Current Events Haiku Health Care Local Government Poetry

Nearing the Second Year

The way states treat kids is reflective of the shits they give.

As Covid rages

Look to how states treated schools

No masks for the kids?

No testing in place?

The government doesn’t care

About the children

Which also will mean

That they won’t care about you

When you need their help

Current Events Haiku Health Care Poetry

Is it even an argument?

A reflection on Vaccine Requirements

Special session called

For vaccine requirements.

In large companies

It’s ridiculous

800,000 are dead

Yet, we still argue.

About whether jobs

should require employees

to get the vaccine.

The answer, is yes!

Your “freedom” shouldn’t kill me

Or my grandmother.

Another Christmas

Another new year has passed

And yet, here we are.

Current Events Haiku Health Care Poetry


And rising


The number of people lost

In the pandemic

Double World War Two

Almost triple World War One

These are civilians

Selfishness led here

American pride and greed

Is this “real” freedom?

We are held captive

Capitalism brought down

Because a virus

And…of course…because

Some refuse to help others

…get vaccinated.

Education Poetry


A free-write on teaching and planning.

It started with a sneeze. And then my ears began to pop. I have inner ear issues anyway, so I thought it was the weather changing (I can predict snow based on how loud my tinnitus is — it’s totally true). I woke up and went to work.

I feel, at this point, obligation to say it’s not Covid. It’s just a cold. Because that’s what we all must say if we are sick from now until eternity. It’s not covid. It’s a cold.

At work, the fatigue set in. Still. I didn’t see the signs. I thought it was the 160 students I teach, or the coming break, or the angst and frustration I feel at administration. Besides, it was a Monday. Surely there are a million reasons I’m tired and annoyed. I wear a mask, I haven’t really been around anyone. Surely I’m just tired.

Then, the scratchy throat, the low voice, the coughs.

At this point I now feel obligated to say that I wear a mask all day everyday, even though I’ve had three covid shots. Even though my state doesn’t mandate it. I do it so I don’t spread germs.

Good thing I do. Because I’m sick.

In — almost — any other job, if you’re sick, you call in and that’s it. Other people may have to work a little harder, or take on some of your normal responsibilities, but you either go home, or you call in. You wash your hands and then go to sleep.

Not if you’re a teacher.

Once I determined that I was degressing, and not progressing, I decided to “call in” for the next day. But this is where the planning started.

Because, you see, someone can’t step in and just “work for me”. I have to leave them with a plan. I have to leave them with a plan they can carry out. I have to leave them with copies and a paper with instructions for each class and seating charts and procedures.

I have to leave them with a schedule, with a list of the kids to watch for. I have to plan it down to the minute so they know *exactly* what to do with each class.

Now, they could just “show the slides” I guess — but lets be real. I’m the one with information in my brain, and I can’t guarantee a sub will have that. So the plan ALSO has to be relevant but something that anyone who knows nothing about history can handle.

So. In essence, it’s off plan for me.

ok…so what?

Well. Number 1, I’m mad that I’m getting colds again. I miss how everyone used to wear masks and wash their hands. You know, the early days of the pandemic when people were still kind.

Number 2: It’s more work to plan to be sick, than to come in with a sickness. And therein lay the problem. I don’t have a strong solution. Sure – I could have thrown together some shit that the kids could have just done, but then I would have been ‘in trouble’ for not leaving a good enough plan.

I think this is what people don’t quite understand about teaching. I won’t lie, summers off is actually quite glamourous. But in return, it means that I’m around 160 teenagers with God knows what on their hands. Teachers do, and will, get sick. When that happens, we don’t get to just “call in”.

It’s planning and preparation, and it’s more than most professionals have to do.

So please, send your kid to school in a mask. It’s the responsible thing to do, because we are still in the middle of a pandemic.


Current Events Haiku Health Care Local Government Poetry

Let’s Do This Thing!

Children over Five

Can now get vaccinated

Do it fast and now

Covid is still here

And there is a solution


Ok…So What?

The pandemic has

Impacted children so much

See, for example:

A loss of parent

Schools with rolling qurantines

And anxiety

To “save the children”

We must vaccinate children

Like…we’ve been doing

That’s why we don’t have

Polio and Chicken Pox

So, let’s do this friends!

He Man GIF - HeMan Thundercats MastersOfTheUniverse GIFs | Pop culture  references, Masters of the universe, 80s cartoons
Actual Image of the power of vaccination
Current Events Education Local Government

Can’t is Different than Won’t

On October 25, the New York Times released a visual story on their Instagram page with pictures and short blurbs of men and women who were making the choice not to get vaccinated. The stories discuss their reasons which ranged from hesitancy regarding the safety of the vaccine to fears about breastfeeding to religious reasons.

However, what they did not include were pictures and short blurbs about men and women who could not* get vaccinated. This is an important part of the puzzle and leaving out this piece of information glorifies the idea of choice, rather than the idea of social need.

Because you see, by choosing for non-medical purposes to refuse the vaccine, the unvaccinated are making a choice for those who can’t get the vaccine for medical purposes.

*The Times did release an opinion piece that went into more detail – but let’s be real, people get their news from social media

Barriers and Misinformation

Before I go further, I want to note that I’m very aware of the barriers that prevent people in the United States from getting the vaccine. Not having a car, living in a rural space, communities mistrusting medical providers for various reasons – I understand these. Additionally, there’s been a raft of misinformation – largely for political purposes – regarding the Coronavirus and Vaccines. I get it. Don’t at me.

Can’t is different than Won’t.

Recently I had a student break down in my class because his mask broke. He’s a student with underlying medical conditions already. As he descended into panic mode, he told me he was afraid he was going to die because he was only able to get one shot. He had a bad reaction to the first one, and the doctor said he couldn’t get the second. This wasn’t a choice that he and his family made – they tried to protect him. However, he’s only partially vaccinated because of necessity, not a choice.

Ok…So What?

The conversation regarding vaccination often revolves around those who are making a choice to remain unvaccinated. I think this is in an effort to humanize and understand the various reasons so many refuse the vaccine. However, there are people who actually can’t get vaccinated. Up until recently, that meant any child under the age of 12. It also means those who had an allergic reaction to the first shot, those who are undergoing chemotherapy, or those who have other underlying health conditions.

This is important because vaccination provides a shield for the most vulnerable people in the nation. While an unvaccinated person may feel comfortable taking risks with their own health and their family’s health; those who can’t get vaccinated are forced to remain in isolation. Telling the stories of the vaccine-hesitant glorifies that choice, and leaves out an incredibly important piece of the puzzle.

The unvaccinated are preventing children from going to school, preventing families from seeing their loved ones, and very literally may cause the death of another person.

The voices of the medically vulnerable deserve to be heard. Large news outlets like The Atlantic and The New York Times should do better, and flip the narrative.

And, if you aren’t vaccinated. You should get vaccinated.

Cute Animals Snacking Away Gifs - Animal Gifs - gifs - funny animals -  funny gifs
It’s a serious post, so here’s a dog eating pasta.

Climate Education Haiku Review

Saturday Haiku Review

Activists for Earth

Are being killed at high rates.

While we turn blind eyes

Flooding will not stop

Unless we change our habits

Is that possible?

Mask-less kids roll by

Uh-oh, guess what? They have Covid

No one quarantines.

Education History

Hi, You Got a Second?

We’re proud of you too, Steve

More than ever it is so easy to be upset at the world. Our nation is utterly divided because of the politics of Trump. We’ve lost 650,000 people to Covid (and counting). Climate change is becoming more visible and impacting our lives in tangible and frightening ways. Our communities are hurting, and we are all so fucking exhausted.

And then, in walked Steve.

On September 7, 2021, Steve Burns from Blue’s Clues spoke to us from our screens. Framed by an orange and salmon colored background, he wore his signature green striped shirt and hat. Not only did he address, and apologize, for the “abrupt” way in which he left Blue’s Clues so many years ago, he reminded us how far we had come. He looked straight into the screen and told us that we were going to be ok. Then, to top it all off, he told us that despite the pandemic and all the bread we’ve been eating, we look good.

And, collectively, we weeped.

Ok…so what?

Look. His appearance is advertising the fact that Blue’s Clues is coming up on it’s 25th year anniversary. It’s still some strange form of capitalism wrapped up in all the feels. But. I don’t fuxxing care.

Despite how divided we are, or how alienated we may feel from our communities or our families, despite the fact that I spend time on Twitter everyday yelling at my local politicians for the terrible decisions they’re making, Steve reminded us that we are human.

He reminded us that sometimes things happen that we have no control over. And, when we face challenges, we do the best with what we have. We pick ourselves up and we keep going. We are not the people we were when Steve left us so many years ago. We also aren’t the people we were in January of 2020, before the pandemic started. We’ve changed.

And he reminded us that that’s ok.

Haiku History

Haiku Review

Twenty years ago

We experienced trauma

Covid brought some more

To people saying

“We came together back then”

What have you done now?


Culture of Transaction

I can’t imagine that you don’t know by now, but Biden has called on states to offer a $100 incentive for people who get a covid vaccine. A number of states are offering incentives (you should click that link and check out what Hawaii is doing, it’s amazing), including $100 for getting the first shot.

I want to be clear, I am not against this. Whatever we need to do to get people vaccinated must be done. However, as more states start offering incentives, or start considering incentives to get their residents vaccinated, it has made me think about a few things.

At heart, in the United States we have a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” kind of culture. It’s not “help your community” it’s “help yourself.” I call this Toxic Individuality, and it’s something that’s irked me for a long time, and something I’ve brought up in multiple blog posts.

In America, there’s no reward for community.

I believe that American culture sees no reward in a healthy community. Our culture is extremely transactional on an individual level. “I will do this because it helps me. I will vote this way because it helps me.” Not, “I will do this because it helps the community.”

Even church is a transactional experience. People do good or live by a moral code in exchange for personal spiritual salvation, not necessarily because it’s what is good for the health of the cities our country they live in.

Ok…so what?

Right now our communities, our schools, our churches, and our families are in the middle of a pandemic. That pandemic is not waning or getting easier, rather it is infiltrating more of our country, making us more divisive and angry. The past year and a half has made it very clear that the cult of toxic individuality and our culture of transaction is…well…literally killing us.

What we need is a radical change of thinking. Rather than think, “If I get this vaccine, I will get $100”, we need to think “If I get this vaccine, a child that I have never met and do not know may not end up in the ICU.”

I know, it’s not as glamorous. And I KNOW, the $100 and other incentives are very useful for a lot of people. Again, I am not against them.

But $100 won’t be enough to get us out of the mess we are in. We have to start considering the health of our community as the end game. It is not you against the world, it’s all of us against a virus. That’s killing us, it’s leaving lasting impacts on our economy, our children, our future…it’s time to stop pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, and instead help out your neighbor. Do it for no reason. Do it anonymously.

The reward is a better future for everyone – not just for the individual.