Friday Five!

Hello readers, happy Friday! It’s been quite a week for me. Do you want to hear about it? Okay!

On Monday, I went to H&R Block to do my taxes (per the advice of many friends who said it would be worth it), and walked out with an IRA. Oh, don’t know what that is? Neither did I! It’s a retirement fund that people apparently know they are supposed to have. I felt like a grown-up and a class-traitor. Saving for retirement is not really a thing for working-class people who live paycheck to paycheck, so it wasn’t really on my radar as a kid. And now that I “pass” as middle-class, things are just complicated. Being in academia is such an exercise in class-performing and class-hopping. My last tax year I made more money than I’ve ever made before (note: this is not a high bar to break), so the H&R block people were like, “You’re a professor, you can do this.” But I then had to explain that, given the precarious state of academic labor, I am currently unemployed for next school year so I may need these dollars to, you know, like, live now, not when I’m 65. Still, somehow they—and my desire to not make fear-based decisions—got me to sign up for a very (very) modest start to an IRA. ANYWAY. Being a grownup is weird. And being an academic is rough. But now I have a retirement fund, so….let me buy you a drink in thirty years?

In more exciting news, the college where I currently work asked me to teach a summer session class for them…in England! All expenses paid, plus a stipend. All I’m expected to do is teach one class to a mix of US and UK students, and attend all the fun little excursion trips the students go on. I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to do it, but ultimately this is an opportunity one should not pass up, right? So, I signed a contract on Wednesday, and I’ll be heading to Wroxton for the month of June! It’s scary but I know it’s going to be super amazing. Life is full of surprises.

Otherwise, my week was full of Yoga and Yoga Sculpt. I’m helping lead the Yoga Sculpt Teacher Training, meaning I’m teaching future-teachers how to teach, which is pretty amazing. I get to spend many hours of my week talking yoga and fitness pedagogy. RAD.

So that brings us to today. And because I am about to leave for an impromptu visit to Providence to see this gal perform, this is how I feel about today:


And here is the Friday Five to help kick that off!


14 Caribbean Nations Sue Former Colonizers for Slave Trade

This is awesome and should be standard for all colonized peoples and nations. I hope they win their demands: “an official apology, a cancelation of debts and assistance for cultural and educational institutions.” #powertothepeople

What It’s Like to Be Intersex

I was so excited to see a friend of mine from college featured in this delightful and important video about being intersex. Pidge (the one who talks about intersex dinosaurs) has been doing amazing intersex activist work for years, and this video is a great teaching tool that can aide in creating a world with more gender justice!

In Celebration of Old-School Livejournal

I loved reading this essay from Lindsey Gates-Markel about the beauty that was the internet platform, Livejournal. Were you on it? I was a faithful LJ-er all through college, and could have written the exact lines that Lindsey wrote: “I wanted to make poetry out of life, to believe that life was good and beautiful, and when I was younger, that never seemed difficult. I posted on LiveJournal most days, often with a great sense of relief that it was finally time to write it all down. I bound zines full of writing I’d posted on LiveJournal; I got into college using essays I’d started on LiveJournal. The world seemed to always be shedding those riches Rilke spoke of, shiny coins from shallow pockets. I wanted to collect them, keep them all, warm them in my palms.” The vulnerability and community that LJ enabled felt so important. Having this blog is very different. I don’t write about as much personal stuff and it doesn’t feel as…cozy? Secret? Special? I don’t know how to describe it, but blogging is different than journaling (even internet-journaling). Naturally this makes sense that as we all get older we put up more walls, don’t feel like we’re allowed to process things with such unabashed emotion, but I’m so grateful I had a space for all that back then!

Healthy Vegan Falafel

When I first became vegan, I ate so much falafel. There was this little market in Cleveland that made this incredible falafel wrap that all the punks were obsessed with. We’d go there before shows and fill up on the fried, spicy treat. Fast forward 12 (!) years and my stomach cannot handle that deep-fried business even a little bit. But I still miss falafel, and so I’ve often tried to make healthier, not-fried versions. This recipe from Groumandelle is totally going to be added to my list of healthy falafels to make!


Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy

deciding to go to England and daydreaming about my adventures there; i wouldn’t say starting an IRA made me happy, per se, but I am happy at the idea of having some stability in the future, so it’ll make the list; yoga sculpt teacher training and seeing all the growth from the trainees!; positive feedback from my studio manager; kitten snuggles to the max; friend phone calls; friend emails; friends texts; attending a workshop on “making peace with your past” at the meditation center; taking the train around town and finding joy in the details of my urban surroundings; attending my first opera! (with a very dear friend!); being asked to teach a yoga workshop on the third chakra; sleep; water; witnessing my (college) students get outraged by the reality of the prison industrial complex and hearing some of them start to own abolitionist viewpoints; buying myself purple tulips just because; warmer weather and walking around in it; songs that make me believe it will all be okay.


What made you happy this week? Have a great weekend! xoxo

12 thoughts on “Friday Five!

  1. Lauren S says:

    Ahh! The live journal article gave me all the feels! Even though I never kept a public one, my many notebooks make me relate. Feeling kinship with Syliva Plath at 15! And I wrote that Rilke quote on so many first pages. Did Facebook kill that? Or adulthood? Speaking of adulthood, congrats on opening an IRA! The good thing about them is you can take out what you put in if there’s ever an emergency. I am also so excited for your hop across the pond. <3

  2. saraheclement says:

    I can’t do the adult thing, even though I know that I should! Both my partner and I just have our savings accounts and standard superannuation (like 401K in the US, only it’s mandatory for your employer to pay for it on top of your salary…I have an ethical superannuation fund, and it’s an absolute disaster financially), but I know it’s not enough. Sometimes being an adult sucks…I mean, who wants to talk to people about shares and returns, etc?

    Congrats on the UK trip! I suspect things will be more similar to the US since you have American students, but just be aware that university in the UK is quite different. The students are more reserved and take a bit more prodding to engage in discussion. They aren’t as quick to share their opinions.

    • raechel says:

      Totally agreed on the adult stuff. No fun.

      Thanks for the tip about UK students! That will be an adjustment for me…I’m a big proponent of discussion-based classes, so this will be interesting…..

  3. lacy j. davis says:

    omg your life is on FIRE right now. It seems like a good week!

    I still have a livejournal, although sparsely updated, and follow a few of them religiously. I love feelings, what can i say!?

    • raechel says:

      I love that you and Kelly both still have LJ’s! It makes me want to start mine back up! #FEELINGS!

      My life is kind of on fire, isn’t it? Thanks for pointing that out, even in all this it’s sometimes easy to forget! : )

  4. Hannah Siegmund @ThisVeganWhimsyh says:

    Oh, LiveJournal. I always think of that time in my life with fondness, even though I was full of teen angst and terrible poetry. Livejournal made it seem interesting, and the people I met there helped me through some really tough times. I’m still friends with a few of them.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

    • raechel says:

      That’s great you’re still friends with some! I never ended up connecting with many people I didn’t know IRL, but I miss the way it brought me closer to my friends who were on there. Glad you liked the article. : )

  5. onesonicbite says:

    Such a great collection! Congrats on your IRA (I agree that everyone should try and put something in them, even if it is seems pitifully small) and your job in the UK.

    The Livejournal post was cool. I first opened it thinking it wasn’t going to strike too much of a cord with me since I used Livejournal but mostly because it was easier to keep track than individual blogs (until sites like feedly and bloglovin came out) But it still reminded me of my high school days of coding, writing about live on the internet, and such.

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