Tier 1 Brewers

Photo by Jordan Sanchez on Unsplash

If you’re following along with me after exploring my initial post about home brewing, welcome back! If you’re reading this for the first time, check my initial post if you’d like with some background on all this!

We are going to discuss the entry level (Tier 1) for brewing coffee at home. There is a lot of variety to equipment, and the initial costs may vary depending on what is affordable to each person. I have bought a lot of equipment (more than I need) because I jumped into brewing coffee without too much guidance.

Hopefully those reading this/interested can…

Demystifying Coffee

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I have written a few times now about coffee — in particular, specialty coffee. This does not mean that I am describing some kind of snobbish, bougie, or stereotyped “craft [insert your cuisine or drink of choice]”, though specialty coffee can become a craft like any other skill or trade. In fact, I would like to demystify some of the negative connotations of “craft coffee” and in the future attempt decolonize other “craft ___” by introducing a better canon for discussing the idea of craft.

For now, let’s define specialty coffee and give it a little context. I will not…

Imagining Transformative Classrooms

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Issue Discussion

Classroom diversity is transforming the way schools look since more areas across the United States have increased a variety of student populations. Students and teachers are more connected to the sociocultural differences across the globe as technology and other societal trends have increased awareness of these differences. With these changes, education has increased its focus and interest in adopting better teaching and learning strategies in the classroom. Culturally responsive teaching (CRT) is one pedagogy shifting the educational paradigm. …

Life’s Tools

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I have not been well lately. This may not be a surprise to anyone and this could be the case for many people right now, as the world continues to shift in daily or weekly chunks.

I either have a hard time keeping up or I’m constantly binge watching a week or a month period of time over a couple of hours scrolling Twitter and Instagram at 2 AM. Either way, neither are productive or sustainable.

Some days time is a loop, others it is suspended in my mind. There are days it bounces between both. In fact, I have…

More connected and loving societies

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The Collaborate for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) gives an excellent description of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), which in the context of the academic environment offers each of us as learners and participants of learning atmospheres an appropriate space to explore culture. CASEL defines SEL as a “process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, skills necessary to understand and manage emotions… attain positive goals and relationships… and make responsible decisions.” Why is this important for exploring culture? …

Marie Dhalstrom

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Dear Marie,

I do not happen to remember when I first listened to your music. In some way, I love that: I can have something be so good that I cannot remember when it first began or how, but I recognize it is here now and that I cannot imagine it going away. I feel this about your album, but I hear some of that in the music too. Where songs grapple with holding on to something or someone or how easily it can slip away like with the songs “Like Sand” and “Time”. …

I love you, she says

Photo by Jay Skyler on Unsplash

**After & In Conversation with, Tracy K. Smith’s, “Wade In The Water”**


At the register, the older black woman greets me.

She scans two water bottles and a warm sandwich.

I love you

She says, handing me the receipt.

I believe her and we are no longer strangers

not lovers or family but tangled in something else.

I love you

to another bald black guy in a suit

paying in cash

I love you

to the gray-haired white man

buying boxes of Marlboro.


I love you, now, hearing it in a kind of way

That makes the words…

Small Improvements Over Time

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

There are certain things that need to be repeated until they last. Daily habits matter. It is easy for me to believe that in the moment and after a few more moments, I am torn away from that commitment consumed by the future, a problem, or stuck in a loop. I get lost in my days and neglect the habits. I have seen my days at their best and worst, the only constant is that no “todays” are the same. I believe in balance — that good moments happen while destructive ones occur. Our collective freedom, individual pursuit, and conflicting…

Vignette: Jamila Woods

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

Dear Jamila,

I showed up to Union Stage with my sister to your concert. It was my first time seeing you live. I was excited. I bought a couple drinks and purchased a copy of the book you helped curate and edit “The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic.” I just want to say thank you, ahead of anything for that night, your album, and allowing my beautiful black sister to bask in the legacy you sing of and the legacy you are creating.

This album, an ode to the legacy of black and brown artists, singers, musicians, writers…

Ryan O'Neal Jr.

Poems and Coffee

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