Who am I, why am I here … and why have I had so many jobs?

Photo by author.

I’m a deep thinker from way back. As a small child, I recall wondering, for example, why my first grade teacher was so unhappy. Her name was Mrs. Sullivan and she didn’t seem to like first-graders.

Since then, I’ve discovered that teaching is a profession that can make it difficult to appreciate any age group, from 6 to 26. I added teacher to my criminally long list of jobs a few years back. They might cough up a clue or two to explain me.

Buckle up, Medium readers, you’re in for a bumpy ride.

1. Delivering newspapers (The Washington Times)…

The tragic story of a beautiful person wrongly accused of murder, and her life on the run

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Lawrencia Ann Bembenek was a tall, striking young woman. She could have chosen nearly any career, but she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps. He had briefly worked for the Milwaukee Police Department, and from a young age she wanted to become a police officer.

The youngest of three girls, she grew up Catholic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1960s. She ran the hurdles on her high school track team and took up the flute, graduating in 1976. For a couple of years, she attended junior college before working as a waitress and model. …

Is it the calories or the chemicals?

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The CDC reports 16 states now count over 35% of their residents as obese. For African-Americans, Southerners, and Midwesterns, the rates are higher. In 2018, only nine states reported the same statistic, so the obesity trend is worsening before our eyes.

Mississippi, Alabama, and West Virginia have the most obese individuals, at 39.7, 39.1, and 39% respectively.

Nothing so far about these stats is surprising, unfortunately, but they raise a question we’ve all asked at one time or another — what is causing us to keep getting fatter? Why are the poor at such higher risk?

In the U.S., the…

Shopping for food should be a delight, but it’s often a hassle

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The golden age of grocery shopping is about twenty-three years old when you’ve recently emerged from college, feeling adultish. If you skipped college, it’s 19, when you’ve found your first apartment and now can buy whatever food you want, whenever you want.

You feel powerful pushing that cart, lining up your haul on the little conveyer belt.

This lasts a few years. The thrill of coming home with cereal, learning new recipes, and discovering the names of exotic vegetables does a slow burn throughout the twenties. …

Never, ever stop using adjectives. Ever, hear me

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Ricky Graves killed it on Medium last week, racking up thousands of a followers in a single, genre-slashing series of skull-crushing moves using superlatives like they were cheap dime store novels.

His headlines, that’s where Ricky ruled the universe. He dominated by overusing the words “stop,” “start,” “never,” and, mostly, “totally.”

Cuz Ricky don’t play by the normal rules, he plays by all the rules that ever lived.

He’s a millionaire, a top writer, and a viral phenom. He’s the Lil NasX of Medium, but without as much research and verisimilitude.

How do you get to Ricky’s level? It’s all…

Here we go again

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My biology does not like the changing of the seasons, except for Spring into Summer. No amount of thinking, exercising, Googling, or vitamins helps — I just feel like crap.

Autumn is the beginning of the end.

Other people, those bastards, are sucking down pumpkin lattes and looking skyward for floating red and orange leaves and falling in love in Central Park. Hunters are stalking deer. The cool mornings beckon people to sip coffee from their porches while wearing wool caps and thinking about the people in their lives who are photogenic, just like them.

I only want to stay…

A guide for women of a certain generation

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Women don’t tend to know much about weightlifting, although Ruth Bader Ginsburg did wonders for the sport. As a form of fitness, it’s arguably better than aerobics, but a lot of us don’t participate because it seems macho or is otherwise intimidating.

Barbells and dumbbells include a lot of grunting and sweating and bulging. Everyone who does it looks like they could haul a locomotive with their teeth, at least in the photos.

Our avoidance of weights is unfortunate, because lifting weights is a cornerstone of vibrant health and despite the complicated gym rat formulas for how to build muscle…


The delusion of anti-mask, anti-vax, anti-law US citizens

Image courtesy WikiCommons.

A woman at a rally, holding a sign that says, in red-white-and-blue, “I CALL THE SHOTS” exemplifies the ongoing COVID insanity. She’s said it plain as day, what she wants: to be in charge of something.

At the very least, every anti-vaxxer wants full control of his or her own life.

Against a virus, you don’t call the shots. None of us has full control over our lives, from birth to death.

We are at the mercy of all sorts of forces, including other people, hurricanes, illness, aging, death, the economy, and — the next visit from your mother-in-law.


How my career as a high school teacher flew off a cliff

Photo by Dan Barrett on Unsplash

I switched careers in my early forties. After trying teaching at a local for-profit disasterpiece of a college, I figured I could manage high school. I was warned, and it turned out to be true — high school was harder.

I was very lucky because I got hired on Emergency Certification, which is educator talk for “we can’t find anyone crazy enough to teach these classes.”

They assigned me to an inner city school with the learning disabled and emotional disabled kids, where you had to hide your copy paper stash because we were so low on supplies.

I was…

Jean Campbell

Writer in true crime, humor and poetry. For more, check out my web page at https://jxcampbell.com

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