Battle Lines

This post is part of my 2019 Pride Month series “Proudly Reaffirming Identity, Diversity, and Equity,” exploring present-day issues facing the LGBTQ+ and allied communities.

It’s raining today. The sky was overcast all morning as I nurtured a throbbing hangover. Last night was my first gay wedding. Well, it wasn’t my wedding, but of all the weddings I’ve been to, this was the first same-sex affair. It was a delight. The grooms hosted an amazing party, with delicious cupcakes and a well-stocked bar at a local staple of the “gay district” in Milwaukee, and two local drag queens performed. It was beautiful.

It was, in a word, progress.

There’s a reason why this was my first gay wedding: Up until a few years ago, same-sex marriage was still illegal in most of the country. But through advocacy and activism, through raising our shared voices and not just waiting for legislators to give equality, but facing the courts and demanding it, this battle was won.

But this battle, big as it was, is just a single front in a much larger, ongoing war.

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The “Add” in Adversity

I love it when I get to use puns in my titles–it’s not quite clickbait, but it’s almost just as good. Anyways, stress. We often feel defeated by stress. We think stress is a sign of failure and inadequacy (and then we get stressed out for failing and being inadequate), but according to Kelly McGonigal, that perspective on stress is incorrect.

Instead, she says, stress makes us stronger.

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I Blame Homework

So yesterday, I should have posted this week’s teaching. But I completely forgot it was Saturday. My typical Friday involves waking up late, going to my one and only class of the day, and then working on homework all afternoon. Well yesterday I slept in late and then worked on homework all afternoon, so I forgot entirely that it was time to study–that is, study something other than schoolwork.

Today I’ve also spent the majority of my time studying, and I hadn’t realized the time I didn’t have left to pull out the Pirkei Avot until a few minutes ago when it dawned on me I’ve got to get ready to work and then head out.

Needless to say, I probably won’t be getting to my teaching this week.

But that’s alright! It’s been a trend each year I’ve done this that only half the book is read before the summer ends, and then I’m busied with school and can’t get to them all on time anyways. So maybe I’ll opt for every other week and do it year-round. We’ll have to see.

In the mean time, my apologies. I blame homework.