School Is Not Daycare

I was surprised when a recent Atlantic article called “Why Does the School Day End Two Hours Before the Workday?” struck a nerve in me. The piece highlights the high demand and skyrocketing costs of after-school childcare, and queries why the school day hasn’t adapted to a longer schedule to reflect the reality of many... Read more »

How I Learned to Stop Hating Valentine's Day

“Valentine’s Day is the worst holiday ever,” I proudly declared to my writing seminar. “It’s just an excuse for card and chocolate companies to make more money. Anyone in a good relationship doesn’t need that stuff, and anyone who likes the holiday just wants presents and attention.” I smiled proudly as my cohorts applauded my... Read more »

9 Things My Elementary Education Really Overemphasized

Australia. We learned about this country (and continent!) with such intensity and ferocity that I was certain it was incredibly more powerful than any other country (or continent!) in existence. Marsupials, Uluru (though when I was in school, we still called it Ayers Rock), the digeridoo, the fact that the koala is not actually a... Read more »

Bye, Sports

I used to teach at an alternative high school in California where, on study breaks, I’d shoot around with students on the basketball court out back. Clumsy, gangly, and weaker than anybody I know, I am not an athletic person; but as we played a little 3-on-3, one of my students remarked that he was... Read more »

4 Terrible Effects That Good Weather Had on Me

I recently returned to Chicago after living in San Diego for three years. Like most people, my initial excitement upon moving there was for the consistent weather: I could always count on it being sunny, I could save on money by wearing the same clothes all year long, and a temperature swing of 10 degrees... Read more »

What You'll Miss About Chicago If You Leave

I may have a history of sugar-coating Chicago winters, but let’s face it: they’re awful. After the last horrific winter, you couldn’t fault anyone for wanting to leave the city. The Tribune even questioned whether the arctic weather was pushing out 30-somethings in this article. And as a 30-something native Chicagoan who has been living... Read more »

4 Reasons Not to Hate Chicago Winters

I’ve heard a lot of talk from Chicagoans recently who, fed up with the bitter cold and severe weather, are threatening to move to warmer climates. As a Chicagoan who has been living in San Diego for the past six months, I understand this desire all too well—but I also recognize that there are some... Read more »

How to be a Twenty-Something Chicagoan

As I approach the waning months of my twenties, I have been thinking about what my friends and I dubbed our “urban childhoods,” which began when we graduated college and is ending, well, now. While I don’t feel any different of a person as when I first came to Chicago, I don’t quite have the... Read more »

Wait, There's a 12th Street Beach?!

Flags in Chicago
While going to the beach on a devastatingly hot day might sound like a logical choice, there are some days when you would be crazy to leave your comfortably air-conditioned home or office. The day Katie and I went to 12th Street Beach was one of those days. I’m going to do my best to... Read more »

How to Tolerate North Avenue Beach

Okay, here’s the truth. Katie and I have been to North Avenue Beach more times than we can count, and based on those experiences, we were prepared to eviscerate this beach, to rage against its idiocy and to ridicule anybody who defends it. Too many horrible experiences of 11-year-olds asking me for weed; of underage... Read more »