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Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:40 marathon runner. Diehard fan of “The Wire.” Email: ryanfan17@gmail.com. Support me: ko-fi.com/ryanfan

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

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. …


Warning: spoilers

Despite every character in the show believing in their righteous virtuosity

Photo from Mario Perez | HBO

“What do you care? You make shit money. They exploit me, I exploit you.” — Armond

My fianceé and I just finished watching The White Lotus, and were both simultaneously fascinated and horrified at the show’s outcome and ending.

The show starts with one of the main characters, Shane, incredibly distraught over a dead body on a plane from his vacation. The scene implies the dead body is Shane’s wife, given how distraught he is, and given how much he shuts down an older couple wanting to make small talk about his honeymoon.

However, by the end, we realize the…


No one understands what you’ve gone through

Photo from Schaferle on Pixabay

Sometimes it’s easy to think you’re crazy or terribly incompetent. It’s easy to feel like there’s something wrong with you.

I know I’ve been in that mindset more than once in the past, but now I realize it’s just not true.

As a runner, if there’s one reassuring thing when you’re running a road race and running a marathon, it’s looking around you. The people around you are not superheroes. They’re human beings, too. And they often look and feel just as bad as you do. …


It’s well worth the visit, at least once

Photo by Yassine Khalfalli on Unsplash

I have never been inside a P.F. Chang’s. I lived near one where I grew up and I’m Chinese-American.

This weekend, that changed.

Over the weekend, my fianceé and I wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory. We got there around 7 p.m. on a Saturday, and I don’t know what the Cheesecake Factory is like at 7 p.m. on a Saturday for you, but it required a 30-minute wait. Neither of us wanted to wait that long, so we both decided to eat at the P.F. Chang’s next door instead.

The interior of the P.F. Chang’s we went to…


To me, it’s a fascinating new idea.

Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash

I might be living under a rock compared to most people who work in journalism, but a friend who works for a cryptocurrency company interviewed me the other week, asking about my experience as a blogger.

For most platforms I write for, I have to pay a $50 yearly fee or a $5 monthly fee to be a reader on the platform, but to also make money writing on the platform. He asked me about my experience on Medium, as well as other payment models for other blogging platforms.

I explained to my friend that on Substack, you have to…


I have disagreed and didn’t like a lot of the hot takes in these podcasts, but they gripped me nonetheless

Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

There’s a reason I don’t listen to music anymore, and that’s one simple reason: podcasts. People ask me if I listen to music when I run, especially when I run longer, 22 mile runs. I don’t listen to music. I listen to podcasts now — mostly because podcasts are so damn fascinating. When I run, I don’t want to distract myself. I do, however, want to get immersed in my thoughts, and immersed in a story.

Another appeal of podcasts is user experience. You can listen to a podcast anywhere with just a few clicks of a button. …


There are more important things than work

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

I was at work from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday. When I got home, I was tired, and could barely stand. I didn’t go on the daily run I’m used to, and I watched a little TV, sat on the couch, ate a bit more dinner, and then went to bed.

As a teacher, my day starts at 8:45 a.m., but I try to get in a little early to print out any materials I need for class, including worksheets or more. The day ends at 3:35 p.m., but in my effort to leave work at work and…


Hadrian’s Wall was used to “assuage the fears of those it supposedly guarded.”

Photo from Michael Hanselmann on Wikipedia Commons

“For nearly three centuries, until the end of Roman rule in Britain in 410, Hadrian’s Wall was the clearest statement possible of the might, resourcefulness, and determination of an individual emperor and of his empire,” — Jarrett Lobell, Archaeology

It’s no secret I’ve been re-watching Game of Thrones, the HBO show my friends just couldn’t shut up about for several years. If I’m being honest, I didn’t even watch all of the show the first time: I was the guy who read the books, so this is my first serious watch-through. In the show, there’s a wall at the north…


And how to be tactically savvy

Photo by Sherise VD on Unsplash

As a runner, I have usually been someone who executes poorly during races. For people that don’t run, it means I would choke during big time events and runs. I wouldn’t run as well as my coaches would know me capable of. I wouldn’t finish the race well and I would let dozens of people sprint past me at the line. If you see pictures of me running, I usually look like I’m about to pass out and in the worst pain in the world.

This is how I used to look when I was running, back in high school…


It sucks to be the bad guy, but sometimes, it’s necessary

Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

I’m a really nice person with the majority of people I interact with. I treat them with respect. I love them as my neighbor, and I try to give the gift of grace to everyone I interact with. With adults, I don’t judge. With kids, I generally don’t judge either and try to give as many second chances as possible.

But when those kids are under my care and I’m in charge of keeping them safe, I’ve had to alter my mindset after a series of traumatic experiences for myself and my students. I’ve presided over a classroom where a…

Ryan Fan

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