Monday, January 30, 2006

Hi all, I'm Mayada, a midwestern woman who is fighting the good fight here in the breadbasket of America. I teach high school and college, and really should be taking some classes myself, but at the end of a long day, the last thing I want to do is crack a book and study.

I believe the most important thing I do on a daily basis is model to my students what a strong woman looks like. Earlier in my career I had a hard time naviagting the waters inbetween "aggressive" and "assertive". Frankly, aggressive women are just fine with me, but society seems to think we should be meek and demure, and those two words do not describe me at all, so I've learned how to be assertive to promote my beliefs and further the cause. It angers me that I've had to mask my personality and tone down a valued male trait in order to be taken seriously, but we all make our deals with the patriarchy in order to survive in this world.

I am an activist so you'll find me at local rallies and protests, writing and calling my senators and organizing email campaigns. My causes are human rights, equal rights, responsible consumption and energy conservation, housing, and education.

I might not look like it, but take off my "teacher" clothes and you may find me siding a house or running new electrical wire in my own 1920's fixer-uper. I've volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for over 10 years, serving on the board of directors, selecting families for homes, creating all of the promotional materials and managing the public relations campaigns, soliciting funds, and actually swinging a hammer with the construction committee.

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