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I know everything that happened for two weeks of my life when I was eleven.

OK, not everything. I know that I went to Girl Scout camp and ate a “walking salad”; that my uncles got married and I met a nice girl named Elisa at their wedding; I saw the movie “Hercules” in the theater; and “we started to go to a beautiful swimming pool, but they charged us $60 so we didn’t go.”

I know this because for my birthday in 1997, my grandmother gave me an elegant gold-plated, leather-bound page-a-day diary, with the pages pre-dated, and as an eleven-year-old I was able to keep up the habit of writing my observations down once per day for two entire weeks. …

Humans 101

Let’s talk about the ‘Never-Asker’

The “Never-Asker” is a category of person who struggles to ask a friend to watch the dog when they go out of town. For the Never-Asker, it’s hard to ask for a ride home from the airport or to ask for the take-out category they really, really want.

Within the Never-Asker category, there are subcategories and layers.

One subcategory is: “I don’t want to really want anything. I’m going to be cool and chill, and I’ll be able to hang no matter what you pick.” This looks like every couple ever going, “What do you want for dinner?” …

Why coronavirus has forced one Chicago teacher into vlogging

Teenage girl with headphones taking notes during an online class at home.
Teenage girl with headphones taking notes during an online class at home.
Photo: damircudic/E+/Getty Images

Shannon has been playing a lot of Stardew Valley, but she also just finished a historical novel — Rules of Civility — that she said transcends the genre. Sarah has been listening to the sci-fi podcast Wolf 359. Terrance is re-watching Gravity Falls, and recommends that his classmates read the comic book Bone. I know all of this not because I am their teacher (although I am), but because I have my own YouTube channel.

I also know about their specific anxieties. They want to know what’s going to become of prom. They’re worried about their family’s finances. They’re concerned about taking AP tests and about graduating. …

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Drawing by Sophie Lucido Johnson

It is possible that you don’t know this, but Chicago is a mecca for seeing birds. I think that is what should be on the poster for Chicago: the amazing bird population; the migratory bird vacation destination that is Montrose Park Conservatory (wonderfully nick-named “The Magic Hedge”); or one of the handful of whip-smart ornithologists who work at the Field Museum and are basically solving the end of the world one feather at a time. …

The Covington High School story is the perfect vehicle for discussing identity, privilege, and truth with aspiring reporters

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Illustration: Sophie Lucido Johnson

A note to educators: At the end of this article, I have provided a list of tools and techniques I use in teaching journalism to high school students.

Don’t get mad, but I was kind of excited about the Covington High School mess. I’m not a think piece person, and I take no delight in potent I-was-right-you-were-wrong moments from either side of the aisle. It wasn’t the actual event that engaged me, but rather the discussion of how the media handled it, or should have handled it, or might handle such a thing in the future. I wasn’t excited because I have a strong opinion. I wasn’t really excited for me at all. …

For many, today is a National Day of Mourning. A few hundred years ago, The United States committed mass genocide, practically wiping out all the people who were native to the land where we celebrate today.

It isn’t fair to celebrate without being mindful of whose land we occupy, and all that has been unwillingly sacrificed. I look forward to gathering with people I love and eating vegetables and listening to “Alice’s Restaurant,” but there is more to this national holiday.

This Thanksgiving, our household is donating to the Lakota People’s Law Project, with respect to the tribe whose land our house is on. We will hold silence and space for the tragedy wrought by our ancestors. And we will acknowledge the good, hard work of indigenous and Native people that continues to go on (and often unrecognized) in America. …

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I have lately done a lot of internet bragging.

Sometimes I feel okay about doing it. Sometimes I’m like, “Well yes, thank you, I do deserve all these accolades and successes, and the reason for my great deservedness has to do with how incredibly I failed at middle school.”

By which I mean: I am RELATIVELY SURE that of all the hated people at my middle school, I was actually the MOST hated. I know, I know: middle school sucked for everyone and everyone had a bad time. My bad time was surely no worse than anyone else’s bad time.

But here are things that ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO ME in middle…


Sophie Lucido Johnson

A person who writes and draws and eats her feelings.

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