and what that means for your family and loved ones

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Photo by SJ Objio on Unsplash

Despite many barriers to insurance and getting healthcare, most of the time, we expect there to be a spot for us or our loved ones at a hospital if we need it. For everything from sickness, broken bones, car accidents or necessary surgeries, we have a basic assumption that when it is our family, there will be a spot to take them. But if the hospital is full, there is nowhere for these people to be treated.

In some parts of the United States, that is already happening.

In other places it will happen soon.

A quick glance at the headlines confirms the grim reality that health care workers are trying to get through the heads of the portion of the population that are still not taking this pandemic seriously. …

and why it felt different this election

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Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

This year has not been an easy one.

It seems like every day there was something new to get discouraged about, and we have spent way more time indoors, away from others, worrying about our country, the virus, social justice and everything we watch on the news each night.

We needed a win.

This election wasn’t decided on the first night with a solid blue map, as some had hoped and even predicted. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday ticked by, with slightly more hope for those of us rooting blue, but still nothing was official.

These days, on top of this year, on top of the election in 2016, and on top of the last 4 years of watching this reality show celebrity turned national leader take much of what we loved about our country and turn it to mush, were a lot on our hearts. …

And why it isn’t about politics this time

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

I think it is indisputable that 2020 is a different year than normal. Between an impeachment, the pandemic, and the protests, this year is clearly one for the history books.

So it makes sense that this year’s election would be different than the norm too.

Growing up, I remember hearing the debates during family gatherings on Republican versus Democrat viewpoints on various topics. These debates were always civil, as my family tends to calmly debate without animosity, only to have each member return home without changing their opinions, ready to debate again the next time.

I grew up knowing that I had the right to my own opinions on whatever topic, and that family ties were strong enough to handle differing opinions without letting them affect relationships. …

Observations and tips for this crazy year ahead

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

We didn’t sign up for this.

Our teaching programs didn’t have lessons on how to teach remotely during a pandemic. Also, they definitely didn’t include lessons on how to make it fun, memorable and educational for all.

Teaching isn’t a glamorous job, and it has a hefty load of parts that aren’t so great. But we, out here in the trenches, chose it anyways.

We put our time and energy into this career, knowing about the late nights grading, the e-mails from parents and the stress that comes with feeling responsible for every student’s learning and achievement.

We do it anyways.

Many teachers fled because of the pay, the parents, the pandemic or some other combination of downsides, but if you are still teaching this year, you aren’t one of those retreating from the battle. …

Jacob Blake’s restraint might be the 8th bullet that kills him

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Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

Jacob Blake should never have been shot.


But unlike so many other victims, he lived. He made it to a hospital, and though he is paralyzed, his kids haven’t lost their dad.


But we learned today that the police department weren’t done yet. They chained a man who cannot walk, who might never walk again, to his hospital bed.

By doing so, they might have just put the final bullet in his back.

Did you know that 7–8% of deaths in spinal cord injuries are related to a pressure sore?

If these patients can be stabilized from their initial injuries to their spinal cord, they aren’t out of the woods yet.

Our bodies are not designed to stay in one place for a prolonged period of time, and if we have feeling in our lower half, we naturally readjust often so that we don’t get too uncomfortable. …

When your memory starts to fail, it can be hard to discern between illness, aging and stress. But that distinction can feel pretty important.

Photo of a man sitting on the ground outside at night with his head in his hand.
Photo of a man sitting on the ground outside at night with his head in his hand.
Photo by Jonathan Rados on Unsplash

Ever feel like you are losing it? Like you are losing part of your innate ability to do all of the things that you could do before with ease?

That’s where I am at these days… but it wasn’t always that way.

At the college I attended, there was a limit on how many units could be attempted in a quarter. If you wanted to go above that, you had to ask special permission from the dean of your school to take extra units. …

Every Child Matters

Parenting, even in a pre-COVID world, was always a balancing act.

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Parenting, even in a pre-COVID world, was always a balancing act.

But now the stakes are higher.

In a world where the risk will be present for years, and that is even if a vaccine can be created and distributed, every choice has to be weighed against the possible consequences and benefits.

If you screw up on one side, ignoring the chance of catching COVID, your child and your family have a higher risk of a possibly deadly virus, or long term illness.

On the other hand, putting your children in a bubble, and not allowing them to ever leave the house or see any other soul but your immediate family puts them at a possible risk of mental issues and relationship issues that can be avoided with the help of relationships with others. …

Forget the debates this year, what America really wants is a live game show

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Photo by Dominik Martin on Unsplash

It is perhaps not surprising than when you have two men competing for who will get the title as the oldest man to be elected president, ever, that physical and mental prowess come into the discussion.

At this point, I think there are very few people left in the United States that are truly undecided about the candidates based purely on their stances on political issues. If you are a hard core Republican or Democrat, there is no swaying you based on anything that will possibly be discussed in these debates.

What people will be watching for is how tired they look, do they slur words or repeat words, and other signs that they are just too old for the position. The candidates know it too, and take time to point out their physical successes, like drinking a cup of water with one hand. …

Not a threat, but a reality- especially in this pandemic

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Photo by airfocus on Unsplash

I didn’t always want to be a teacher.

As a matter of fact, after I tried and failed to teach my brother how to play the piano, I thought my future career of working with kids was doomed.

Thankfully, I found that not every child was as difficult to teach as my sibling, and after my first real experience of the joy of imparting knowledge to someone else, and them retaining it- I was hooked.

I knew that the best job for me would be teaching.

Other jobs might have paid more or carried more prestige, but my desire was strong, and I stuck through, and after getting my credential, I got my first job as a classroom teacher, and I taught for 6 years, until I had my kids. …

and reconsidering the safety of school buildings this fall

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Photo by Feliphe Schiarolli on Unsplash

Last month, I wrote an article pushing for schools to use the AM/PM model. Based on what I knew at the time, and how I hoped the cases would go, it seemed like the best option. Back then, things were opening in my state of California, including gyms and indoor dining.

But pandemics aren’t reliable, and as the restrictions eased, I think so did people’s concerns, and now the graphs of the United States and especially a few key states (including mine) are going the wrong way again.

Sometime this month, my children’s school district will be asking parents to pick a model of learning for the upcoming school year. Back in June, I would have picked the hybrid, part at home, part at school, model. …


Lisa Olsen

I am a teacher, with two kids, recently diagnosed with Lupus, and possibly other auto-immune conditions, living life to the fullest, while managing symptoms.

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