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Mother. English Instructor. Runner. I love the New York Mets, bridges terrify me, and I hate cottage cheese.

My dream world includes sunshine, boats, and endless chocolate

In my dream world, I’m surrounded by people — family, friends, loved ones I’ve lost, and trustworthy strangers. We play trivia and board games, share stories, laugh, and dance to a steady stream of 90s music.

I run in the mornings, near a beautiful body of water, where I take my son to swim. Some days are for adventure; others are for reading and writing. I enjoy vodka and club or a glass of Valpolicella while eating my nonna’s meatballs and gnocchi. Dessert always includes chocolate and peanut butter.

There are no bad hair days. It’s always summertime. …


What can we learn from others? What defines good and evil? What’s the meaning of life? The Good Place explores all of this and more.

The Good Place gave us four seasons of dynamic characters, plot twists, and witty one-liners. Though a light-hearted comedy, the show also provided valuable real-life lessons that can help us maintain happiness and health.

The Good Place begins when Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) dies in a freak accident and ends up in The Good Place — where all good-natured, virtuous humans spend their afterlife. Eleanor first encounters Michael (Ted Danson), who claims to be a good place architect. He describes The Good Place as a series of distinct neighborhoods containing specifically selected people who “blend together to a blissful harmonic…


These shows never made it past season two

With all the new television shows that come out each year, it’s difficult to predict which will be successful. Even if a show makes it past the first season, it may get canceled before current storylines are finished or new ones can begin. Here are five shows that — despite strong character development and captivating storylines — never made it beyond the second season.

What About Brian? (2006–2007)


Nikki Hart’s boyfriend murdered her while their children slept in the next room. Nikki had been the victim of escalating abuse, but she never revealed her struggle to friends or…


Here’s what happened instead.

Giving a 4-year-old an eye test is tricky. The children’s eye chart isn’t made up of letters; instead, children identify different shapes: a house, a square, a triangle, a circle, an apple.

My son stood next to his pediatrician, a few feet away from these shapes. I encouraged him to tell us what he saw, line by line. Sometimes, he said the wrong shape, then laughed. When he got to the fourth line down, he told us he couldn’t see anything anymore.

I thought maybe he was just being silly. I looked at the doctor. “Sometimes…


Glennon Doyle’s Untamed is part memoir, part self-help book filled with advice, metaphors, and inspiring maxims.

Untamed is sewn together as a string of vignettes — each chapter standing on its own while themes of self-realization, gender constructs, and feminism are threaded throughout.

Many of Doyle’s vignettes center around her past experiences and how she found her “knowing”: the voice deep inside that urges her to trust herself; her intuition. Others focus on the lessons she either learns from or imparts onto her children. She emphasizes the differences between her daughters — one feisty and one hesitant — in a chapter entitled “Ears.” …


The lives of two women — originally separated by thousands of miles and hundreds of years — intersect in this novel about secrets, betrayal, poison, and death.

My rating — 4/5

Summary

In late 1700s London, Nella takes over her mother’s apothecary shop, which specializes in remedies for women. In a hidden room, behind a wall of wooden shelves, Nella mixes and dispenses healing potions, as well as poisonous tinctures. Some of her clients come for remedies for their aches and pains; others make much more sinister requests.

In the present day, Caroline travels to London from the United States after discovering her husband has been unfaithful. …


RoseMarie lost 220 pounds, but her story is not about weight loss

Her story is about trauma, survival, transformation, and success.

ROOTS

RoseMarie’s family tree was rooted in dysfunction — its branches twisting around drugs, alcohol, poverty, and sexual abuse as it grew.

RoseMarie cared for her mentally ill mother and younger siblings from a young age while her father spent time in prison. Her family often didn’t have electricity or running water. The first time she witnessed her father beat her mother, she was only five years old. The first time she assumed responsibilities as the head of the household, she was 11. …


Understanding mental health trends and how educators can offer support

During the first month of the semester, I Zoomed with a student who was overwhelmed with anxiety and had fallen behind on her classwork. We created a plan to get her caught up in the course, and she began submitting past assignments. Weeks later, when I went to enter midterm grades, she was gone — her grading column stating “course withdrawal.”

A few weeks ago, after my 11 am Zoom class, a young man remained logged on to explain that his parents had both recently lost their jobs, so he and his brother had started working full-time to help pay…


“AM I DOING THIS RIGHT?” MODERN PARENT CONTEST

And what I learned from the experience

This post is an entry in Modern Parent’s “Am I Doing This Right?” writing contest.

My son, Vincent, potty trained early and quickly. One day, about a month before he turned two, I was changing his diaper when he got up, walked over to the small potty we kept in the living room, sat down, and began peeing. I was shocked. We left the potty there so he would be curious about it; I had no idea he knew how to use it.

But this isn’t the story of how my son succeeded…

Jessica Lucia

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