This Teacher Taught His Class A Powerful Lesson About Privilege With a recycling bin and some scrap paper.

I once saw a high school teacher lead a simple, powerful exercise to teach his class about privilege and social mobility. He started by giving each student a scrap piece of paper and asked them to crumple it up.

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Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Then he moved the recycling bin to the front of the room.

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Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

He said, “The game is simple — you all represent the country’s population. And everyone in the country has a chance to become wealthy and move into the upper class.”

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Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

“To move into the upper class, all you must do is throw your wadded-up paper into the bin while sitting in your seat.”

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Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

The students in the back of the room immediately piped up, “This is unfair!” They could see the rows of students in front of them had a much better chance.

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Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Everyone took their shots, and — as expected — most of the students in the front made it (but not all) and only a few students in the back of the room made it.

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Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

He concluded by saying, “The closer you were to the recycling bin, the better your odds. This is what privilege looks like. Did you notice how the only ones who complained about fairness were in the back of the room?”

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Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

“By contrast, people in the front of the room were less likely to be aware of the privilege they were born into. All they can see is 10 feet between them and their goal.”

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Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

“Your job — as students who are receiving an education — is to be aware of your privilege. And use this particular privilege called “education” to do your best to achieve great things, all the while advocating for those in the rows behind you.”


This also applies to no one, nobody, anyone, anybody, someone, and somebody.

Reasons why this is crap (besides the obvious):

1. In Britain, these words are sometimes considered plural anyway. The biggest disgruntlement occurs in America. Grammarians actually sit around and debate this (guilty).

2. The English language does not have a singular pronoun of undetermined gender. Except for, idk… hmmm, maybe ‘THEIR?!’ Since 'to each, his own,’ leaves out about half the population, and 'everyone raised her hand’ does the same, why not just officially make ‘their’ both plural and singular? It’s not the 1950s anymore, so we can move past this.

3. It doesn’t even matter. Doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence. If you’re a writer, you’ll have to check your AP, MLA, or Chicago style guide (all of which will likely tell you to rewrite your sentence). If you’re not a writer, you probably shouldn’t GAF.

Or, if you have to write a paper, you could just post it somewhere…

(It helps if you claim to be good at grammar above your post.)


Ashkenazi gothic

Your grandparents are from a tiny shtetl in Romania. Its population was microscopic. Everyone you know is descended from the residents of that shtetl.

You meet an old friend on Ben Yehuda Street. You meet an old enemy on Ben Yehuda Street. You meet yourself on Ben Yehuda Street.

You pick up a coin. It curses at you in all the tongues of the majority peoples of a thousand nations.

Someone says something in Yiddish. You understand it perfectly. You don’t speak Yiddish.

The evil eye approaches you. You spit at it three times and it scuttles away.

Your family is simultaneously filthy communists–and capitalist pigs. Your family is simultaneously too insular and closed off from everyone else–and too normal-looking and infiltrating the rest of society. Your family should simultaneously go back to the Middle East–and get the hell out of the Middle East. 

Finish Your Stuff: Fine! But I hate everything I do.

Welcome to the Own Worst Critic Club. Population: Everyone.

I’d argue there’s never been a critique where a creator/artist/performer has heard something they haven’t already thought. When you’re faced with a page full of words you hate, I’ve found it’s often caused by two different things. It’s either raging self-doubt or a weak spot I want to pretend doesn’t exist.

Here’s what I do.

Make a list of everything you hate about your story. If you’ve got a novel you’re hating, pick a chapter to be specific.* Take 30 minutes and write all the hate down. Seriously. Go to town with your list.

Once you’re done, assess the situation. Do you feel strangely lighter now that you’ve gotten those toxic feelings out of your headspace? If so, delete or recycle that list and continue rocking on with your bad self.

If you still feel lower than whale crap, you need to read your list- line by line- out loud. At the end of each thing you hate, ask yourself- out loud- why you hate it. Don’t stop with just one why. Ask why FIVE times.

If you’re hearing, “I’m stupid,” “I’m a horrible person,” “I hate myself,” etc. five times then write self-doubt next to it.

Once you get past those first couple whys and you start to hear things like, “I’m stupid because X isn’t as strong as the other characters,” or “I hate myself because I can’t figure out Z in my plot,” that’s something entirely different. You’ve just identified weak spots in your story, and those you can fix. Mark those with what needs fixing- like character development or plot point.

When you’re done, look at your list. You might have a whole list of self-doubt or weak spots, or a mix of the two. Now what?

Congratulations, you’ve just named your demons. If you’ve seen my post on demonology, then you know if you name a demon they get weaker. Why? Because if you know its name, you can identify it. If you can identify it, you can beat it.

If you want to be thorough, share your list with a writing buddy. Do they agree with those weak spots? Their answers may surprise you.


* Yes, I’ve done this with Sirens. Yes, there is plenty I hate about it. 

Obama means that everyone has to get covered, but what kind of health insurance is available to someone who isn’t cisgender?

–HRC has a great list of healthcare providers that offer coverage related to gender reassignment and medication, particularly helpful for trans and non-binary people

–If you’re looking for an LGBT friendly doctor, the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association can help you find one (whether you’re gay, lesbian, trangender, or non-binary).

–for anyone involved in healthcare, or looking to make your hospital a more helpful place for LGBT people, here is a list of training programs for health care professionals to help them understand and accomodate the needs of LGBT people

HIV/AIDS resources because thought the infection isn’t strictly an LGBT issue, it tends to be more common in this community than in cisgender/heterosexual populations

Help everyone find the healthcare they deserve… now that every American has to have it.

Reblog this post because you don’t know who among your followers might need it!


Welcome to Imposter Syndrome-ville. Population: Everyone who puts words on a page.

To everyone out there, in over their heads with what feels like a never-ending story. I’m with you.

To everyone out there who keeps moving this. one. comma. around a page for an hour, just to move it back to where it was in the first place. I’m with you.

To everyone out there whose days blur together into weeks that slip through your fingers. I’m with you.

To everyone out there, with a deadline fast approaching and more writing to do than hours in the day. I’m with you.

I’m so alone, surrounded by people. I keep telling myself so many others are going through this same thing right now. The tiredness. The tiredness of being tired. The tiredness of not knowing which end is up. I slept 10 hours, woke up tired and guilty as sin because I didn’t write last night.

The sadistic part of me is thrilled. I know I’m close. So close to the end I could reach out and touch the finish line, but I can’t. Not now. I didn’t give myself enough time to rest between projects and now my choices are:

  • Drag yourself through the gravel to the finish line, or,
  • Not move another inch, but keep laying face down on the gravel and wait for that self-imposed finish line to vanish.

So what’s the point of all of this? 

Give yourself time to recover from projects. They take out more of you than you realize. The longer and more involved the project is, the longer break you should take.

Take care of yourself while you are working on your project. Get enough sleep. Eat your fruits and veggies. Get some exercise. Take deep breaths. Buy yourself some flowers. Do something that makes you laugh every day. Adrenaline will only carry you so far and then you’ll end up like me, face down in the gravel, wondering how the fuck you’re going to pull this one off.

Yeah, it’s fun to pull some all-nighters in an event like NaNo and commiserate with people who are in the same boat, but for the other 11 months of the year, when it’s just you and a page, living like that sucks and is emotionally, physically, and mentally bankrupting. There’s no award for “Suffered Most While Writing” You don’t magically get more ‘badass author’ points.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pull myself through the gravel to a finish line.


Top 5 Worst Sides of Tumblr, Ranked

Ranking the top 5 worst sides of Tumblr, from least worst to worst worst. 

5. “Are you triggered, you SJW” Tumblr
Also known as “Anti SJW” Tumblr, they have no idea when to stop being rude and will just tell you to grow a thicker skin. Glorify being rude, even. Unironically use terms like “SJW-Lite.” Thinks anyone who disagrees with them is an SJW. 

4. “Proud to be an SJW” Tumblr
Everything is lesbians with these people. Everyone is trans as well. “Who’s even straight anymore,” ignoring 90% of the population. Everyone who disagrees with them is anti Sj/anti feminist. “Moron is a slur.” Can be called “feminist tumblr,” and any minority who disagrees with them isn’t “actually” part of that minority.

3. “All white people owned slaves” Tumblr
Dreadlocks are cultural appropriation, BLM has done no wrong ever, “diversity” is just a cast made of black people, every white person’s ancestor’s partook in slavery, etc. Fetishizes black people to the point of no return. Except, if a black person disagrees with them, they’re obviously just an “uncle Tom.” Rewrite history to claim that black people made everything. Could be considered “black tumblr.”

2. Nazi Tumblr
“Are you triggered” Tumblr but worse. Mixing races is absolutely terrible, there was no Holocaust (millions of Jews just “went missing” or something), “preserve the white race” despite not even being 100% white. Obsessed with white women in wheat fields. I only put them second because they’re easy to ignore, but their ideology could easily be considered the worst of Tumblr other than that. Cuck cuck cuck cuck cuck cuck cuck

1. Lesbian Radfem Tumblr
Loud, obnoxious, rude, stubborn, transphobic, etc etc etc… Could also be called “TERF Tumblr.” Typically also Ace Discoursers. Think trans women are just men who mutilate their genitals. Women are the most oppressed “minority” of all time. Porn is actual violence and gay porn is misogynistic. “Lesbian separatist.”

And there you go. The worst of the worst of Tumblr. Obviously there’s a lot more to talk about, and more than just these 5 groups, but these are the most obnoxious and obvious sides to Tumblr. Incidentally, just because someone is black, lesbian, transgender, etc, doesn’t mean they’re a part of “that side” of Tumblr. Some people also have similar ideas to these sides of Tumblr, but aren’t “in your face” about it.

“Bad Experience” - Chapter 2: Life in the Crater


-Chapter 1

-Chapter 2: Life in the Crater

Series: Steven Universe

Genre: Drama, hurt/comfort

Relationships: Eventual Jasper/Peridot + spoiler-y background/implied pairings

Warnings: Dysfunctional friendships/relationships, fusion-withdrawal having very mild similarities to a few real-life mental disorders, characters having 0 respect for before-mentioned disorder-like states because Homeworld is entirely populated by meaners. But SFW and technically G-rated?

Summary: Years after Lapis trapped Jasper within Malachite, the fusion is on the verge of forgetting who she used to be. She decides to resurface to clear her head, but finds that the surface world is nothing like how she remembers it.

In this chapter, Peridot receives an urgent message.

Author’s note: World-building exercises? World building exercises. I ask only one thing of you and that thing is that you imagine Carnelian with a very posh fake British accent. also who wants to play spot the side character


Keep reading


i’m always stunned when i find seafood in my tuna

The ark’s 1-child policy

I’m rewatching season 1 and I’ve been thinking for a while about the Ark’s policy of parents being allowed to have no more than one child. Obviously, part of the reason is to conserve resources, because it would simply be physically impossible for the Ark to sustain an actual growth of its population, but parents having 1 child is only half of what you need for a replacement rate. Even if every person on the Ark would become a parent (but there are probably people who stay single) they’d only give birth to a new generation half the size of the preceding. 2 parents - 1 baby. Factor in people who remain single, don’t ever have a child, or die from some cause before they produce a child, and the Ark’s population would decline extremely heavily over the course of their time in space. So I had never really figured out why the policy was for a maximum of one child, instead of two. 

I don’t know if the writers did this deliberately (if they did, they never alluded to it, it might be a coincidence), but in episode 1x07 Jaha mentions at the end that there’s 2237 people on the Ark, and only enough dropships for 700. Councellor diana sydney mentions that “it’s a problem we were supposed to have a 100 years to fix”. Considering the inhabitants of the Ark were supposed to stay in space for another 100 years before going to the ground, and the Ark’s population would be declining rapidly during that time. The youngest generation would be half the size of the one preceding it, so give it about two generations of people dying from old age and the population is below the 700 (800 if you count the 100′s original dropship) for whom the Ark had dropships.