Even at a school that yearns for racial equity, I constantly feel like this profession is a path to nowhere

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Photo: Robin Worrall

By Erin Crosby-Eckstine

It was a cool and sunny spring afternoon the first time I heard one of my students use the N-word. It was lunch, and a few tenth-graders had crowded into my classroom to eat and talk about video games after my fourth-period English class. I was a student teacher at the time, and I was in charge of all the morning classes that day, as my mentor teacher was out sick. Her absence didn’t phase me; I’d grown close with my first-ever cohort of students, and it was far enough into the year that I felt comfortable in the classroom. …


I ask myself every day

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Photo: Charles Deluvio

By Carla Bruce-Eddings

I’ve become very used to hearing “I don’t know how you do it!” from friends who don’t have children, and I’m never sure of how to respond. It’s not that I think people who don’t have children are having an easy time — I know they wrestle with the same existential dread that I do. It’s just that I don’t know how I’m doing it either. I don’t have a choice.

I have a 5-year-old , and thankfully, I have a job I can do from home. I wash dishes and do puzzles and work and clean up spilled paint and Kinetic Sand, and — like so many other parents — I’m both here and not here. …


It was a beloved chain, known for its accessibility and acceptance. But ex-employees say it felt more like a cult.

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Photo: Wesley Tingey

By Madeleine Aggeler

For years, Yoga to the People billed itself as a different kind of yoga experience: Forget the expensive yoga mats, the designer leggings, the Instagram-ready studios, and the deified teachers; this was yoga stripped down to its essentials. The company emphasized accessibility and acceptance and fostered a sense of community that earned it a devoted legion of students and teachers at its studios across the country. “No ego no script no pedestals,” its website once read.

When the company abruptly shut down in early July, it seemed Yoga to the People was just another beloved business lost in its prime to the coronavirus pandemic. But according to former employees, behind the company’s shiny, friendly façade was a dark and dysfunctional workplace built on secrecy and manipulation. Their stories started coming to light just five days before Yoga to the People announced on its website that it was closing down for good. On an Instagram account called YttP Shadow Work, dozens of anonymous posts alleged widespread discrimination and misconduct. “I was told if I wore sexier clothes I would get to teach more classes,” reads one post. “At the end of the day, both black and brown people are being very abused here,” says another. Many of the posts have trigger warnings: “sexual misconduct,” “racial discrimination,” “body shaming,” “manipulation,” “suicide.” …


What did we want from sourdough? And did we get it after all?

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Photo: Mathilda Khoo

By Matthew Schneier

Remember sourdough? Almost as soon as the world went into lockdown and everyone turned artisanal survivalist, it seemed to be everywhere: burbling in warm, dark corners; feeding, multiplying, inspiring trend stories and backlash to the trend stories, and choking social media; seducing Jake Gyllenhaal; obsessing an antsy, underoccupied populace. The air seemed palpably tarter, lactobacilli luxuriating in paradise. It was sourdough, sourdough, sourdough. Jesus never made so many loaves. “Making bread must be easy,” the comedian Sandy Honig tweeted a month or so into our leavened confinement, “if all you fucking morons are doing it.”

As Americans battened down and homesteaded like there was no tomorrow — which, in fairness, there still may not be — they rediscovered their inner prairie pioneers, embracing all the things that just yesterday seemed like fattening, allergen-rich evils: gluten, sugar, carbs, bread. Baking tends to run countercyclical to the economic moment. When people feel prosperous, they eat out and shop; a recession comes and they retreat to the kitchen to knead. After the recession of 2008 to 2009, flour experienced an increase in business. That was a wave. This was — in the words of Karen Colberg, co-CEO of the Vermont baking-goods supplier King Arthur — a “tsunami.” The company, whose roots date back to 1790, found itself suddenly pandemic-famous. Its inventory was wiped out in less than a month and won’t be reliably replenished until next month at the earliest. And while King Arthur can’t track where each cup of its flour goes, it has a pretty good idea: In March, sourdough starter became the №1 most searched recipe on its website and stayed there for months. …


When a woman dares respond to it, she’s seen as “disruptive”

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Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

By Rebecca Traister

On Thursday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stood up and gave one of the finest speeches recently heard on the House floor, calling out not just Florida representative Ted Yoho for having called her “disgusting,” “out of your freaking mind,” and a “fucking bitch” on the steps of the Capitol in front of reporters on Tuesday, but also elucidating how that kind of language is normalized and deployed against all kinds of women, on all kinds of days.

It was a remarkable piece of oratory, clear and thoughtful about some of the knottiest dynamics of gendered power imbalance in political, public, and personal life. …


Improve your work, and maybe your soul

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Photo: Steve Johnson

By Meaghan O’Connell

In the many, many years I spent wanting to be a writer but unable to write anything other than very long emails to men who didn’t care about me, I would read books and essays and wonder how the people who wrote them were so consistently brilliant. How did they make their brains work so that a joke or a cutting insight or a clever turn of phrase occurred to them every other sentence? I imagined their writing process was like mine at 23 and 24 and 25, when I sat down and expelled a single meandering draft, except that theirs was in The Paris Review, and mine was posted to Tumblr at 1 a.m. …


A growing number of day camps have seen outbreaks of COVID-19, despite requiring masks and physical distancing. Here’s what that means for school reopenings in the fall.

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Photo: Aaron Burden

By Anna Silman

After three and a half months in lockdown with her two kids, ages 3 and 6, Hannah Lebovits was desperate to get the children out of the house and have some time for herself. “I’m behind on everything; my husband’s behind on everything. We just cannot keep up,” says Lebovits, who is getting ready to start a new job in the fall as an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. When she considered sending her kids to day camp, safety was her main focus. While Lebovits was concerned that Texas was seeing record numbers of new cases in June, she was optimistic that the numbers in Collin County, where the Jewish day camp Gan Israel was located, were much lower than in nearby Dallas. And the camp seemed to be taking the threat of the virus seriously: It required masks on counselors and older kids, small group sizes and as much physical distancing wherever possible, temperature checks every day, no parents allowed on the property, mandatory packed lunches, limited activities inside, and screening counselors who came in from out of state. …


How can writing make room for uncertainty?

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Photo: David Pennington

By Naima Coster

I decided recently to start bringing my daughter to day care. I’ve worried incessantly about this choice — asking myself if I am a reckless parent, if she’ll be safe. I’ve wondered whether I should just keep her home with me and resign myself to working only during the stretch of hours between her bedtime and dawn.

While mulling over this decision, I delivered the final manuscript of my second novel to my publisher and here, too, I agonized about every choice along the way — from what my characters should say to each other in the denouement of the novel to whether to use asterisks or space breaks between sections. …


Outrage is mounting as people flood restaurants and throw parties. But most of our anger should be directed at the government.

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Photo: 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum

By Bridget Read

With the disastrous reopening of the United States under way, as the country continues to reach new coronavirus-infection heights, we find ourselves confronted with countless absurd juxtapositions in our strange reality.

These play out on the news and across social media. A doctor in Texas tells reporters that he has only three critical-care beds for ten young people with potentially fatal coronavirus infections, one week after a photo of a woman, maskless and forlorn at a restaurant, goes viral for her husband’s caption: “waiting for shredded cheese, as it’s the only way she can eat fajitas.” Reports of 900 people waiting in 100-degree heat at a single coronavirus testing site in Arizona, the new epicenter, come out after a town insists on hosting thousands of people at a Fourth of July parade because it is erring “on the side of freedom.” The coronavirus stay-at-home orders put two Americas into sharp relief: one with people who could actually stay at home and one with essential workers — working-class people, overwhelmingly people of color and immigrants — who couldn’t. Now these two Americas are meeting each other face-to-face in reopened bars and restaurants and gyms. Or, more accurately, they’re meeting face-to-mask. …


“They basically have the power of life or death over me right now.”

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Photo: Dimitri Karastelev

By Anna Silman

As the country continues its patchwork reopening and New York City barrels ahead into phase two, many people who have spent the past few months working from home are being told that it’s time to return to the office. Of course, countless “essential” workers — from health-care professionals to nannies and delivery workers — have never had the luxury of working from home and have continued to go to work throughout the pandemic at great risk to themselves. …

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