It could never happen here.

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America — the shining light of democracy, a beacon for so many thousands who came here to find a better life or to escape a terrible fate.

America — so open and free. One can travel for thousands of miles without ever having to show a passport.

America — the savior of Western Europe after the war and the savior of Berlin when the Iron Curtain closed and Kennedy (in 1963) reassured a crowd roaring with approval that freedom will never be sacrificed again.

America, a symbol of democracy and freedom. Of course, it could never live up to that…


Losing mind and soul

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The FDA just approved a new medication for Alzheimer's, Aduhelm, but at a cost of 56k per year it is unaffordable for many, and there are also doubts as to its effectiveness. That is unfortunate since the need for effective medication is so great.

Dementia is unbearable to those who suffer from it. I saw my mother, a fiercely independent woman, disintegrate into chaos: thousands of post-it notes everywhere containing the same information, a desperate attempt to remember a phone number, an address, or even a name.

My mother was warned. Her sister “lived” with Alzheimer’s for a decade. At…


Sometimes it’s tough to find time to write.

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As I get older, time seems to slip through my fingers. This summer I wanted to focus on writing and not teach summer school. I made a great announcement last year that I had retired from teaching in the summer for good.

Then I got the email that too many students had signed up for one teacher, and no one else was available. Could I perhaps teach a session? Since I had a week off to see my daughter, I agreed. Why not? At least I would get Fridays off since summer school meets only four days a week.

After…


What one female You Tuber disclosed.

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I have little social media presence. When I joined Facebook, I gave up Twitter, and I never joined Instagram or any other social media platform.

I do like YouTube, however, for the plethora of information and entertainment available. When I read YouTube was primarily a male dominated medium, I was a bit puzzled and surprised as there are many active female You Tubers. I noticed soon, however, that many women content creators are part of a couple.

There are a few people I follow and watch regularly. I noticed that one of them, a single woman, had disabled comments on…


A guarantee of happiness?

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Taking a lot of academic survey lately and constantly assessing my state of mind made me think about how happy and content I really am. I have always felt that the feeling we call happiness is fleeting and elusive and that contentment is really what we should aim for.

A video I watched recently really illustrated that for me. In it, Jordan Peterson explains we should walk the fine line between order and chaos. If everything were always predictable and orderly, life would be boring. …


Perhaps I am doing something right

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The school year is coming to an end, and my English students sometimes need a boost. I gave them a last opportunity to improve their grades by completing a reflection. These are some (unedited) examples from this year:

Student 1: “I am a math student mainly, and this year on my SAT and ISTEP I did better on the English portion than math. And that has never happened before. Personally, I thought you class was kinda an adventure. The different papers we wrote and especially the way you teach. I especially liked the speech that we wrote. I thought it…


The strange way I discovered his beautiful voice

I love folk music. I have loved folk music from the first time I heard it as a teenager. Later, in college, I sang folk music with Paddy from Ireland and Julian from South Africa. (He had left his home country out of protest to Apartheid.) There is no sound more beautiful than many voices blending together in harmony.

This grainy news article showing me singing at a folk festival is all that is left of this time long ago.

Photo by Author

Folk music first brought me to the U.S. when I tried to follow the wide-open roads described by the Beat…


How taking a survey taught me something about myself

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Sometimes we do something for one benefit and come out of the experience with a different one we didn’t expect. I take surveys for universities, professors, researchers, and graduate students because the surveys are often interesting and pay a little money. After spending a few hours taking surveys, I earned about $120 and learned about different fields of research.

One particular survey was about the benefits of punctuality and how to improve on that. In two subsequent surveys I had to show what progress I had made. …


It will come back to haunt us.

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Most people are familiar with images of plastic floating in our oceans, but two thirds of our clothing also include plastics: polyester, nylon, and elastane. Even though some of that is recycled, it is actually very little at about 13%.

When I heard recently that the average person buys about 60 new articles of clothing every year and that much of our clothing is either never/hardly worn or soon discarded, I had a mental vision of mountains of clothing clogging up our planet.

Even making more clothing out of renewable materials is not a real solution. The production of clothing…


Reflection on a conversation

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In a conversation with a friend about the smart things our kids said when they were little, I mentioned something my daughter had said. My friend was excited. “You should absolutely write about that and send it to me.” O.k. another non-Medium reader who will not earn me a cent, LOL. The thought was still appealing, however.

My daughter was about four years old when she came home from a play date at a friend’s house. We watched a children’s show together, but I could tell that she was thinking.

Ms Fischer

I am a high school teacher. I traveled the world. I have a blog where I post about finances for teachers and other issues. https://financesforteachers

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