I don’t feel like procreating right now. Let’s move on shall we?

Shoot the Messenger

A weird thing happened the day that I got engaged. Apparently a memo was sent out to every individual I was ever to come into contact with for the rest of my adult life, informing them that they had a vested interest in the contents (or lack thereof) of my womb.

I’ve been married for nearly three years now, and I can say – hand on heart – that not a single month has gone by in that period (pardon the pun) where a person hasn’t asked me the question. THAT question. The question that makes my stomach clench, my blood boil in my body, and my mind scamper to and fro like a trapped mouse:

“So, when are you having kids then?”

At first I’d laugh it off. Surely they were just being friendly. The news of a new marriage is kind of like the news of a bereavement…

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Society Tried To Keep Up With Pop Culture. What Happened Next Will Melt Your Brain.

Ashish Shakya

(Note: This was part of the HT Brunch cover story for 3rd August 2014. You can read the shorter print version here.)

“I cried because my 3G was down, until I met a man who had no smartphone.” – Rumi

The internet is arguably the greatest invention of the 21st century, second only to the polio vaccine and the cyborg that assumed the form of Mick Jagger many years ago. Like the best drugs in the world, it offers escape in enslavement and we’re only too happy to roll up our sleeves for the friendly neighbourhood wi-fi dealer. The sensory overload it offers is eclectic, to say the least. On the one hand, it allows us to obsess over a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who joins an ad agency in the ‘60s so that he can drink Scotch all day and bide his time, before marching through an expanse of undulating…

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Call It Rape

Longreads

Margot Singer | The Normal School | 2012 | 23 minutes (5,683 words)

The Normal SchoolThanks to Margot Singer and The Normal School for sharing this story with the Longreads community.
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Still life with man and gun

Three girls are smoking on the back porch of their high school dorm. It’s near midnight on a Saturday in early autumn, the leaves not yet fallen, the darkness thick. A man steps out of the woods. He is wearing a black ski mask, a hooded jacket, leather gloves. He has a gun. He tells the girls to follow him, that if they make a noise or run he’ll shoot. He makes them lie face down on the ground. He rapes first one and then the others. He walks away.

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I’m not an outstanding teacher. Nor is anyone.

Disappointed Idealist

Guardian Link

This article appeared in the Guardian this morning. There’s much in it I agree with.

 School leaders [] have been informed that this country’s teachers are failing, and that they must take charge of a lazy and unprofessional teaching staff, leading to suspicion within our schools. [] I often found that by 9:30am (by which point I had been at school for two hours) I felt I had been reprimanded five or six times in emails to all staff, or in departmental meetings, or staff briefings – all a direct result of current education policies.

This had me nodding along, and at some point in the future I’ll probably have a full spleen vent about the adoption of Cult of The Leader enforcement nonsense by rather too many SLTs. However, this is only a quick piece, and I want to focus on this :

I am an outstanding teacher.

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