third grade + a D&I learning moment

I’M EARLY TO A COFFEE DATE, HAYES VALLEY: first, thank you for giving me a couple minutes of your time. i’m well aware that I’m competing with texting Them back, getting another coffee, and actually doing work — so know i appreciate being a little break from your to-do list.

so last week i was reminded of the role teachers play in breeding passion in their young students. i can boil down my love for writing to a simple moment in third grade: Ms. Lim nominated me for a young writers conference. i remember clutching my ~ laminated ~ poetry collection about fall foliage (dropped the word picturesque a couple times, it’s whatever) and feeling so proud of my stuff. i mean after all, i was conference-worthy.

but then i got there, and the whole third grade class and their mothers seemed to have gotten the invite, too.

more later, including why my mom ignored a nosey nurse, but first let’s get into what I’ve been writing + reading.

my words:

i wrote about how female-founded unicorn are being born at an unprecedented race. this is one of those times we could use data to see if these companies are ~ actually ~ rising, or if tech hubs across the world are just patting their backs for no reason.  

etc: happy with the results. i know the work is not done. and the most interesting thing about companies like Nextdoor, Talkdesk or Glossier, as someone so aptly told me when I was a yung freshman journalist, is not the founder’s gender.

learning moment: i used heels as a loose metaphor in the piece, and one of my followers pointed out, whether intentional or not, that’s leaving people out of the mix. fair as heck, and noted. writing about diversity and inclusion is hard! always call me out if you have a tip/thought (kindly, pls?).

unorganized tab time:

period-tracking startups have some new, trillion dollar competition.

i’m comprehending VC stuff more, I think.

after my unwell moment, some fresh scooter news.  

bumble is doing The Most.

slack’s quiet period

saliva startup coming out of stealth

april farhad manjoo column about screenless internet

exhales, back to what i was saying

apparently to young me, it didn’t matter that the entire third grade class was conference-worthy. it just mattered that i was, and that laminated poetry collection that ms. lim bet on basically didn’t leave my grasp for the rest of that year (i still have it!). as a cherry on top, my mom told me that she didn’t give me a long name for no reason (much to the horror of the nosey nurse who said Natasha Kim Mascarenhas was a mouthful). she said that the reason behind my too wordy name is because my byline deserves all the ink it can take up.

take that, third grade class.

thank your mom, your ms. lim’s and wear comfy shoes,


(p.s. lmk what you hated, i have truly no formula for these chats and have no choice but to be open to complaints)