see it a lot with the WTC memorial in NYC. Sometimes I’m tempted to engage these people but I probably shouldn’t.

        OP, I am not assuming the squees on your part were badly intended. Amsterdam is fantastic, enjoy! And the Van Gogh museum is pretty squee-worthy :)

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      Have fun! Amsterdam is the best! And be sure to eat at a rijsttafel restaurant :-)

  16. Baconpancakes :

    Other than the food-themed costume poster above, anyone wearing festive attire on Halloween? I’m not sure if I posted this already, but I’m really excited to wear my blue pencil skirt, red blouse, gold cuff bracelet, red heels, and WW-logo belt and golden lasso as a very subtle costume. If any client meetings come up on that day, I’ll be able to just take off the belt and lasso.

    • I’m just going to wear kitty ears. I think my perimenopause has stopped being peri and I’m hot all the time so I can’t stand the idea of wearing any of my full costumes (good witch or bad witch). My husband picked up the kitty ears for me at Walgreens and I have already embarrassed my kids by wearing the ears to drop them off at school, then embarrassed myself by forgetting I was wearing them and having a long, serious conversation with some city construction workers doing road work on my street. Yes, I’m the neighborhood crackpot now.

    • My office encourages us to dress up and participate, and we have employees’ kids come around to trick or treat at our desks. I struggle to find something that I feel is still office appropriate and won’t leave me feeling like an idiot if I have to have a serious conversation with my boss or a customer.

      This year I’m taking an Amazon dress that felt a little *too* retro for everyday and going as a 1940’s WWII girl with Victory rolls.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I’m dressing up as my (male) boss. The three women in my business unit are all doing it. We have (bad) wigs and versions of his work uniform. I think it will be funny? I hope!

      In the evening we are trick or treating with Kiddo. She’s going as Batman (I made her a colorblocked dress with the logo on the chest, turned a thrifted batman tee into a cape, and got her a mask which she may or may not wear). I’m going as the Joker (bright green dress, bright purple blazer, makeup) and my husband will be Robin (red tank layered over a green polo shirt, yellow cape, leggings!??!, mask). I think it’ll be a hoot!

    • Calibrachoa :

      We are all dressing up as our manager for halloween because he is one of those uniform people.

      (today, when there was a Halloween event, I wore a sparkly pumpkin top over a long black skirt)

    • I’m using it as an excuse to wear comfortable clothes! I’m gonna wear boyfriend jeans, a flannel shirt, and boots and call myself a farmer.

    • I love your Wonder Woman costume. I may steal it next year. This year I am adding a white dickie to my LBD and going as Wednesday Adams.

  17. Anonymous :

    What do you typically wear for a red-eye where you have to go to the (destination) office straight from the airport? I would like to be comfortable enough to sleep on the flight, but also look vaguely respectable at the office the next day. It’s a transatlantic flight to London, and I know the London office is definitely dressier and more conservative than my typical working-from-home/ coworking space getup. Would you just change at the airport? Throw on a blazer? Can I get away with a blazer, a dressy t-shirt, and my most comfortable ponte trousers (almost leggings)?

    • I’d change at the airport. Can you get lounge access so that you can shower, or at least use their facilities to freshen up and change clothing?

      • Anonymous :

        +1 change at the airport.

        • Anonymous :

          + 2 If you don’t have a credit card that gives lounge access/aren’t flying business class so you have lounge access, buy it. That $50 (or something) for a shower and to feel like a human being will be well worth it.

      • And if you can’t get lounge access to the airport, most business hotels will be willing to rent a room to you for an hour or two to allow you to nap shower and change.

    • Anonymous :

      Merino knit dress, leggings, boots?

    • If for some reason I couldn’t get access to a lounge, I would wear a ponte knit dress, tights (my fleece tights are as comfy as pajamas), and whatever dressy flats/pumps I normally wear (though I would wear different shoes on the plane).

      Having just been at Luton and Heathrow, changing in the bathroom is incredibly gross and slightly depressing, so I would avoid that unless I am in a lounge. I think the ponte pants + dressy tee or merino knit dress are both too casual for this.

      • If I couldn’t get lounge access I would just change in the airport bathroom. I’ve done it dozens of times travelling for interviews when I was a trainee and tight on cash. It’s not the most pleasant thing, but its totally fine, and changing, washing my face, brushing my hair and putting it up and putting some make-up on made me feel like myself and ready to face the interview. NBD.

  18. I want to say thanks to those of you that recommended fitnessblender on you tube. I started using some of the beginner workouts as part of ny routine and they are great. thanks

  19. Stupid question I feel like I should know the answer to (& probably know the answer to & am just hoping there’s an easier solution) . . . I need a new personal computer ( I use iMac & will be getting another iMac – nonnegotiable, need this for my sideline) in large part because I’m almost out of storage (zillions of photographs) & I’d like to migrate my old files (not necessarily all the old photos but other personal files) from my current computer to a new one. When I look at the mac forums, it sounds like the new Mac will copy ALL of my old stuff over, which I think will result in the same problem I have now – a too full of memory computer. Is there an easy solution other than just manually saving things to the cloud & downloading them again? Also, what do you do with an old computer jammed full of your stuff?

    • Anonymous :

      You need an external hard drive.

    • I’m pretty sure if you’re backing up with time machine (which you *should* be) that it’ll transfer over. Or you could get an external hard drive (if you don’t already have one) and dump everything on that. My old stuff I double clean, restore to factory settings and depending on usability give away or get it to electronics recycling–there’s a lot of nasty and resuable heavy metals to be recovered.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m looking to get rid of an old electronic. What do you mean by double clean?

        • Delete + overwrite. When you delete something it’s not actually gone until it’s overwritten.

        • yeah, that was a strange way to put it; my apologies. I remove every other account (guest i.e. ), anything password linked (eg drop box); deauthorize any payments that may be linked to the device itself (itunes e.g.) delete all my files (once they’ve been transferred elsewhere), empty trash a couple times makes things faster, comb through to make sure I haven’t missed anything (all this would be the first clean), then wipe the drive, and finally restore to factory settings. It may be over the top to some people that know how to do stuff can find the information that you think is gone, hence I take my time to clean &/or store old electronics for ages especially when sensitive information or personal photos are involved.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I don’t know if iMacs are as easy to disassemble as other laptops, but I take the hard drive out of my old laptops I’m recycling and keep it rather than taking the time to make sure all data is thoroughly scrubbed.

      • Thanks much – I’m wondering if there’s a way to pick & choose what transfers over with the time machine app – I do use it, but I’d like a “fresh start” as there is just so.much.old.junk on my current computer that I don’t need. It sounds like just keeping that on my external drives for the “just in case” & starting fresh might be the best way to go? It’s been a decade since I’ve dealt with this so just not as up to speed as I feel like I should be.

        • If I were you, I’d move everything to an external drive (or two) and start fresh on your new computer. If you need anything from your storage it’s right waiting for you.

          • Thanks – that makes so much sense. New goal is to be a lot better about e-clutter w/ the new machine.

    • If you do end up getting a new Mac, you can choose to migrate everything through the built in assistant, or just selective items. On your current computer you can go to “About this Mac” and select the Storage tab, and then “Manage.” There’s a Reduce Clutter tool that can help you identify and delete stuff you don’t really need. You might find you have enough space after that.

  20. Stick it out or move on :

    I have been at my company for many years; I am currently one rung below the C-Suite as a direct report to our Board of Directors. My area is operations and risk management; this is not a huge organization (~120 people), and I wear a lot of hats. There has been some tension regarding roles and paths for growth for myself and various other employees who have been at this firm long-term. Basically, the company founder stepped down a few years ago, and the also long-term employee who became President has a very different approach. That overall approach is less transparent, less positive, and veers into micro-management. Many people do not feel trusted in our roles despite having held them for a long time in a successful company with a lot of smart, dedicated people. That newfound mistrust doesn’t seem rooted in anything other than the idea that if the President does not understand something, than we must be slacking off on the details/not doing our jobs appropriately. This is especially difficult for me and a few others that have very different backgrounds and areas of expertise than the President does. Because he does not practice in our fields, his approach is to devil’s advocate everything and assume that because something is not said, than obviously we didn’t consider it. My ability to summarize topics or triage my own workload has become very limited. In a recent meeting, when I was reporting on an issue to which we have few realistic responses, he asked whether it was truly the case that our options were limited, or if instead I was “just too busy and just don’t want to spend a lot of time on it?” So he basically asked if I was taking a dive on a topic that, not 15 minutes prior in the same conversation, he volunteered unprompted that I know this area and he does not. I am at a loss for what to do here. I don’t think working here is tenable in the long-term. Have you experienced anything like this? Was there a way to get through it, or did you ultimately have to move on?

    • Your instincts are right; you’ll need to move on. I experienced a similar situation but at a lower level. The department included 100-120 people and was led by someone who micromanaged, thought she was the only one who should make a decision, questioned just like your president did, etc. I was one of her direct reports and had a team of my own. The culture shift here is so toxic that I really believe your best option will be to leave. In my case, I left, but went to a different department.

  21. Sloan Sabbith :

    Just emailed my boss from my throwaway account here, so, uh, great. I quickly covered but….eeek. I will be downloading the mail of g00gle app immediately for that and my new job searching email address. Which isn’t like “sloanisjobsearching123” but it would be a thing to explain because it’s not my normal personal email.

    Also totally unrelated but are there any hospitals in DC people would warn me away from or really good ones? I’m having some possibly scary chronic illness symptoms and may need an emergency plan if they reach the actually scary point. Of course they started this morning as I was getting ready to leave for an early flight. Fml. It’s been a very, very, very long and difficult day of travel.

    • Marshmallow :

      I have no hospital recommendations but sending you all the healthy woo woo. And I once emailed a senior associate from my wedding email… MarshmallowLilyPad2015 or something like that. Oops.

    • I’m biased in favor of teaching hospitals, because they have smart medical folks (although it still helps to be self-possessed, articulate, and as aware as possible … unless you have a buddy with you). Thus:
      – Georgetown
      – MedStar Washington Hospital Center (has a very kind ER doctor, but I don’t recall his name…it was 2 years ago)
      – George Washington University

      For smaller, community hospitals, try Holy Cross Hospital (in Silver Spring) or Suburban Hospital (in Bethesda), which is affiliated with Johns Hopkins University/Med School.
      Holy Cross Hospital also has a triage in their Emergency Room so that people who really need Acute Care can be diverted to that department instead and the ER is reserved for the more dire cases.

      Do you have anyone to go with you? Sending you healing thoughts.

      P.S. If possible, write back today or tomorrow to let us know how you are. We won’t need personal details–just the outline of “I’m basically fine.”

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I’ll check in tomorrow.

        And, I guess I could get someone to go with me if I have to, but I’m kind of at a conference where I don’t know anyone I would necessarily want in the er with me. I know people, but I don’t know-know them if that makes sense. Maybe I would be ok asking an old colleague?

    • NoMoreGallbladder :

      I just spentv5 days at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital for emergency gallbladder surgery. I’d never been there before walking into the ER at the insistence of the radiologist who’d just done an ultrasound.

      It’s a great hospital – everyone from ER to MRI to “hospitalists” to assigned surgeon to nurses to techs was amazingly skilled and kind.

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