10 Stages of the Job Loss Roller Coaster, or First Thoughts on the Chinese Government Banning Me from K-12 Education Because I’m A Foreigner

1. Denial This won’t affect me. I’m fine. 2. Numbness I guess this is happening. Sure. But it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters anymore. Who cares? 3. Minimization Okay, so I’m losing job. I’ll be fine. I have a master’s degree, a teaching certificate, and years of experience. I’ll find a job in no time. It’sContinue reading “10 Stages of the Job Loss Roller Coaster, or First Thoughts on the Chinese Government Banning Me from K-12 Education Because I’m A Foreigner”

My American Dream Dies Here

It was a good dream. In this dream, I owned a small, modest house in a quiet town. I sat beneath a tree and sipped hot cocoa under the stars. I worked hard as a teacher and served my students well. I paid my bills on time. I helped my neighbors. I pulled on rainContinue reading “My American Dream Dies Here”

Ableism and Classism Underlie the MFA Model

Every few years, a white man in the mainstream literary community publishes a curmudgeonly piece about how entitled, lazy, and whiny creative writing students can be. They often point to these qualities as the only things that hold back writers, aside from another likely possibility: a lack of talent. Recently, I came across just suchContinue reading “Ableism and Classism Underlie the MFA Model”

This Word Chronic

I’ve been so angry at people who ask me, “How are the headaches?” and “Feeling better?” “It’s still chronic,” I say flatly. “I was diagnosed 27 years ago. Five years ago, it went from episodic to chronic, and there’s no cure. In the context of chronic migraines with vertigo and brain stem aura, most drugsContinue reading “This Word Chronic”

Grandma

Out of all the places I’ve lived, only one has ever meant home. My grandparents’ house on South Fruitland Street. It’s not much to look at. Built in 1949, the house is a three-bedroom ranch. A white gable spans the front door and the bay window. My grandmother had the clapboard painted a powder puffContinue reading “Grandma”

The Decision

There are so many ways that society monitors and controls women’s bodies. PiMam’s family had determined how she could and could not use her body in relationships. Now, economic necessity was undoing my own bid for freedom. Every morning I woke to the sound of the kitchen hood rumbling to life. My mugs rattled onContinue reading “The Decision”

And Then, Poverty

In 2016, one out of eight women age 18 and older lived in poverty. Currently, millions of women in the United States live below the poverty line, and nearly 50% of women on government aid give domestic violence as a reason they require financial assistance. In 2002, I was just another statistic. Another woman tryingContinue reading “And Then, Poverty”

Siddhartha

But depression does not recede with the ministering of kind words from a friend. Joe’s words had been a balm, and the pain stopped smarting enough that I could continue. But looking back, I do think depression persisted in a milder form for years—largely because of my parents’ ongoing abuse. I made poor decisions thatContinue reading “Siddhartha”

Why Gloria Steinem Was Wrong, and Why It Matters

In the wake of Gloria Steinem’s comments that young women could only be siding with Bernie over Hillary in order to attract guys, a number of writers quoted young women who called the feminist leader’s statement “offensive” and insulting. Articles came out detailing the rift between Second-Wave feminists over 65 and those under 30. It’sContinue reading “Why Gloria Steinem Was Wrong, and Why It Matters”