They are complex people with elaborate backstories and many liberal arts degrees.

Photo by Ali Yahya on Unsplash

I was training a new staff member to calculate a ticket total including our city’s 8.75% restaurant tax. He took this opportunity to proudly announce that he wasn’t a number guy and had graduated with a liberal arts degree.

“We all have liberal arts degrees,” I said. “That’s why we are in the service industry. I’ve got a Master’s in Italian.”

I gestured to the rest of the staff for their input:

“Theatre Tech.”

“Studio Arts.”


I was born into the world of restaurants. At the tender…

When I told my mom a vase full of baby teeth had come into my possession, she said, “Those are mine. I paid for them.”

Photo by Umanoide on Unsplash

I spent five years away from home. I tried on the mantle of New Yorker for a while, endeavored to live as a ski bum in Colorado, fell in love, and ultimately convinced my paramour to sojourn back to my homeland.

As we settled into our new apartment, my dad saw the return of his prodigal daughter as a chance to unload the contents of his storage unit. On top of unpacking the myriad of boxes from our long-distance move came a borage of totes containing the preserved contents of my childhood and teenage years. …

A card from a third grader that reads: “Thank you for yelling at us. It makes us listen.” Take note of the speech bubble coming from scribbled character that I assume is me.

I tried to stay away from a career in education.

Two distinct paths diverged if I were to follow the vocational pursuits of my bloodline. My paternal grandmother and my father were/are teachers — first grade and middle school math, respectively. My mother’s side includes three generations of restaurateurs. Through college, I eked out a living as a waitress, but was excited to tread new territory as I collected my college degrees and entered the workforce.

However, after a meandering decade in the workforce, I have two mainstays of income: education and restaurants.

It can be hard to escape the…

The Upstanders Mural in Memphis, Tennessee celebrates Memphians who embraced the challenged to speak out and stand up for others in order to create a more inclusive and just society.

In my career, I have often stood on the periphery of youth education and parent engagement. From New York City to Salt Lake City, I have sat in many administrative meetings where staff who worked with children sought solutions on how to involve diverse families in the education of their children.

I believe we were asking the wrong question.

Instead of asking how we could get parents of diverse backgrounds on board with their children’s education, we should have been asking how we could adapt education to meet their diverse family backgrounds.

In grad school, I came across an seven…

Before my dad sold his house, we had to go through our old belongings. Among those, where two of my beloved LOTR posters.
Before my dad sold his house, we had to go through our old belongings. Among those, where two of my beloved LOTR posters.
When my dad sold his house, we were forced to go through the boxes we had saved from our school days. This photo was me saying goodbye to these Lord of the Rings movie posters featuring Frodo and Aragorn.

I remember the first crush that truly engulfed my senses and consumed my adolescent soul hit with a fury in eighth grade.

I remember distinctly because it first gathered steam in Mr. Smith’s Algebra class in the notes Sarah and I passed. You see, Sarah dubbed the graceful elf Legolas the most desirable character of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring while my affections laid firmly with Frodo. He was the hero, after all. [Though, after a few years’ perspective, I would come to regard Samwise as the true hero of the series.] Legolas was just…

Like what Matthew McConaughey said about High School girls in Dazed and Confused, I keep getting older, but Holden Caulfield stays the same age. Only I’m not sure I love it.

Every so often I resist the compulsion to splatter the following quote all over the social media channels to which I subscribe: “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”

The line comes from J.D. Salinger’s masterwork, The Catcher in the Rye.

A knock-knock joke faux pas and some serious reflection.

Time: 9:27pm

Location: Kitchen

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

September Eleventh.

This isn’t a September Eleventh joke, is it?

Just ask, “September Eleventh who?”

Okay. September Eleventh who?

You said, “Never forget!”

My cousin was actually in the Twin Towers that day.

Oh wow.

He was on the sixty-first floor. They told everyone above the sixtieth floor to go up. That they would be evacuated by helicopter from the top of the building. But the helicopters never came. If he’d been one floor lower, he may have lived.

Oh my gosh, your…

Veronica Rose Scheidler

A dilettante with an M.A. in Italian and an M.Ed. Once a palm reader told me that writing and drawing would figure prominently in my career.

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