I'm often seen as a person that delivers hope in times of hopelessness, so if you're looking for that kind of post right now, this ain't it... what I can provide is a huge dose of reality... which you might also need. The past two weeks I've felt my life living me like I was riding a horse and it was going 100 miles an hour and I was watching my routine live me in the most routine of ways. Get up. Say prayers of thanksgiving. Coffee. Oatmeal. Yell at kids to get up. Bathroom. OTHER STUFF THAT IS A BLUR. Work some more. Social media. Hug kids. Laugh or cry (depending on the day). social media. Brush teeth. Social media. Wake up next day...
Today, I was stumbling down a click hole on Instagram when I fell off the platform and onto Michael Marczewski's site. And just like that, I felt this short video from 2017 speak to me... These cute little old robots with their big eyes and their determined little movements were a prophetic whisper and nod to my current COVID-19 Routine. I do the same thing every day. In my house. And up until now, it hadn't gotten to me.
In fact, I had judged all of these people who were going stir crazy in April. I was like, "What's wrong with you?! Chill TF out."... Well, I'm no better than those people right now. With school about to start 100% virtually, I keep thinking about how my kids are going to zone out for good grades from 9-3 in front of a screen. We spent the entire summer pursuing their interests to trade all that in for who knows what. Maybe that's my real problem... maybe that's the real root of this feeling. It's not despair or desperation, it's more like, WITAF am I doing.
I don't know WITAF I am doing... We are all doing some robotic ballet through our days. No matter how powerful or powerless we perceive ourselves to be, we're all doing our little dances alongside each other.
The best advice I have right now is that there is no end in sight and that you're going to need to make sure that as you cycle through your routine, that you find some way to enjoy the ride. Don't just let it live you or just nearly escape from it. If that horse is going 100 miles/hour, take off your shirt and wave it around your head for a bit. Get a bit of the thrill because seriously the ending looks inevitable from here.
Recently my daughter and another young woman were featured in a Roblox story by the New York Times. The story was compelling, not just because my daughter was in it (though I might be partial) but the story angle was compelling because it centered the voices of young women in an uplifting way. Both my daughter and the young woman featured in the story, used Roblox to either fight for social justice or for self-empowerment. We rarely hear about the positive experiences women have online. And this story was a shift away from the familiar narrative we hear about games in the media.
Why do most of the stories about games center maleness or whiteness, or both? What is going on in newsrooms where we continue to overlook stories that center the invisible contributors to the gaming industry and movement? And when stories do center girls and women, they often highlight the harassment experienced by women and people of color or they highlight how few people of color, girls, women, and non-binary people are present in the industry. In a field that's so imaginative I find it difficult to keep reading stories about these problems with no solutions or call to action. It is clear that we need stories about the lack of gender and racial diversity in gaming. Can we tell these stories from a non-white male perspective? Can we connect the fact that if we normalized people of color and girls and women in the gaming world and we worked with boys and men and white people on how to exist in a space with women and people of color, we might solve some of the problem? Can we tell stories that get to the root of the problem - human behavior?
What has your district decided for Back to School this fall? No matter what was decided, I’m quite certain that everyone had something to say about it. In fact, in my time reading articles and comments on social media, I’ve learned that this moment is contentious and there’s no way to make everyone happy.
The reality is that school, although not a childcare facility, provides parents the ability to work as schools promise a structured and safe environment for their kids. But our kids can’t be the canaries in the coal mine. As we hear about the demands to jumpstart the economy and the real need for families to earn income, we can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a better, more imaginative way that we aren’t pursuing. In fact, this moment might be pushing us to rethink the purpose of education altogether. What are we doing education for?
This month, we’re releasing a back to school series focused designed to elevate student voice, elevate parent concerns, and highlight educator needs. We discussed our concerns as a family and interviewed a few experts:
We’ve asked our experts questions like:
You can access the episode with kids here and the first of three episodes with parents and educators here.
As we move closer toward the start of school, we want to remember that we are all on the same side. We cannot let our fears lead us.
We must partner.
But most importantly… see our success as tied directly to the success of others
Being an active person was an extremely important part of my identity and playing college sports was a goal of mine since I was a kid. It was really great to have that gift of an opportunity and it’s an experience that I hope at least one of my kids will be able to enjoy. But now that I’m on the sideline, I’m looking for the coaches that are not only interested in building competitive teams that learn together; I’m looking for coaches that are working on their anti-racist journey, to ensure that their team is a safe and welcoming space for my child and every other athlete of color.
Activism is a part of sports, but who gets to protest? We applaud the women's soccer team for standing up against the pay gap but we jeer at athletes who've followed Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the national anthem to raise awareness about police brutality. But we cannot ignore, that for decades activism, especially when we center black identity, has always been a part of athletics. Historically and contemporarily, we find many examples of black athletes taking a stand against the injustices against black people. And there are many examples where society was unwilling or even hostile against the voices of black athletes.
How do we better serve black athletes in a time when we're looking closely at structural racism? From the politics of Jesse Owens in the Berlin Olympics to the dismissal of the racist body shaming of Serena Williams in a cartoon, black athletes experience an intense scrutiny from the media and fans and are often left unprotected. And we look at instances where athletes are told to "shut up and dribble", many have argued that professional sports and collegiate sports are just another form of modern day slavery.
We ask that you take these words into consideration, as you listen to the podcast episode below...
If you Google “Doctors + Racism”, you’ll discover a multitude of research studies, personal accounts, and news stories that highlight how implicit bias, systematic racism, and healthcare inequities manifest in a black person’s healthcare outcomes. After all, doctors are not immune to their own understanding or experiences and opinions on race in America… they are people on a journey just like the rest of us. And we must acknowledge, that our healthcare system is inequitably structured such that the care we receive is based on numerous factors that have long histories tied to the gatekeeping and racist treatment and even experimentation on black people.
Raising socially conscious, antiracist kids requires intention, patience, and continuous conversation. The main question you want your child to grapple with is, “How am I making space for people of difference?”. That’s it. You want your kids thinking critically about how to make space for voices that have been historically drowned out, ignored, or silenced. When you analyze at the places where social, political, economic, gender, or environmental issues intersect with race... essentially you're exploring what antiracism is all about.
So how do you do start your family's antiracist journey, today? First… we got to co-learn and unlearn some things... and we must prepare ourselves for the lifelong journey of this process.
This has been a tough week. We’ve been working really hard to process all that has happened over the past week. Between the racial threat by Amy Cooper to the murder of George Floyd to the eruption of protests and riots across the country, and even the world; the impact of all of these events can be intense, frightening, and upsetting. It’s important to practice self care in these times.
Last week we released a very short episode Acknowledging The Hurt Around Us as a form of solidarity for those impacted by the past week’s events. In this week’s episode, we had a candid discussion about racism and why parents (and educators) should talk about race. We also share a few very easy starter tips to help get these conversations started.
It is without question that we need the internet for learning, work, and entertainment. COVID-19 has made this fact even more apparent as school and work went indoors for Shelter In Place. The internet connects us even when physical connection is no longer possible. As we connect more, we must remember to be safe and be vigilant online. As much as we would love for our children to roam free outside, chances are they’re going to be spending a bit more time on the internet than we may have hoped. So, how do we ensure our children’s safety online?
About a year ago, my daughters searched for information on the web and consumed media that was false and slightly harmful. Rather than punish them, we talked about the importance of having a bit of healthy skepticism when reviewing content on the internet.
In this episode of the podcast, we share my story of "Little Red Riding Hood" to explain internet safety and media literacy and hold a family discussion about browser cookies, ads, and so much more!
States are beginning to open up, what does that mean for public health and safety? What responsibility do we have to keep each other safe, even when we really want to get out and enjoy nature and all that it has to offer. In our home we talk about everything. Because going outside is seen as a privilege and a form of self care, we wanted to acknowledge that not all people enjoy that same privilege. In this episode, the kids and I briefly discuss Ahmaud Arbey who was slain while going on a run in February.
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I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working in edtech. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.