“Starting With You:” your proactive journey to compassionate self-investment (NEW COLUMN)

starting with you

My sister used to tell me I was “weird.” She’d make fun of me, and I’d go to our mom, in search of a solution. “Stop being so sensitive,” she’d respond. This would have been a perfect opportunity for my parents to teach me conflict resolution and communication skills, but that’s not what happened. My parents didn’t have their own skills of emotional regulation, so they weren’t capable of teaching those skills to me. In my family, good communication skills and emotional literacy were hard to come by. My parents…

Read More

TRM Blog: Race, gender and religion? Or ego, pride and control? Real-life intersectionality in Grinnell

TRM blog 4 4 21

GRINNELL, IA — The straight white male history teacher could not have been more repentant. “I drew incorrect conclusions …. I misinterpreted … I did not paint an accurate picture,” he said of an attack letter he wrote about efforts to make Grinnell-Newburg’s public school curriculum more diverse and welcoming. “I failed to reach out… failed to take the time …. misinterpreted… had preconceived notions,” said Kent Kastendick. On he went, in at least 17 different ways, trying to pull back the wave of anger, suspicion and fear he inspired…

Read More

Front-lines teacher raised in Iowa remembers few childhood chances to meet, know People of Color

71006447 3547341665291216 4015389393459085312 n

At a time when straight white men are leading so many fights against diversity, some straight white men are fighting the good fight. They include Kent Mick, a Grinnell High School history teacher who grew up in Humboldt, Ia., and has taught public schools in Iowa for most of his life. Mick knows from personal experience that being a native Iowan can mean little to no experience interacting with People of Color, even today. He recalls “barely being exposed to People of Color” as a child and teen, and said…

Read More

Final drive in Iowa City for school supplies and masks Sunday

drive

IOWA CITY — Looking for a way to support Iowa’s school kids during these trying times? Check out the outdoor Cars 4 Community Meet & Eat Sunday (Sept. 20), which is hosting a school supplies drive in collaboration with the Corridor Community Action Network (CCAN). From 3 to 6 p.m., you can swing by Mexico Lindo Grill & Cantina 2 and check out supercars, euro-cars, muscle cars, and tuner cars from members of the Iowa Auto Club West, while also bringing wide-ruled notebooks, glue sticks, water bottles and other school…

Read More

Return to COVID-shaped school year swells the “mental load” of parents, caretakers

mental load 2 scaled

Around the dark cloud of this pandemic has been this big silver lining: my “mental load” got a break. To moms, the phrase “mental load” is familiar: it’s the “mental work, the organizing, list-making and planning, that you do to manage your life, and that of those dependent on you,” writes Leah Ruppaner for ABC News. She also describes the mental load as “like a phantom — felt by many, but, without the language to describe it, very difficult to discuss.” For months, I didn’t have to think about my…

Read More

Next stop, Washington: Kesho Scott brings anti-racism memorials to small Iowa towns

kesho scott 4

WASHINGTON — Dr. Kesho Scott started bringing George Floyd memorials to her central Iowa hometown of Grinnell, with a small service that ended up attracting about 150 of the town’s 10,000 residents. A woman from Belle Plaine, a town of 2,500 just west of Cedar Rapids, attended the Grinnell event and asked Scott to come to her town, too. Mingo, a town of 300 near Newton, asked next and ended up drawing about 50 people to a gathering in a resident’s backyard. Then Marengo, about a half-hour south of Belle…

Read More

Home-schooling: tips from a parent who started a year ago

home schooling 2 scaled

Interest in home-schooling has blown up during the coronavirus crisis, as an increasing number of families take their children’s education into their own hands instead of waiting for districts to decide whether or not to reopen, and how. Doing so can cost up to $1,800 annually per child, reports Time4learning.com in Kiplinger’s. Nevertheless, a new study shows that home-schooling is at least on the minds of 80 percent of parents out there. Abby Schwartz, who has been home-schooling three of her four children for more than a year, thought she…

Read More

Yogis who defy stereotypes share their joy

lindsey e1565464734710

Fields of Yogis is coming Aug. 23-25, and this year, the festival’s message is, yoga is for everyone. Check out Lindsey Flannery’s look at some yoga practitioners who defy the stereotype she describes below, and how this ancient practice aids in their physical healing and emotional/spiritual calming and support. Julie Cain is a mother of two, a high school Japanese teacher, a self-proclaimed “type A personality,” and an amputee. She also attends Breathing Room Yoga in Cedar Rapids, and turns to yoga for many benefits, physical and beyond. The Fields…

Read More