Being There: Education in an Emergency

In my first year of teaching, an entire family came to meet me at our school’s first parent night: mother, father, daughter, and son. They were strikingly tall, both mom and dad my height, and the daughter swiftly approaching. The Samsons (names changed) dressed as if they might be headed to church, or coming from […]

Spinning Spooky Facts Into Fiction

Many years ago, when cops rarely arrested teenagers for trespassing in vacant buildings, I went ghost hunting with my forever friends, Marney and Janine. Our target was a building in an abandoned arsenal not far out of town. It was a moonless, windy night, perfect for a bit of misbehavior and mischief.

The CIA Believes in the Paranormal?

The government is researching what your fave ‘spiritual guru’ on instagram has been trying to sell you? And the CIA studied this in the eighties?!

Amanda Woodard Personal Essays

Circumference & Circumstance: The Cycle of Food and Insecurity

A few years ago, I worked with a girl who said she ate ramen noodles in college so she didn’t have to ask her parents for money. “I struggled too,” she said, and I wanted to scream at her because what she failed to realize was that her parents had money to lend her.

On Writing About Death

I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately. Not from a macabre fascination, but more because we’ve been confronted with it on a daily basis thanks to the COVID pandemic.

A Message from The Article You Shared on Facebook That Nobody Read

Thanks for posting me. At least you know someone (probably) read the headline. Maybe they even read the first few lines of text that appear beneath the thumbnail image, or the pull quotes. […]

Author's photo: Skyler Fontana

On Becoming Real

Perhaps nothing provides as much fulfillment in life as finding and sustaining a successful love relationship and pursuing what you believe you were meant to do. For me this happened simultaneously; it all began with re-finding myself, or what I call becoming real.

Karens: A Cautionary Tale of How to be a Less Horrifying White Woman in America

My husband called my name. He usually calls me “Honey” or “Baby” or “Hey, You,” but this time, he used my given name. I felt an unexpected wave of anger wash over me, and I stomped into the living room to confront him. “Don’t call me Karen!”

Pharaoh Tut’s Curse Box Caused 2020?

Maybe, it’s human instinct to look for someone or something to blame instead of accepting sometimes bad things just happen. It’s not easy to just accept that sometimes things just happen; humans almost always have a reason behind their actions, why not the world. Even if we are creatures of science now we can only find where the virus came from but not the cause but religion and superstitions can.

White Moderate

Dear White Moderate, Stop Waiting on the World to Change

Dear White Moderate, I grew up well below the poverty line; I was homeless, for a time, in high school; I’m not a Christian; I’m pansexual; I’m a woman; I’m a feminist. These parts of my identity mean that my rights in the U.S. are theoretically in danger. However, I didn’t vote in the 2016 […]

Tick Tock, Tick Tock – Ways to Wind Your Narrative Clock

Eons ago, when I was seven, I pretended to choke to death when my mother lit up a cigarette near me. I grabbed my throat, made wheezing, chortling sounds, and fell to the floor, writhing and flailing until I expelled a final “ahhhhh” and dropped my head sideways.

I Know Alone

In late April, the three sisters who make up HAIM, the L.A. pop rock band, sat in their separate homes and performed the single “I Know Alone” for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. A keyboard, microphone, and various sound equipment surrounds each of them, Danielle, Alana, and Este, in their respective rooms. They sync […]

More than a Wedding Dress

The conversation went the same as most of ours do: One of us came at it logically and the other was stuck in pure emotion. It was a warm, May evening, and my fiancé Matt and I were discussing whether we should postpone our wedding set for August, 23 2020.

On Being Broken

When I was eight years old, my mother, Lucille Munera Galvez, died from breast cancer. I was coming back from a field trip to the King Tut museum and I looked to the sky and I knew she was gone.[…]

They Hate If You’re Clever and Despise the Fool

It hit 120℉—122℉ in fact—a few weeks ago in my desert town. The days before and after weren’t much better: 116℉, and then 119℉, respectively. While these types are unheard of, we don’t typically see them until the dead of August for a couple of days.

What a Year of Sobriety Has Taught Me

What a Year of Sobriety Has Taught Me

I’m lounging on my sectional, thumb hovering over the “Deliver” button in Uber Eats. I have Feel Good on the TV, a Netflix original about a queer girl with a drug addiction that she considers past tense. I just texted a friend asking if it was too risky to get cake delivered to me.

The Cancer of Another Nation’s People

The restaurants are closed, shelves in certain parts of the stores are empty, people seem chaotic and self-motivated, uncertainty looms, media sources spouting contradictory “news” – such is life at the beginning of the quarantine for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Life Is Like A Sauna and I’m Sweatin’ Over Here

I turned the freakish timing over and over in my mind that night, on the verge of connecting the dots, not quite ready to assign meaning to the event that had saved my life.[…]

Is There More To Greek Mythology?

The women of ancient Greece took this story to heart, they knew that Athena had given power to someone who was seen as powerless.[…]

We are _________, hear us ___________!

#weclapbecausewecare. New Yorkers stop and give daily thanks and gratitude for coronavirus frontline workers. In Brooklyn, at 7 pm, my neighbors clap and whistle, bang pots. Cars honk. In the apartment across the street, two little girls hang out the window, howling like wolves. […]

Fathering Along

My naïve assumption was the expectation of shaping her personality, igniting her spark. Staring through the bars of her crib at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday, I thought about this full-throttled willful child. She came with character included. I could not have foreseen how that spark would burn me […]

Permutations of Love: Part II

Experiencing personal tragedy against the backdrop of collective tragedy is disorienting. On April 6, I made the terrible decision to say goodbye to the magnificent Lester. In the midst of our global pandemic, I sense that my grief over my dog—and my guilt over my decision to end his life—seems trite and self-indulgent, even to some who understand who he was and what he meant to me. But regardless of this, I continue to mourn and wrestle with what I find to be a nearly incomprehensible question: how can the last act of love be a decree of death?

Postcard From The Pandemic

All of Adana’s therapists had been interested in her survival although that sentiment was a global curiosity. Survival stories of resilient people used to inspire and motivate others who couldn’t even begin to fathom such misfortune. But after the Merciless Spread followed by the Ruthless Contagion, every American citizen was left in a quasi-apocalyptic world that was still functioning and still had billions of people living in it.[…]

Living Through History

There’s a certain weight a person holds when they’ve been part of a monumental moment in history. That weight can influence the way they act, how they cope, and, ultimately, who they become. I’ve seen this weight on people like my grandfather, who flew in a total of 91 combat missions during World War II.[…]

This Post is Not About the Coronavirus

(It’s about skiing.) Skiing requires too many accessories. Don’t get me wrong, I like accessories.[…]

Worlds Apart and Interconnected-Creativity in the time of Crisis

Our management team addresses interconnectivity and creativity in this time of crisis […]

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Self-Love Through A Hair Cut

I transformed my lengthy, ash brown locks to a pixie in May 2019. I wasn’t nervous until I sat in the chair because that’s when a stylist asks, “What do you want?” And based on what you tell them things can go just as planned or take a left turn.[…]

They’ve Tortured and Scared You for Twenty-Odd Years

As I sit and write this, it’s been a few days since the  government announced that our nation is officially in a state of emergency over the coronavirus. I have been laid off for the same amount of time with no clear end in sight. There is ZERO work as all restaurants, bars, country clubs, hotels, and resorts have been shut down.[…]

Altering Perception as Survival in 2020’s Era

In today’s world of screens, scrolling and endless information, it is hard to not feel overwhelmed. Having access to global news is daunting as it is and adding “fake news” to the chaos of information extends the complexity of comprehension. After three years of bipartisan war in America, I do not like the fact that I have in many ways shut down. Diplomacy seems more like sensationalist theatre.[…]

defining ableism

“A Quality, Good Life” —Defining Ableism and What It Means to Be Human

It took me ages to graduate with my bachelor’s degree — eight years to be exact. I kept changing my major, I took some time off, and I could only afford to go part-time for a while. All this to say, I had quite a bit of work experience by the time I graduated, so when I saw a job listing for “Marketing Director” at a small nonprofit, I jumped on board. It didn’t really matter to me what I would be marketing for.[…]