First published on Electric Literature

When I arrived at Bennington College as an undergraduate in 1996, I had almost no expectations for the type of education I was about to receive. What had drawn me there, to the other side of the country, was the promise that Bennington offered: that…


2:40 p.m.: I know I have to leave in five literal actual minutes to pick up my kid from school, but I really just want to finish this spreadsheet I am working on and if I don’t get these last few cells filled in, I think I might scream. …


About 10 years ago, an education consultant named Jamie Vollmer wrote a list. If you are a teacher or a school administrator, there’s a good chance you know about this list, even if you don’t know who Vollmer is. …


“What if instead of ‘behind,’ this group of kids is advanced because of this?”

That’s the question posed by a blog post I’ve seen making the rounds on Facebook. The post considers the idea that there may be silver linings in this global pandemic for those kids who will now…


“Hug trap?”

My daughter is waiting for me on the couch. She has built a nest: blankets, old and worn. A squashed pillow. They are crumpled on our couch, and she is waiting there.

This is what she wants: to crash into me, to slap her hands against my body…


One woman I know got Joey Lucas from “The West Wing,” the calm, clever and capable political pollster played by Marlee Matlin.

Another got Lisa Simpson, poster child of every girl who grew up unafraid to stand up for what she believed in (and almost definitely smarter than most of…


I’ve just finished up listening to “Stay Free: the Story of the Clash,” the 8-episode podcast narrated by Chuck D, and besides totally fangirling out over a band I really loved, I started thinking a lot about exactly what made the Clash so great — and discovered that those same…


In the 1985 young adult novel “I’ll Take Manhattan,” 15-year-old Amanda gets burned when she shares an idea with a powerful person who profits off it without her permission. Amanda quickly learns that she was naive to share her ideas with someone in her industry.

But if you’re a freelancer…


Dear Amazon,

Can you believe it’s been 20 years? I mean, the time has just flown by.

We were both so different back in 1998 — me, a shy undergrad with a bad haircut and acne; you, an up-and-coming online retailer who had just made the big time by going…


Frederick Winslow Taylor, eat your heart out.

The pioneer of scientific management would no doubt give at least a nod of professional admiration to the patent filed by Tye Michael Brady of Seattle, Washington, for a “wrist band haptic feedback system.”

This fantastical (and as yet still imaginary) system would…

Emily Popek

Emily F. Popek, a school communications professional and freelance journalist, lives in upstate New York with her family.

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