August Tarotscope: Take a cue from MTV and the cards, and “get real,” for real

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“It’s time to stop being polite and start getting real…. WITH OURSELVES.” You may recognize this as one of the many key slogans of MTV’s “The Real World”. It’s a phrase that resonates for a reason: because it’s time. Time to hear your own thoughts and connect with your whole, authentic self. Time to cut out external influences. Time to realize that we are all part of something larger than ourselves — and what is happening around each of us right now is bigger than any of us could have…

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

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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…

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‘Coming out’ again: The Real MainStream brighter, better, and reinvented

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Read about how The Real MainStream is reworking itself to better serve Iowa and Illinois. Whenever I run across one of my keepsake copies of the first 13 editions of The Real MainStream, published before the current worldwide pandemic, I feel awash in memories and sensations. “We’ll never give up the handshake!” joked a customer and I in early March. Mere days later, he and dozens of others in our circulation area announced they were saying “no” to not only handshakes, but all in-store traffic for a few months.  Back…

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Love Letter to my Black Queer People

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I see you. Every time I sit down to write this column, to put into words all the tender spots in my heart, I feel this extreme tiredness. The kind of tiredness that, even in 90-degree heat, sinks you right back under the covers. I keep thinking about all the eyes that will see it. All the non-Black hearts that will try to connect with the love I intend only to go to you, my Black queer people. All the non-Black minds that will dissect and analyze all the words…

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From WTF to illumination: July Tarotscope for the Collective

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WTF?? That’s the impetus for this month’s tarotscope. It conveys frustration, exhaustion, and exasperation. It’s a universal and collective WTF to this year, this country, this society. And it’s more of a statement than a question. The first six months of 2020 were a wake up call for many people. A lot of others chose to remain asleep, but that is a story for another day. Those of us who began to awake saw, for the first time, the mirage-like quality of our lives — something symbolized in the Castles…

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Tarotscope: A Time of Unlearning (June 6-17)

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As a heteronormative, cisgender, white woman of European and English descent, who has lived a life of privilege, I feel inappropriate when I say, “I am tired.” But I am. Many of us are. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Being tired is good. It means we are doing the Work. It means we are pulling our heads out of the sand. If you’re white, it hopefully means you are swallowing the pride that comes with the color of your skin. You’re starting the long and arduous process of dismantling, brick…

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Iowa Freedom Riders: Beyond the spray paint and marching

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Four nights of spray-painting and road-blocking throughout Iowa City, by a group now known as the Iowa Freedom Riders, has inspired the gamut of reactions: anger, support, frustration, sadness, and confusion. But protest leaders are now entering a new phase, which includes a detailed explanation of their demands for steps they believe local institutions should take to help end systemic racism. Read this column from Mandi Nichols, director of the Corridor Community Action Network, authorized by protest leaders to help educate the public on how the Freedom Riders’ requests are…

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UIHC staff nurse: We can say ‘protest better,’ or we can be better

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Not what I expected when I came into work at the hospital tonight. We are starting our night shift, when we learn that the movement many of us have thrown our complete (well, almost complete) support behind is outside vandalizing our building. We gathered for George Floyd, put out statements of solidarity, shared support on social media– I know nurses who even served as medics during Iowa City protests. We were confused, some of us angry. Many still are. Healthcare workers who otherwise are allies to the movement asking: “What…

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