Kenny & Shannon’s pink, bohemian, backyard New Orleans tiny wedding (in photos)

October 2020 — March 2021; pieces of a journal which is being retired

October 3, 2020 — The angel trumpet trees are hanging heavy with pink blooms. I try to count them and stop at one hundred. The storm last night left another hundred wilting on the cement, wet and sticky and needing to be removed. This summer we have been trying to keep three plants alive: Thai basil, peppermint, and mojito mint. The president has Covid.

October 21, 2020 — Gray morning at Crescent Park. City buildings sit, gray, their 80’s architecture marring an otherwise-charming view. There is a…

Rain vignettes from Sierra Leone, Vietnam, and South Korea

Freetown: A single yellow light bulb throws hot color over the room. The people in the house are sleeping. Their foreheads are beaded with sweat, the mosquitoes buzzing around the white mesh nets which loosely hang over their beds. I tossed my sheet aside hours ago. I watch the geckos and the spiders crawl and jump across the tiled floor in the living room, focus on the feeling of my skin as it melts into the orange fake-crushed-velvet couch. …

And why you should do it anyway

First and foremost, they will hire an anti-union law firm or consultant.

Be prepared for barriers

I am a staunch defender of abortion, but this is not my story. I am 32 years old, and I have never been pregnant. This doesn’t make me special; it makes me an outlier.

In the U.S., the average age of first sexual intercourse is 17 and the average age of menopause is 51. Within these 34 fertile years, a woman will ovulate around 408 times. The odds are incredibly high that during one of these ovulations, birth control will fail in some way. Perhaps a partner will insist on not using protection, or medication will…

Not every White Christian is in the KKK. But every KKK member is a White Christian.

This article is not meant to lend any legitimacy to the Ku Klux Klan. Few organizations are as universally recognized and abhorred. Known colloquially as ‘the Klan’ or ‘the KKK’, the original cell was formed in Tennessee around 1865 as a response to the American Civil War. The Klan is known for terrorizing and murdering Black people, Jewish people, and basically every other minority. They have active cells in 20–30 states and a reported 3,000 members, though the actual number could be higher or…

Now we wait and see if our worst fears will be realized

We all knew this was a possibility. We’ve been discussing it since 2016, that awful year when “that’ll never happen,” became “I can’t believe that happened.” And now “I can’t believe that happened,” is uttered daily by white academics and liberals all over the country (let’s be honest, Black and brown people are almost never surprised). By all accounts, RBG didn’t step down during Obama’s second term because she believed she would be serving out her last few years under our first female president. She didn’t believe that…

all the cool kids are doing it

Recently, I went home for a family visit. I made a joke about my therapist; there was an uncomfortable silence. I realized (with some awe) that none of my family members have ever been to therapy, and neither have several of my nearest and dearest friends. Some articles have called millennials the therapy generation, but to many, talking to a professional about your mental health is still seen as an emergency measure, instead of what it could and should be — a preventative one.

Growing up, I always viewed therapy as a last…

But there might be something wrong with us

I just finished watching ‘Cuties’ on Netflix. I found absolutely nothing controversial about it. In fact, if I had a son or daughter between the ages of 10 and 18, I would most definitely watch it again, with them sitting comfortably on the floor as I perched on the couch, gauging their reactions to certain scenes. I would love to use it as a discussion tool - the teacher in me will never retire. It seems an amazing way to start a conversation with children about hyper-sexualization vs. sexual repression, about aggression…

Nine things you should have if you’re being asked to work in a school building this year.

Before I get into the meat of this article, I want to point out something important: all of the things I’m proposing cost money. But this time, it may be money we have. Schools received sizable amounts in the spring CARES act, and most have held onto a portion of it, waiting to see how long in-person instruction lasts before purchasing more supplies. Both Democrats and Republicans have approved another wave of relief for public schools — this article simply provides a spending…

Shannon Brown

Early Childhood Educator. New Orleans, Louisiana. Travel Writer — Fodor’s Essential Guide to Vietnam.

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