By Samantha Donaldson, a guest writer for GeekGirlCon
For many students across the globe coming from low-income households, trade school courses are their life, from the first day of kindergarten to their last day of high school. The skills gap remains a global problem even now. Instead, if these students were given the ability to learn more than the basics which allow them to only receive low-wage professions, they could reverse this trend and help create an economy that reflects a growing parity in no time.
Just as doctors must take the Hippocratic oath, educators are asked to take the educator’s oath. This oath says, “I promise to seek and support policies that promote quality in teaching and learning and to provide all engaged in education the opportunity to achieve excellence.” Despite this, children who come from low-income households are often neglected and the low-income schools they attend are seldom given the amenities necessary to train these children to change the world and their lives, even though studies suggest that the key to power in the workplace is education, especially for women. Therefore, when these children are provided with sub-par education, they are ultimately set up for failure from the start and not given the tools necessary to achieve their goals in life.
I am my most geeky when I’m thinking about Harry Potter; this is an objective truth about me. And so, when I saw that there was going to be a panel entirely about Harry Potter and critical approaches to considering it, I planned my entire con weekend around attending it.
Robyn began the conversation by proposing that the blood status metaphor—one of the key themes in Harry Potter—is not quite as overt as we all may like to think. While the allusion JK Rowling draws to race in our world via blood status in the Wizarding World is obvious to many PoC readers, it’s not necessarily clear to everyone. This affects how race is discussed throughout the fandom and how readers, especially those of marginalized identities, are able (and allowed) to engage with the story.
Sarah Elmaleh & Ashly Burch, who immediately ignited this gamer’s heart as the voices of Katie from Gone Home (Sarah) and Tiny Tina fromBorderlands (Ashly), graced us with a casual Q&A about their journey to the geek life GeekGirlCon 2016.
It was immediately obvious that the two are close, the friendly chemistry on stage could light up the room. You weren’t just watching a Q&A, it was a conversation between friends. No different than meeting someone for coffee to talk about their career and get some adivce, we got a little glimpse into how these two successful women grew as actors, writers, and dreamers.
I started writing for GeekGirlCon about two years ago, after I attended GeekGirlCon ‘14 and was hugely inspired by what I had seen at the panels, Exhibitor Hall, Artists’ Alley, DIY Science Zone, and gaming floor. At first, it was sporadic, with just a few pitches here and there when a brilliant idea for a piece hit me. But writing for GeekGirlCon was fun; it was a way to express and articulate my interests in a way that I couldn’t in my other areas of writing (which were mostly academic journals). I wrote about all sorts of things: what it was like to be an Asian geek, how we could understand fictional worlds, geek taxonomy, and ferrets.
Then, a few months later, a position for a copywriter became open on the volunteer page, I applied for it, and here I am.
All of this is a long-winded way of saying that if you’re geeky, have interests that align with our mission or otherwise are passionate about supporting women in games, comics, science, tech, cosplay, and more, consider guest blogging for GeekGirlCon. Or, if there’s content that you’d like to see on the blog that isn’t currently being covered, pitch it as a potential blog post!
Image source: GeekGirlCon Flickr
If you’d like to be a guest blogger, all you have to do is submit a short pitch of about 100 words on the topic you’d like to write about and how you’d write about it to email@example.com. If your pitch gets accepted, we will work with you on getting your piece published on the blog. Although we will consider all topics, we would especially welcome pitches from members of underrepresented groups, or on the topics of science, cosplay, or comics.
We’d love to get more voices on our blog, so please consider adding yours to our community!
If you are at all familiar with GeekGirlCon, you’ve surely noticed the high standard our community has for con programming. Before being offered a slot in the GeekGirlCon lineup, all programming (panels, activities, workshops, and performances) is carefully reviewed by our excellent Programming department. This is what makes GeekGirlCon so magical and so welcoming.
Panels comprise an large portion of the programming that takes place at the con. And so, we’re always seeking new voices and new ideas for panels. Just because you haven’t seen it at GeekGirlCon before doesn’t mean we don’t want it. In fact, it likely means we need it especially!
I talked to our Panel Program Manager, Marina Martinez, to find out exactly what makes a GeekGirlCon panel. If you’ve never submitted programming ideas to GeekGirlCon before, now’s your chance. Applications close on Sunday, April 30, so take your time and let these arguably-infrequently-asked Frequently Asked Questions be your guide.
If there was one panel I was looking forward to the most at GGC ‘16, it was The Women of Nerdcore. Featuring artists SAMMUS and Shubzilla, this panel focused on the interplay between music and geek culture and the female identity in traditionally male dominated fields.
The GeekGirlCon staff is abuzz with activity as we get preparations rolling for GeekGirlCon 2017. We’re extremely excited to put on another great con, just as I’m sure you all are excited to attend one! While we’re busy scheduling panels, perfecting layouts, and planning another spectacular weekend, here are five things you can do right now to prepare for #GGC17, commencing on September 30:
GeekGirlCon‘17 pass sales are underway! While you’re purchasing your super amazing con experience, don’t forget to make your hotel reservations using our group discount! We’re partnering again with Hotel Max in downtown Seattle to bring you an awesome deal on accommodation!
GeekGirlCon has reserved rooms for convention weekend (from Thursday night to Sunday) for $195 per night. With free wi-fi, a craft beer happy hour every night, and free coffee every morning, it’s no wonder that Hotel Max is our favorite boutique hotel in Seattle. You can even get valet parking and pet room service! Plus, we love Hotel Max because it’s such a short trip through the city to get to the Conference Center at WSCC.
Image source: Google Maps
All you need to do is book online at this site (no code needed) or call Hotel Max reservations at 866-986-8087 and reference GeekGirlCon 2017.
Additionally, this year, if you’d like to extend your stay and book for days before or after our booking period–for example, if you wanted to stay on Monday night after the convention to spend more time checking out the city–just contact Hotel Max when you reserve your room to receive the same $195 rate. The current non-discounted rate for reservations is about $300 per night, so think about how much more swag you can buy at the con with those savings.
Image source: Hotel Max
Even if you’re not from out of town, it’s still a great deal to be so close to GeekGirlCon for the weekend. With over two days of amazing panels, video and tabletop games, hands-on science activities, celebrity sightings, after-dark events, you can afford to spend more time learning, laughing, playing and celebrating your geekdom with us!
My first panel of GGC ‘16 was with the super smart young women of Holy Names high school’s FIRST Robotics team.
What is FIRST Robotics? FIRST Robotics is a mentor-based program for youth engagement in science and technology. They offer programs for all age groups with a focus on STEM concepts.
The FIRST Robotics Competition is a high school-only where teams of students develop, build, and program their own robot. Students must follow strict rules, are given limited resources, and have only six weeks to complete their project.
Once completed, teams compete in a difficult field game where their industrial-sized robots are put to the test.