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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. …


Charles Ponzi promised 100% profit in 90 days to his investors

Photo of Charles Ponzi from the Public Domain

“He was a fascinating crook — the ultimate con man,” Donald Dunn, a biographer of Charles Ponzi said.

I first learned what the Ponzi scheme was from seeing Bernie Madoff all over the news as a child. I still had trouble understanding the concept, but all I knew was Madoff scammed thousands of investors, including the New York Mets, my favorite baseball team. My dad tried to explain exactly what he did to me, but gave up after I didn’t understand.

Although I am not a financial analyst, I now have a better understanding of what a Ponzi scheme is…


New Jersey vs. T.L.O. allowed searches without probable cause or warrants

Photo by Luis Quintero on Unsplash

As a special education teacher who wants to become involved in special ed law, I follow Supreme Court cases involving students’ and teachers’ rights with great fascination.

Anyone who has worked in a school knows how much liability bathrooms can be, which is part of the reason why many schools have punitive policies limiting the number of students who can go to the bathroom at a time, and when they can use them. I distinctly remember being tasked to clear out the boy’s bathroom, walking in, and seeing two high school students with boxing gloves and fighting and a crowd…


It was supposed to be a week of celebration — the school year had just ended, and my friends and co-workers were having celebrations left and right. I was personally having a lot of fun in the time period between my job and my summer job. I have a week to essentially do nothing, spend time with my friends and girlfriend, and assist my friends leaving Baltimore to move.

However, the week ended up not manifesting that way. On Friday, I was called about a family emergency involving my brother and his mental health struggles.

My Friday and Saturday were…


Satire

He wants an electricity bill in the millions

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

Jeff Forte has heard everyone’s complaints about the heat being suffocating lately. With the coming of summer, many are flocking to the beach and simply cannot be outdoors after 9 a.m. due to the latest 100-degree heat waves.

To compensate, Forte has invited everyone within sight — friends, neighbors, and family — to his home. There, they can enjoy the cool temperature of 60 degrees and the strong, cold air coming from his cooling system. There, his friends are initially appreciative. They stop sweating within minutes and take some time to get out of the sun.

However, 60 degrees gets…


The show is perfectly appropriate for this day and age.

Photo from HBO

It very much surprised me, according to John Walters at Newsweek, that people love to hate HBO’s The Newsroom, and the show even occupies an UrbanDictionary entry called hate-watching, watching a show just because you hate it. I found many of the ideals of the show elitist. I don’t agree with everything the characters stand for, and if you’ve never watched The Newsroom, the show is a testament to creator Aaron Sorkin’s philosophy on doing the news. Elitist is one way to describe how I feel about his attitude towards journalism, as is unrealistically idealistic.

Regardless of how I feel…


Other people are likely insecure about the same things we are

Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

I got this advice before my LSAT from one of my best friends, and it was very validating. If I thought the test was hard, it’s likely someone else does too. He felt like his test was hard as well, and he told himself everyone else probably felt the same way about the test.

He prepared well and trusted the preparation, and in one section, in particular, he had to guess through multiple questions and had no idea what he was doing. Fortunately, a lot of people felt the same way. …


Did the campaign do more harm than good?

Photo from Uncommon fritillary on Wikipedia Commons

When I was 14, I bought into the hype of the first viral activism campaign I encountered on Facebook: Kony 2012. What I remember from watching a video on Facebook was that this Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony, was the embodiment of evil, taking children to be soldiers against their will and taking other children to be sex slaves. People altered their Facebook profile pictures, begging to bring justice to Kony, and for a day or two, it felt like anyone who wasn’t posting about Kony was complicit and indifferent to child slavery, genocide, and child rape.

About two days later…


We need thinkers and doers, but as individuals, being both is a necessary part of moving forward

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

For an organization I contribute to, a member in leadership asked us to reframe a question in JFK’s famous “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” We have a lot of people with great ideas and what they want to see implemented. These ideas are often new, exciting, electric, and would push the organization forward.

However, what we have much less of are people willing to do the work and put in hours to improve the organization. People generally just don’t have as much time, so it is not…


What motivates my blind ambition?

Photo 5365619 / Barack Michelle Obama © Joshua Wanyama | Dreamstime.com

In his new book, A Promised Land, Barack Obama notes his political career and aspirations were major sources of conflict in his marriage.

When Obama was a state senator in Illinois, Barack and Michelle Obama had their kids, Malia and Sasha, and Michelle felt like Barack was not holding up his end of the bargain in parenting, not to mention the strain childcare put on their finances. They started arguing more after having kids, and Michelle told Barack:

“This isn’t what I signed up for…I feel like I’m doing it all by myself.”

Later, when Barack Obama wanted to run…

Ryan Fan

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