A stick figure laying alone on a large grassy field under a blue sky, all in watercolor.
A stick figure laying alone on a large grassy field under a blue sky, all in watercolor.
What I work for. Credit: Amy J. Ko

Work, play, rest, recover

I spent much of my childhood home alone, with my younger brother. My parents worked: my Mom as a 5th grade teacher almost an hour’s drive away, leaving well before I caught the bus to school and coming home well after I returned home. And my Dad, working in quality assurance with frozen berries, also an hour away. We usually ate dinner together, then watched the nightly news and an episode of the The Simpsons, and then we would sleep, and do it all again. We spent weekends together, but much of our time was on errands, as our parents moved us from house to house every two years, flipping them one at a time. Weekend family time was productive, tiling bathrooms, landscaping yards, and building retaining walls. After my parents divorced, Oregon cut school funding, and the FDA deregulated food quality assurance, I saw them even less as their lives and careers destabilized. But didn’t feel any less loved.

Professor of programming + learning + design + justice at the University of Washington Information School. Trans; she/her. #BlackLivesMatter.

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