My bathroom mirror reflects a palimpsest of scars and eyes etched over ancestral legends etched over Mormonism and the Intermountain West.

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A picture of me and my dog taken by my husband

Acne Scars

In my late teens, I applied heavy make-up; then, as a Freshman or Sophomore in college, I embraced bare skin out of laziness. It was my first innocuous violation of a cardinal female commandment, “Thou shalt look pretty at all costs.” When no lighting bolt struck, my impatience with arbitrary social norms and empty traditions simmered into being. …

Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Tying the Knot

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Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

In “Marry Him! The Case for settling for Mr. Good Enough” Lori Gottlieb claims that women are hardwired to want marriage and offspring more than anything else.

“Of course, we’d be loath to admit it in this day and age, but ask any soul-baring 40-year-old single heterosexual woman what she most longs for in life, and she probably won’t tell you it’s a better career or a smaller waistline or a bigger apartment. Most likely, she’ll say that what she really wants is a husband (and, by extension, a child).”

Gottlieb encourages women to “settle” — sooner rather than later — for someone they aren’t crazy about so they can have a family. It’s unclear whether her advice applies to those who aren’t heterosexual women. …

Three pitfalls to avoid when participating in social media politics

An elephant and donkey sitting back to back, staring angrily at electronic devices
An elephant and donkey sitting back to back, staring angrily at electronic devices
Illustration by the author

In 2015 — the year Trump said of immigrants, “They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people” — I stopped a student in the hallway of the racially diverse junior high school where I worked. “Hey, don’t flip people off,” I said. The offender hung his head and mumbled a half-intelligible justification: “He called me a [mumble, mumble].”

“He called you what?”

“He called me a republican.” I could tell the word tasted bad in his mouth. …


Six realities that often surprise new educators

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Planning to raise children or transition to a more lucrative career, some new teachers enter the classroom eager to leave it; however, plenty of freshly minted graduates bank on teaching long-term but walk away from education after just a year or two simply because their expectations didn’t predict the realities of teacher life.

For those who wonder if they should become teachers, I’ve outlined six aspects of education that tend to surprise and overwhelm newbies.

1. Personality makes or breaks a teacher


Kathryn Andersen Spratt

Kathryn spends her days teaching teenagers to form coherent sentences. She reads and writes compulsively.

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