this kid went to my old school

in 2003, when i was 9 years old, in 4th grade, the teacher gave little dollar store toys to the birthday kids. if it was your birthday, you got to pick any toy and you’d get to keep it.

i asked my teacher once, “what about me? my birthday is in summer, when there’s no school!” and she told me “you and the other summer birthdays can pick a toy on the last day of school :) “

and the last day of school came.

and it went.

i forgot to pick a toy.

i only just remembered three minutes ago.

i’m 23.

After doing so many “BS News” articles, I began getting praise from people telling me that Cracked was the “most credible” news source on the internet. This terrified me. Not just because social interaction exhausts my soul, but because I’m probably the least qualified person to get ALL your news from. Until Cracked, I was a dishwasher by trade. I have no background in journalism, and once punched my friend while sleepwalking. I went to film school, for crying out loud.

Not to compare myself to The Daily Show at all – but my horror was not unlike Jon Stewart’s when all the kids “got their news” from him. But despite his disapproval – we still held him up on that pedestal.

So why was Jon Stewart such a voice of reason in modern America? As he himself once described it on C-Span, the media bubble is a lot like 6-year-olds playing soccer: too busy crowding the ball to see the bigger picture. Meanwhile, political comedians had the luxury that newspapers once did – in that they could fully-digest the news and pinpoint the most important narrative. They aren’t smarter than CNN or NBC or Fox, but rather lack the exhaustion of covering every goddamn thing that happens all the time.

And that luxury-turned-superiority made them a more respected source, suddenly elevating these silly comedy shows to president-worthy pedigree.

5 Reasons Fake News Killed Facts In 2016

Somebody Catch My Breath

SPN Prompt Challenge | blissfulcastiel
Prompt: Flowers
Pairings: Destiel
Word count: 6k
Tags: Hospital au, kid fic, friends to lovers, angst, fluff

Castiel hates this place.

Most other eight year olds might be envious that he can watch TV all day and not have to go to school, but he despises every minute of it. He hates being too weak to walk around or do much anything but lay in this hospital bed all day, wondering how an innocent doctor’s visit for pneumonia spiraled into this – progressively becoming a permanent fixture of this hospital. He’s beginning to worry he might never get to go home. Not clean, that is.

Dr. Winchester’s confident Castiel’s on the road to recovery, but then why is he still sick? It’s been two weeks since his surgery, six since he started chemo, so why isn’t he showing any signs of improvement? Why aren’t his cell counts improving? Why can’t he ever take deeper breaths than the shallow ones he’s limited to now? The doctors may be optimistic, but Castiel’s not. How can you be when your body’s trying to kill itself?

“Stop glaring at your Jell-O and eat it already or I will,” Gabriel teases next to him.

Castiel glares at him. “Then eat it. I’m not hungry.”

Gabriel rolls his eyes. “You have to eat, Cassie. You’ve barely touched your dinner and breakfast.”

“It all taste like metal. It’s disgusting,” he wheezes, sparing enough energy to push away his tray of untouched food for emphasis.

Gabriel sighs. “I’m gonna have to tell Mary you’ve been making me lie for you if you don’t at least try.”

Castiel’s eyes widen. “Gabriel, please don’t. They’ll stick a tube in me or something.”

His brother leans over to push his food tray closer. “Then eat. I’m serious, Castiel. I’ll tell them.”

“Tell who what?” A feminine voice asks, making both Castiel and Gabriel jump. The friendly face that Castiel’s come to know too well approaches him, flipping through his chart and writing down his vitals from the ever beeping monitor beside him.

Keep reading

“It has already been about 25 years since I took my three-year old son and newborn baby and left my husband. He was so incapable of doing anything productive but he had serious spending habits; I thought I wouldn’t be able to live with him. After leaving him, I did all sorts of work to put food on the table. I would work at a restaurant and babysit, barely meeting day to day living standards. My life had become much harder especially when my kids went to middle school. Since they weren’t little anymore, I needed to get them things like a computer, but I couldn’t afford it. So, with my kids, I went to see my ex-husband. I didn’t expect to get much from him but thought that he could at least support my child rearing expenses a little bit. However, it turned out that he hadn’t changed at all. That day, he brought a car, so I thought he lived well. But, in fact, he was in huge debt; everything he had was based on his debts. He would show off what he had as he always did. A few weeks later, I heard that he threw himself off the ninth floor of an apartment. Even with two kids, I, as a single mom, had managed my life well for over a decade, but, when he met us he probably realized that nothing changed on his end, and he must have felt frustrated because he couldn’t help us at all. Unlike him, during the previous decade, I had learned that I can make it through things if I live life to the fullest and withstand whatever happens to me. I feel sorry for my kids rather than for my ex-husband who couldn’t own up to his responsibility. That was the first time for them to see their dad in 15 years….”

“벌써 25년 전인가, 세 살이었던 큰 아들하고 돌도 안 지난 작은 아들을 데리고 집을 나왔어. 남편이 너무 무능력한데 낭비벽도 심해서 도저히 같이 살 수 없겠구나 싶었거든. 나와선 정말이지 안 해본 일이 없어. 식당 일도 하고 남의 집 애도 봐주면서 꾸역꾸역 살았지. 그런데 우리 아이들이 중학교 들어갈 때가 되니까 너무 힘들어지더라고. 애들도 머리가 커져서 컴퓨터 같은 것들도 사줘야 하니까. 그래서 그때 처음으로 남편을 찾아갔어. 큰 걸 바란 건 아니지만 아이들 양육비라도 좀 보태줄 수 있을까 하고. 하지만 그 사람은 전혀 바뀐 게 없었어. 차를 끌고 왔길래 나는 어느 정도 잘 살고 있나 보다 싶었는데 알고 보니 다 빚이었어. 여전히 허세만 가지고 있던 거지. 그런데… 내가 아이들 데리고 찾아간 지 몇 주 안돼서 남편이 아파트 9층에서 뛰어 내린 거야. 나는 아이 둘을 데리고도 십 년이 넘는 시간 동안 잘 살아 왔는데, 자기는 홀몸인데도 똑같고, 아무것도 해줄 수 없다는 사실에 무력감을 느꼈나봐. 나는 그 시간 동안 어떤 일이 있더라도 참아내면 결국에는 살아갈 길이 생긴다는 걸 배웠는데… 그걸 못 참아낸 내 남편보다는 난 우리 아이들이 불쌍해. 15년 만에 처음 본 아버지였을텐데….“

today I recited Shakespeare to a small army of eight-year-olds

So last week an email got sent round my college asking if anyone wanted to read some poetry to primary school kids and I was the only one who responded and I asked if I could do some Shakespeare, since I have quite a lot of experience with it, and the teacher said that would be fine.

So I was discussing with friends what I should do and they said ‘er yeah, don’t do Shakespeare.’ And I was like ‘what why’ and they went ’well, maybe if they’re over 10 but otherwise you’ll just get blank looks’ and I went ‘well I don’t want to insult their intelligence’ and then another friend was like ‘hey you should do that kid’s song ‘When I Was One’, they’ll like that!!’ (it’s a really babyish song for toddlers with silly actions) and I thought about it and was ‘like nah actually, I’ll do the ‘Once more unto the breach’ speech’

So I learned that over the week, and I was walking up to the school, and the whole way I was thinking ‘Oh god this was a terrible idea they’re going to hate it, they’re going to look at me blankly like those kids in The Polar Express, my friends were right it’s going to be a disaster’, and I was there early, so I sat in the classroom for the first half an hour, got given a cupcake by some kids from a different class, said hello to some of the kids in my class, they got a look at me.

At half 2 the teacher mentioned I would be reading some poetry, and I asked if we could go outside, which she was more than happy to allow, and the kids were all so confused (‘where are we going? Isn’t it only poetry?’) and we got onto the field, the teacher got them all to stand an arm’s length apart from each other, so I could walk around them, and I did a brief overview of where the scene came in the play, how the king is on the battlefield, talking to his soldiers (“Could all you be the soldiers?” “Yes!!”) and they’re attacking the French, who are all in a castle (forgot it’s really a castle town), and they’re attacking them through a gap in the wall, the breach. Me and the teacher emphasised that if there was anything they didn’t understand, that was completely fine and they could ask me at the end. I asked the kids to watch for when I held my fist in the air, which is when they had to cheer loudly, we had a practise at that, and then I did the speech.

Everything I had been scared about evaporated. All the kids were totally engaged, they were all watching me, they all listened right the way through, I saw lots of excited faces, and they all cheered really well at the end.

Afterwards, there was a lot of chatter, several of them asked me questions (”how do you remember all those words?”, “what did you mean when you talked about nostrils?”), one boy asked me to do it again, they were all really lovely and had genuinely enjoyed it. It was so much fun, and they especially loved it when I told them how my big college friends had told me not to do Shakespeare because they wouldn’t like it. Those kids 100% proved them wrong


TwentyForSeven- What Makes You Beautiful & One Thing Mashup (One Direction Cover)

they are grads from my previous school and they are pretty awesome.

High School Trends That I Remember Fondly

Okay so let me share with you all some quality high school trends from my days in high school because boy were we a bunch of sass masters

These all took place from 2007 -2012 because I went to a weird fusion school that lumped every grade from 7th to 12th together ( that means we had thirteen year olds up to 18-19 year olds in the same school )

Anyway let’s go

7th Grade( I was a smol 13 year old)

First off there were like 30 kids in each class okay?


- Pencils as hair decor ???? Why????

- Swiping needles from Home Ec and sticking them in your finger JUST under the surface of the skin to freak out the teach

- Referring to lunch as ’ the troph special’

-Girls sending guys Valentine’s that just said ’ U R No Good ’ and ’ Allen Ur Not In My League ’

- Guys sending girls tiny stuffed animals for V Day with cards that said ’ I’m Soft For U’ and ’ Be My Plush One?’

- Claiming various things had ’ killed our ancestors ’ :

’ I can’t do long division , my thirty seventh great grandfather died doing that’

’ No I can’t answer that question sir, every male in my family so far has died answering English questions ’

’ I’m not allowed to be disciplined , discipline killed my grandma’

- Wearing rubber bands as bracelets or rings and the tighter you could get it the cooler you were ???? This kid almost lost a finger by third period I mean …..

-Asking our biology teacher what would happen if insects could speak every class period

’ What if wasps could speak but they only spoke Mid-6th Century English ’

’ What if spiders all speak Russian’

’ Do you think bees know English ’

- Pestering our history teacher for the history of the Leaf Village ( I’m sorry Mr. Hoagland )

- Replying ’ Deleted’ when your name was called

….. I accidentally started this one

8th grade ( I was 14 )

- Rap battles to settle arguments ????

- Yoyo fights. It got intense.

-Every white boy in school dressed like a bad Western movie character , cowboy hats and spurs and SO.MUCH.PLAID.

- ’ The Dew Crew’, a gang of boys who drank nothing but Mountain Dew as refreshment , was born and monopolized the school’s soda supply of Mountain Dew . All of them made it to adulthood but it is suspected they no longer require sleep and eat only the disdainful glares of women for survival ( at their peak there were 15 of them )

- Intense shouting of someone else’s name every time something went wrong ( usually the name Sasuke )

- Pentagrams everywhere ; drawn on any surface we could find unsupervised for a second , started by me doodling in art class and picked up by my squad . The school board thought someone was possessed by the devil it was GREAT…. I NEVER GOT CAUGHT

- In Chemistry we watched Finding Nemo about 3 times a week because the teacher was really forgetful and he let us watch it when he forgot his lesson plan , so by the end of the first month that year every kid he taught would call various roundish objects ’ the butt’ and I was nicknamed’ Dory ’ by everyone I knew

Also the principal was nicknamed’ Bruce"

-Hardcore Zombie prep planning , there was a gang and everything .

The Apoca-Punks are still strong

- Disney discourse in English class because our teacher was a huge nerd for Disney and loved nothing more than to watch us argue over which princess would beat Gaston in a fight faster ( Kida won by a landslide but we all agreed Mulan would murder him in five seconds flat )

Also he nicknamed all of us after Disney characters and I was Lilo ( my best friend was Stitch )

- Okay so I brought a bag of chocolate as a treat for the class one week and I was really tired and out of it so when the teacher ( our English teacher Mr . Bagley, who was also the principal) asked me to ’ explain the historical properties of chocolate’ I got sarcastic and went ’ For many years chocolate has been used in medicinal treatments for ailments of all kinds. Perhaps it will even cure the lack of hair on Mr . B’s head’ ……

For a second it was dead silent and then he laughed and said “Well put , you continue to live up to your nickname, Lilo!”

- Shakespeare quotes at inopportune times

“ Exit, pursued by a bear”

“ We are in the middle of a test , Austin. ”

“ A rose , by any other name , would smell-”

- The drama kids dramatically snapping during arguments

- Okay so there was this weird loft zone in the second gym( because our school had two , a sucktastic old one from the fifties and a newish one from the eighties ) nobody was supposed to go up there unless they had permission and it was for filming a basketball game ???

But everyone went up there anyway and at least ten couples lost their virginity up there ( what a weird place to do it tho , we kept the wrestling mats up there)

I sluffed class a few times and took a nap there

And it became a Thing to draw a little baby face on the wall if you lost your V card there

-Supergluing coins to stuff????

There’s still a dime on someone’s locker and it’s been like ten years

-’ Ambrosia’ , AKA this super delicious combo of cherry slurpee , Sprite, and orange Fanta that our English teacher made us during parties . He literally made it in these huge plastic bins and just ladeled it out to everyone

9th Grade( I was 15)

- The Goth Invasion

Everyone who was punk enough wore black ripped jeans and eyeliner and streaked their hair with red and black

One kid never left the Goth phase , we love u Scott ( it’s cool he was our school’s Warren Peace anyway )


He was really salty about it too , he said “ Warren isn’t goth he’s Punk there’s a difference you capitalist Bible thumpers’

Scott got 54 Valentine’s that year but just shrugged and gave his candy to me and my squad because we were , as he put it ’ the only punk crew in class, plus you’re all really cute ’

He never kept a girlfriend very long but he was the nicest guy you’ve ever seen ( everyone thought he was gay but just too shy to say it )

Over the years he is consistly hotter , and more unashamedly Goth

- My sister arrived in school and was immediately the most popular kid in school and was nicknamed ’ Princess ’

- My squad got nicknamed ’ Squad 7 ” due to our obsession with Naruto and other anime , and we each were nicknamed after characters from the show by my friend Indi ( who was named after Indiana Jones, no lie)

Melanie was ’ Kiba’ ( which delighted her because she would marry him in a heartbeat )

Mackenzie was ’ Neji’ because according to Indi she was the most monologue-y
Chandra was ’ Hinata’ because she was shy but fierce

And I, Aubrey , was ’ Gaara’ because according to Indi :’ Your dad is kinda sucky and you’ve got two siblings . You’re sort of the social outcast of school and when you get annoyed enough it’s like you’ve got this terrifying supernatural thing in your eyes , I love it ’


10th Grade( I’m 16)

- ’ Because I’m Batman ’ being an answer to every question

- Goonies puns

- Three girls got pregnant and were called the ’ Baby On Board Squad"

- Due to this teen pregnancy scandal , my heavily Christian community had our school hold assemblies about how ’ Sex will kill you’ and how ’ every time a teen has Sex Thoughts, an angel cries’ ….. There were ’ God Is Abstintent ’ posters everywhere

So naturally we revolted and the drama class put up these fliers reading ’ Without Sex, You Wouldn’t Be Around . ’

’ Satan Loves You and Wants You To Explore Your Perfectly Normal Urges ’

’ Sex Won’t Kill You- But STD’s Could! Use Protection! ’

’ Wrap It Before He Taps It And The Angels Won’t Be Crying “

” Boys Like Girls.Boys Think Of Girls In Sexual Ways. Boys Best Treat Her Right First . Boys Best Be Stepping Up As Baby Daddys If They Tap Dat “

And many more golden rebellious posters

- Shouting ” Go Go Power Rangers “ when dealing with a problem and just out of nowhere any kid wearing the appropriate Power Ranger colored shirt would appear

So you’d get a guy in red , a guy in blue , a guy in black , a guy in white , a guy in green , a guy in gold , a guy in silver, a girl in pink and a girl in yellow and they’d all pose dramatically and do the Power Rangers moves

- Rubber band slingshot warfare using hairpins as ammo

- The school dividing into Benders and Non Benders , and the school’s most loved outcast was deemed Avatar( I got the honor so my squad was nicknamed accordingly )

- High School Musical was the biggest thing ever because our music teacher WROTE THE SCORES FOR THEM I MEAN…….

We all knew every song by heart that year

Everyone shipped Chad and Ryan

11th Grade( I was 17 )

-Percy Jackson was huge and everyone wanted a godly parent

- Every girl used a dramatic break up song to end things with her man it was GLORIOUS

- Taylor Swift was playing on the radio every day

- My class finally realized that my friend Courtney and I had the same exact birthday and birth year , and thus introduced us to substitute teachers as ’ The Fraternal Twins’

Courtney and I are both gonna be 23 on March 20 at 6:40 am

- Our history teacher thought my friends and I were in an assassin cult because we were always drawing kunai knives and swords and guns , so he banned kunai drawing????? And it thus became the Cool Thing to graffiti everywhere??? All because I drew one on my ASVAB????

-The sheriff pulled me out of homeroom because I’d been overheard singing P!nk’s ” Funhouse" and the Secretary thought I was an arsonist because of the line “ I’m gonna burn this sucker down ” and thus rumors spread like wildfire that I’d:

~ Murdered someone
~ Witnessed a crime

~ Started a gang war
~ Shot a cop
~ Robbed the one gas station in town
~ Insulted the sheriff’s daughter by not inviting her to my birthday party so he was here to bribe me to do so
~ Stolen the sheriff’s prized collection of horse paintings

12th Grade ( I was 18 )

- Posters everywhere about the world ending ( it was 2012)

- Harry Potter mania

- John Lennon Memes????

No really on the anniversary of his death the school was flooded with posters of him everywhere saying “ In Loving Memory Of A Dreamer ” and the radio only played his music and the drama class went around stating facts about his death it was surreal and I was part of it

idk if anyone else thinks the same but like. i feel like cassie would b that kid that stubs her toe and shouts FUCK at the age of like. 12 bc of her parents use of language. she doesnt show up to school for 3 weeks and when she comes back she says “we went traveling and my dad almost fell down a mountain” or “i was messing around with old swords we found in a cave and accidentally stabbed my hand” in the most nonchalant voice. also just has like. a lethargic personality outside of traveling like. she trips on a floorboard and just. lies there on the floor for an hour. shell hang upside down from the couch until all the blood goes to her head and she gets dizzy. also her vision is Fucking Terrible so whenever her glasses are off her friends try and have her say how many fingers theyre holding up and she just responds with “i cant see shit james give me my glasses back”


endless list of favorite people: andy samberg

“One year I was in L.A. with my buddies Kiv and Jorm and we were going to some Halloween party in Silver Lake. We were super broke, all packed into an apartment, and I had a bunch of crap in a box, like old clothes from high school, so I decided to be the kid from your cabin at summer camp who everyone hated. I had a green cotton turtleneck that was way too big and baggy, billowy fleece pants, and Tevas with wool socks. We went to this party and I walked in and no one knew it was a costume. I tried to say hi to some girls and they looked at me like I had rabies. Finally, at the end of the night, someone asked me what my costume was. I told them, and they were like, ‘Oh, that’s incredible,’ and told all their friends, but it was too late.”

This kid I went to high school with is a real piece of work

Fetuses aren’t kids, women should always have the right to choose whether or not to terminate their pregnancy, and the man who goes on trial this month for raping a young girl (13/14 years old?) definitely shouldn’t be your ideal candidate if you care about kids yourself you fucking moron

And you better hope trumps healthcare plan includes increased cheap access to birth control methods of you really want abortion rates to stay at a minimum

We leveled up at skiing this week

My wife is working constantly in February so this is our last ski trip until March, barring a few hours here or there at Eldora.  My wife had a conference in Steamboat Springs so we pulled the kids out of school a week after going back after winter break and spent 6 nights in a sick condo less than a half mile from the gondola.  

Long story short:

  • I’m freaking exhausted.  I went snowboarding 6 days in a row and challenged myself almost all of them.  I was also up semi late every night and early every morning.
  • My 4 year old went from doing moderate greens to moderate blues.  She likes “bumps.”  She also did the terrain park and half pipe for the first time (and second time, and third, and fourth…) and did her first several box slides.  She also lost her first tooth.
  • My 7 year old went from easy blues to his first black on our last run of the trip.  He’s still the best in the family.
  • I went from greens through moderate blues to also doing my first black with Braden.  Though my black was more survival than snowboarding.  I pretty much just scraped down the hill.  I was too tired and it was too steep for me to feel like screwing around.  I also did my first box slides and the half-pipe a few times.

The conditions were awesome.  It was sadly raining and mid 30′s when we got into town on Monday.  But that meant snow higher up.  And it snowed top to bottom Tuesday through Friday.  The top of the mountain was super fluffy until today.  

Accomplishments aside, I’m getting a little frustrated at this point.  I feel like I’m improving more slowly than a normal person.  I’m pretty sure I’m being too cautious and it’s stunting my improvement.  Steamboat has a ton of super long, gradual, narrow green runs and I hate them.  I suck at just going fast and straight.  And since I’m not super fast, I don’t feel comfortable doing weaving turns on catwalks.  I don’t want to get in people’s way.  So I just dig in (typically on my toe side) and grind my way down.  It’s super frustrating.  I really need to get better at that subtle transition from edge to edge without doing a full turn.

I’m also too much of a wuss to link decisive turns on steeper sections.  I turn pretty well from toe to heel (goofy footed) but pretty much come to a stop before I feel comfortable turning heel to toe.  This is on steeper blues.  Maybe I just need more practice.  I definitely need more sleep and I probably need to not go 6 days in a row.  I was just physically tired and my nerves were fried for half of the trip.  

Maybe something I learned will stick and I’ll do better next time.  And maybe caution was a good thing.  Training for Leadville would be a lot harder with a broken collarbone. 

My internal racism.

So, it’s 1989 and I’m at college for the first time. Very exciting. I’d been raised by public school teachers - so in Canada what you in the US would call socialists, and had, well, not exactly a tidy upbringing, but food was on the table, retail and bartending jobs were easy to get, and I was an 18 year old college student who thought she was awesome. 

Except I am from Alberta and Calgary and while Calgary had a lot of different people, it didn’t have Black people. It still kind of doesn’t. Not a backwater, one of the not white kids I went to school with is now the famous Muslim mayor, Naheed Nenshi… but I digress. 

I was in a women’s lit class and I think I went on self congratulating myself at my colourblindness, and a black woman stopped me and said “that’s really not helpful to me. That actually harms me, to not know that we’re not the same.”

Ohhhhh was I pissed. And humiliated. And… lots of things. I’d had a non white boyfriend! I…. I… 

But I thankfully shut up for more than 30 seconds and listened. I was more likely to get a job. I was more likely to even be in college. And this wasn’t anything I’d achieved - and I knew it. I was a mediocre student at best. I hadn’t really earned anything in my life. 

And that’s what this is. Who has to work twice as hard to get the scraps? Not me.  

My colleague put it this way: If life is a videogame, and you’re white and in Canada, you already have a hundred points when you’re born. And then you’re more likely to get more points without trying very hard at all. Often you just need to exist and points get handed to you. Sure, things are a little tougher if you’re a woman, or if your LGBT, or if you’re poor, but still. 

Life is hard for everyone. My life has been a little rougher than most. But it’s much harder for some - and that invariably is tied to the colour of their skin. Somedays it’s the little things (no you cannot touch her hair) and sometimes it’s the big things (you know you should have given her that job but you frankly think her braids were unprofessional). 

So now it’s 2016 and it seems more of you needed that talk. I learned a hard lesson and my ego and id got smashed in three minutes, but you know what? I survived and I learned how to recognize the institutional racism in our world and I learned how to hand over the mic, provide space, provide opportunity.

So if you’re doing the white person fluster of not being able to accept that your whiteness got you further than your brains or personality? You need to have a long talk with yourself. And then do something about it. And then keep on it. 

And thank you to the young Black woman who called me out and made me feel shitty and defensive. It was one of the most important things college taught me. Where is my internal racism, and what can I do about it? 

This is a poem my 9 year old brother wrote today, (punctuation and spelling errors corrected of course) it reads:

“Last night, I saw the city dying,
Funerals were flying left, right, and centre,
People are falling like flies.

Why are they leaving me,
My only friends going off like bombs,
Then a giant lightbulb went out,
Birds went down crashing.”

It’s heavy, but I’m more than a little impressed, I have no intentions of shooting this down either.
Neither me, nor his school are going to be cutting down his creativity on my watch.

Work from Home

By: SassyShoulderAngel319

Fandom/Character(s): YouTube - Dan Howell/danisnotonfire

Rating: G

Original Idea: Imagine

Notes: (Masterlist)(About Me) This one was so cute.


I smiled down at my phone, watching my husband’s Snapchat message fade away.

“What are you looking at?” my coworker asked. I looked up and put my phone face-down on my desk, still grinning.

“My husband likes to send me Snapchats of our kids while I’m at work. He and his best friend took them to the zoo today since they’re on school holiday,” I answered, slightly bemused by my own voice in my ears. My old American accent had disappeared, replaced by a London one. My coworker gave me a grin and then went back to doing her own work. I turned back to my computer, glancing down at my phone and my wedding ring before resuming my project.

“Mrs. Howell?” my boss called from the doorway to his office. I stood up.

“Yes, sir?” I replied.

“I need to speak with you. Right away.”

“Of course, sir.”

A feeling of dread formed in the pit of my stomach. Was I going to get in trouble for using my phone during work? No one else had ever gotten in trouble before and out of all of them I actually used my phone the least—just enough to glace at all of the pictures my husband sent. I wove through the desks and into my boss’s office. He was a family man—that was for sure. There were pictures of his wife and children all over the walls and his large wooden desk from all sorts of occasions—from a wedding to a rugby game to a hospital room. I couldn’t help but grin as I looked at them all.

“Please, have a seat,” he offered. I sat down carefully across the desk from him. He must have seen the apprehension on my face because he gave me a gentle smile. “Relax, Mrs. Howell. You’re not in trouble.” The tension across my shoulders and back muscles released.

“So… why am I here?” I asked tentatively.

“Your husband came in the other day,” he informed me. I felt my shoulders tense up again.

Dan! What are you up to? I thought frantically.

“He told me that your son and daughter need their mum and asked if it would be possible for you to work from home,” my boss continued.

“I am so sorry, sir. My husband means well, but he doesn’t always understand—”

“So you’re no longer required to come into the building,” my boss interrupted, continuing as though I hadn’t even said anything. “Because I agree with him. I see every day how much you miss your children while you’re here and I don’t want them to grow up without their mum around. Heaven knows your husband could use all the help he can get, given the stories you always tell Alice about during lunch.” That made me chuckle.

“Thank you, sir,” I remarked gratefully. “You don’t know how much that means to me!”

“Well, unfortunately, I can’t be home with my wife and kids all the time, so if I can keep one family together, I will gladly do what I can. You may return to your desk, Mrs. Howell.”

I stood up, fervently shook his hand, making sure to thank him about a hundred more times, and went back to my desk. I sat down in my chair right as my phone buzzed. Snapchat from THE HUSBAND. Eagerly I opened it up.

There were two images. The first was a selfie of Dan doing a peace sign, Phil, and Phil’s wife, in front of the lion enclosure. The caption read, And here Uncle Phil will remain until the end of the day. I giggled quietly to myself and waited for the next one to pop up. For several seconds I just stared at my husband’s handsome face and his adorable little dimpled grin and dark brown eyes.

The next photo was our six-year-old son and four-year-old daughter in animal masks—probably made by Phil—talking to a few other kids. The caption Dan had written said, How are our kids so social? We’re not!

I grinned and went back to my work.

By the time the day was done, Dan had sent me a Snap of the pasta he’d made (with Phil’s wife’s help probably) and fed to our children (The monsters have been fed), and then a photo of our room, king-sized bed covers turned down with Miss you written over it. Needless to say I was very eager to get home that night. On my tube journey back to our flat, I got another one of our daughter asleep, with her rich brown hair a mess around her head, and our son giving her a kiss goodnight. They missed their mum today. ILY. And about six heart emojis trailing after it.

Both the kids were asleep by the time I got home, but I could see a faint light coming from the lounge.

I went in to see a nice meal laid out on our small dining table with two candles—scented like “Fireside Treats” of course—lit in the middle. Traces of a fun day were all over the lounge. Plastic dinosaur toys on the floor, our daughter’s second-favourite doll on the sofa with miniature clothes scattered around, and a few green army figures surrounding the doll in a protective half-circle. I smiled tiredly to myself and scanned the rest of the room for Dan.

He wrapped his arms around my shoulders from behind and kissed my cheek. “Welcome home, love,” he murmured quietly.

“Thank you.”

“How was your day?”

The news that I could work from home was far out of my mind when I answered, “Longer than I’d like. How was yours?”

“It was alright. Would have been better if you were there.”

I smiled as he pulled out my chair for me. “And how was Phil and his wife?”

“They were both good. Happy to help out with the kids.”

“And were our little Godzillas well-behaved?”

“As well-behaved as they could be. They’ve got a lot more energy than I do so I was grateful Phil and his wife came to help. That daughter of yours almost tried to climb into the elephant enclosure,” Dan told me, faking his stern “father voice” to me.

I put my hand to my chest. “Girl after my own heart,” I remarked sarcastically. Dan laughed. We both knew my favorite shirt was the one he bought for me with an elephant on the front.

We started to eat dinner. It was late and I was exhausted, about ready to just collapse on the floor, but Dan of course wouldn’t have any of that. He sat next to me at the table instead of across and would take my hand when my attention started wandering and my eyelids would flutter, making me wake up again. When I asked why I had to stay awake and finish dinner, he kissed my temple. “Because I can’t in good conscience let my wife go to bed without feeding her,” he retorted firmly.

When I was finally finished, he took my hand and helped me to my feet.

“I love you,” I muttered as we held hands as we walked down the corridor of our flat into the master bedroom. He smiled and gave me another temple kiss. We started getting ready for bed, brushing our teeth side-by-side and putting on our pyjamas. Barely even thinking straight I fell onto the bed facedown and stayed there.

Dan tucked me in properly and climbed in on the other side. He wrapped his arms around me and nuzzled his face into my hair. I smiled and turned onto my side to face him. I planted a tired kiss on the tip of his nose and then found his lips.

“I love you so much,” he whispered. “Don’t tell the kids, but you’re my favorite.”

I giggled quietly. “Speaking of the kids, don’t tell them, but my boss called me into his office today. I get to work from home now. I thought we could wait till Monday morning to tell them.”

Dan sat up just a bit. “Are you serious?” he asked.

I smiled and grinned. “Yup. Totally forgot about it until now.”

“That’s great news! We both get to be stay-at-home parents!”

Before I could reply, my eyes drifted closed of their own accord and I fell asleep.

I was woken the next morning by Trashin’ the Camp from Tarzan playing down the hall in the lounge. Our kids were singing along—and I could hear them jumping around and having fun while Dan was shushing them. “You’re going to wake Mum! She had a really late night last night!” I could hear him saying as something plastic hit the floor—probably our daughter’s doll.

I started to sit up when the bedroom door opened. Our son and daughter jumped onto the bed, closely followed by my handsome husband carrying a tray of breakfast. Dan perched on the edge of the king-sized bed and passed me the tray. I gladly took it. “Thank you! Whose idea was this?” I asked. Both of our kids wordlessly pointed at Dan. I leaned across the bed and gave him a kiss. Our kids made ew noises while we chuckled. “Thanks Dan.”

“You’re very welcome, my love,” he replied.

a love letter to community college

community college-
you’re so looked down on, but I think you’re amazing. when I went to my very first class, I was enchanted. my teacher was top notch– knew his stuff, was so kind, and really, genuinely cared that every one of his students had what they needed to succeed. and my classmates – every single one of them are so inspiring. the high schoolers, there to get a head start. those that were your “typical college kids” – 18 or 19 years old, and trying to figure out what their life was gonna look like. the mothers, that come into class after work but before going to volunteer at their kid’s school, who they’re working so hard to provide a better life for. the veterans who served our country for so long and have come home to now do something for themselves. those that had a couple of false starts, things that maybe didn’t go as planned, but they’re getting back on their feet. and so many stories in between. and what brings us all together?
the desire for an education. and opportunities. and to build our life into one we love.
going to community college isn’t something that people should look down on, because it’s about taking charge of your life. owning your education. sure, there aren’t a lot of frills, but who needs them when you’re trying to get a start to your future, on your own terms. get the life you want, and come out of it with a little less debt.

I started at community college my junior year of high school, and now, three years later, something amazing is happening – the culture is changing. where in years past, the “smart” kids went to universities, and the rest end up at community college as some sort of last resort. but not this year. this year I see so many of my friends on the campus of my college, because they get it. they get that you don’t have to spend $60,000 dollars a year to get the education you deserve. they get that you can stay where you’re from, and work to save up some money for the rest of your education. and that’s okay. in fact, it’s great. it’s smart.

because you don’t have to start your adult life in debt, just because that’s how it’s always been done.
and I want the rest of the world to see that, too.
because community college will always be there, for those who have a hunger for knowledge. a vision for a brighter future. and who are ready to make that happen, all on their own.

if you’re going to community college, go proudly. no more, “oh, I’m just at community college this year”. because you’re not just doing anything. you’re working just as hard as students at four-year schools, and that’s something to be proud of. you’ve worked hard, and the world is lucky to have someone like you – that’s smart, determined, and is learning not only from their teachers, but from the wonderfully diverse group of people that are right there beside you.

I went running a couple of hours ago for the first time this year and as I was already finishing the run and coming home, I went by my old school, but I stopped when I saw that a kid was running away from a teacher toward me.

The boy was ten years old. He cried hysterically about not wanting be in school anymore because he’s been bullied for four years and that he doesn’t wanna be alone anymore and just wants to go home. He lived like five kilometers away but his school day wasn’t over and his teacher and I tried to get him to go back to school but he refused.

He climbed up this hill and the teacher couldn’t go after him, so I went but he just refused to stop. After a while I had to come back home because I have to go to work soon but I just drove along the road to his house but I didn’t see him and I don’t think the teacher got him either so I’m kind of worried where he might’ve gone.

And the fact that teachers here cannot have any kind of contact with their students because parents could take them the wrong way and sue them or whatever but if the teacher would’ve been able to just touch the kid and like stop him from running away (without forcing), she’d been able to get him back to school but since we’re not allowed to do that I’ve no idea where that boy is or if he’s even going to get back home???