Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:40 marathon runner. Diehard fan of “The Wire,” God’s gift to the Earth. E-mail: ryanfan17@gmail.com

All miracles pale in comparison to the joy of ruining a writer’s life.

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From OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay

Walking on water. Turning water into wine. Sex. All these miracles pale in comparison to the joy of ruining a writer’s life with a single comment.

To be the most vicious and aggressive commenter of all time, follow my steps. There’s nothing better than putting arrogant “writers” in their place. One day, you might even take my title for “Writer’s Worst Nightmare.”

First, if the writer is talking about an extremely vulnerable experience in their lives, like losing a sibling, make them suffer for their vulnerability. …


A child pornography scandal gave him 15 and a half years in prison

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From Late1 at Wikipedia Commons

When I was a kid, I remember Jared from Subway, who, in commercials, claimed he lost over 200 pounds just by eating Subway sandwiches and constantly presented before and after photos of his progress. He even showed his jeans of when he weighed more than 400 pounds as a comparison to his then much slimmer weight.

While my brother and I knew that you do much more than eat Subway sandwiches to lose 200 pounds, the effects still stuck with us — Subway became our go-to “healthy” fast-food restaurant. …


And why his legacy will never be repaired

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Neville Chamberlain, from the National Photographic Record, Public Domain

“This is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time.” — Neville Chamberlain after signing the Munich Agreement.

When I was in school, Neville Chamberlain and the term “appeasement” went hand in hand. After appeasement came the word “weakness.” In history, appeasement is making concessions to avoid war conflict. Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister who presided over the Munich Agreement, which appeased Hitler was always a simple figure in history, a failure who didn’t take a stand on stopping Nazi Germany. Chamberlain was complicit in allowing Hitler to commit mass genocide and continue Nazi expansion in Europe. …


I want to stop the cycle of prioritizing appearances over mental health

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From ptksgc on Pixabay

I was reminded time and time again of how big a disappointment and failure I would be if I didn’t go to medical school.

If I had a dollar for every time someone in my family mentioned medical school during Thanksgiving break, I would be a millionaire. My father wasn’t home because he was at work, but he emphasized the importance of medical school and said he didn’t raise me for me not to be a doctor. My mother emphasized the importance of going to medical school as a means of fulfilling my destiny. …


SATIRE

The old man I hit behind me certainly didn’t help my parallel parking

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“My half blind grandma can parallel park better than you!”
“You’re straightening too late!”
“You’re too far away from the car!”
“You barely left the car any space!”
“You just hit the car behind you! That’s a hit and run!”
“How does your tire have any pressure after you hit the curb 7,000 times?”

These were critiques from the crowd when I failed to parallel park dozens of times, and the more I failed to parallel park, people came to make fun of me and gather their friends. …


Teachers need TLC as much as anyone else right now

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Photo by Windows on Unsplash

As a teacher, I feel unmotivated to do anything. I still force myself to plan every lesson, write every IEP, contact parents multiple times per day, and above all, actually teach. But during virtual learning, myself and many of my co-workers have been suffering burnout, mainly because of the overcorrection we faced from how lackluster virtual learning was in the spring. No matter how hard we work, it’s never enough.

I feel burnt out, and it’s only November. Of course, it’s better than my first year of teaching last year, but it’s a different kind of struggle at the moment. I don’t plan on quitting, and neither do many teachers I interact with. It’s a burnout where I don’t feel like doing anything, and interactions with my students and relationships just aren’t the same during virtual learning since I don’t see them face to face. Also, my staff and colleagues have made me feel supported in times of struggle, but during COVID, I feel like I barely interact with or know my colleagues. …


Remind yourself you’re at your limit, and doing more is not sustainable

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From sevenminutechannel on Pixabay

“You did the best you could” is a refrain to be more understanding of people who go through serious things — because it’s true. People are doing the best they can. As a teacher, writer, graduate student, and editor, I tell myself “I did the best I could” every single day at the end of the day. It usually makes me feel more at peace when I’m utterly overwhelmed every single day.

But sometimes, I, like anyone, feel like doing the best I can isn’t good enough. I don’t get enough done. I don’t achieve enough. I am not good enough. …


Letting ourselves feel the negative emotions and validating them is critical

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Photo by Prophsee Journals on Unsplash

“Be more grateful” is advice we hear all the time when we go through times of hardship and adversity. Gratitude is echoed through both secular and religious circles, and preaching gratitude often comes with good intentions and positive research. According to Harvard Health Publishing, gratitude helps people connect with something larger than themselves and is consistently associated with happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, and build stronger relationships.

During a time of a pandemic that has killed over 263,000 Americans, I’ve heard people tell others, with good intention, that being grateful for what we have in health and having jobs, and simply being alive, is good for us. For those of us that haven’t contracted COVID, we should be grateful we don’t haven’t gotten it. …


Emails like “Congratulations!” “Thank you!” and “I agree!” shouldn’t have just one recipient.

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Photo by Stephen Phillips - Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash

They’re the two best words to show off your work ethic in an all-staff e-mail: reply all.

You should be hitting reply all on every e-mail you send. Sure, it might come off as cringey. Sure, it might come off as annoying. But you need everyone, including all your bosses and co-workers you’re battling with for a promotion, to know you’re the hardest worker in the office.

The first couple times you reply all, feign technical difficulties. Apologize, using reply all, and inform them you didn’t know you could reply to just one single person.

Since your office and workplace have shifted to remote, you need to dominate the remote workspace. People need to know when you’re doing good deeds and helping others, or else what’s the point? Make sure people know you’re the one to go to when they have questions on how to open a Google Doc, or how to convert a word document to a PDF. Make sure you’re the one who can teach your older, more technology adverse colleagues how to use Google Sheets like a boss. …


I’m putting what I learned running marathons to work as I take on the One Punch Man Challenge

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Image credit: DragonImages.

As an experienced runner who has run every day for the past two months, I am one for challenges. I do fitness challenges and compete with my friends, but one fitness challenge has been having my number: the One Punch Man challenge. I have run a 2:40 marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon, but the One Punch Man challenge is more difficult than most of my marathon training.

My friends and I are embarking on the challenge where we have to do 100 days of running 10 kilometers, doing 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and 100 squats. I am ten days into the challenge, and it’s not easy, but it’s getting easier. The first couple of days, every part of my body was sore, but now, my body is stronger and more ready to handle it. …

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