It's not every day you come across a popular science fiction author speaking out on what is often considered a "woman’s issue," but this one here has me scrolling through Twitter and getting pumped up with all sorts of YES.
"Just a day in the life."
How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.
The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.
Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”
The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.
Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.
As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”
Needless to say, people were impressed with Oakley’s fierce multitasking abilities.
“Tell me you're a super mom without telling me you're a super mom,” wrote one person.
Another added, “this was 100% the most badass, amazing, award deserving feat I have ever seen.”
To no one’s surprise, moms were finding the situation ultra relatable.
“I wish I could say I hadn’t run out mid breastfeed to save a chicken lol but that would be a lie,” one mom commented.
“My husband sent [this] to me and said hey look it’s you,” wrote another.
And perhaps the best comment of all:
“Girl I thought that was a water gun. Read the caption and realized it was a baby.”
Though she clearly wowed the internet, Oakley sees the entire fiasco as a mundane reality.
"It feels like an accomplishment, I suppose,'' she told TODAY, “but for me this was a day in the life."
And the winner for "Most Tasks Done In A Single Minute" goes to...Giphy
Not every mom has to save a pet goose from an eagle attack and breastfeed at the same time, but most mothers can relate to the almost comical, certainly never-ending juggling act that is parenting.
"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."
For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.
And while parents, politicians and activist debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.
This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.
In a video carried by Fox5 Atlanta, 2022 Gwinnett County Public Schools Teacher of the Year Lee Allen breaks down what he sees as the overriding problems in the county's school system. While his comments are specific to that of Gwinnett County, it's virtually impossible to not see the overlap across all of America and how the problems have become exponentially more challenging as students have migrated back to in-person learning.
"At the end of this year, I will be leaving Gwinnett County Schools, leaving behind the opportunity to submit for state teacher of the year, roughly $10,000 in salary, and most importantly, the students and colleagues I've built strong relationships with," Allen, a math teacher, says at the beginning of his remarks. "I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."
Normally, one might assume teacher pay is the overriding issue for educators like Allen. But he makes it clear that he is, in fact, leaving money on the table in order to avoid what he seems as unacceptable changes to the student body and how the district manages its teachers and the learning environment. Here are his main grievances, in order:
While Allen points fingers at administrators and student behavior, he also says that the pressures put on both students and teachers alike by COVID-19 had a catastrophic impact on learning. "The pandemic has acted as a catalyst and turned a slow negative trend into an exponential crisis," he says.
But he also offers some solutions, stating, "I won't list complaints without offering ideas for improvement."
"We all want the same thing and we cannot accomplish this without supporting one another," he says near the end of his remarks.
With more than 400,000 views already, it's clear his remarks resonated with people not just inside his small school district.
There's almost nothing more important than how we educate our children. And while the national political debate centers on areas of far less importance generated to gin up controversy and campaign fundraising, it's families and local leaders who will need to do the heavy lifting of re-prioritizing the fundamental principles of learning and leadership if we want an American educational system that can compete on the global stage in 2022 and beyond. After all, when literal award-winning educators like Allen are walking away, it's clear something more needs to be done.
"I hope she guides me to the best sales forever."
What makes a good obituary? First, it should probably reflect the essence of the recently deceased person in an authentic, honest light. Second, it should feel personal, showing how that person’s life affected the lives of others. Then, of course, the right dash of humor can certainly help spark joy in an otherwise solemn moment.
New York Times journalist Caity Weaver achieved all those things masterfully in a eulogy written for her mother—the coupon-clipping, chronically late, green-thumbed Dr. Maureen Brennan-Weaver.Caity clearly put her knack with words to good use, because her hilarious tribute quickly went viral on Twitter, leaving people not only with a good giggle, but a very precise picture of her mom.
Maureen was a mom and “rowdy aunt,” as well as a 6-foot-tall podiatrist and an “uncommonly caring” one at that.
According to Caity, Maureen “could not stop herself from buying shoes for patients if she spotted just what they needed while shopping … She categorically did not do house calls, except for patients she ‘really liked’; of these, there were so many she had to set aside whole days for house calls.” She even “occasionally accepted” baked goods as payment from her patients.
Maureen was as “pathologically generous” as she was frugal.
“When a young nephew wished for a plastic microscope, she found him a real one (at a great price) and painstakingly prepared hundreds of slides for his study.” She also “briefly employed a skilled housekeeper but found her a more lucrative job.” To this day, her family has access to a “huge box of toothbrushes” she purchased for pennies decades ago.
Truly nothing made Maureen more happy than “helping people, and anyone anywhere saving money,” Caity wrote.
In honor of her mother’s passion for gardening, Caity encouraged others to plant something in lieu of flowers, with a Maureen-worthy reminder that “garden centers mark perennials down to unbelievable prices in the fall.”
Incredibly smart, fearless and “riotously funny,” Maureen had a “cackle that crashed through rooms.” One that will clearly be missed. Her death might have been “shocking” as it was the first thing she was ever “ahead of schedule” on, but she leaves behind “enough toothbrushes and memories to last several lifetimes.”
Caity followed up the obituary with a few of her mom’s “greatest hits” previously tweeted:
I’m not going to repost all the tweets but you get the idea https://t.co/7JcEzHZMjA— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) June 22, 2022
Oh this was a classic! https://t.co/NmjK4G44NV— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) June 23, 2022
Caity’s touching and joyful memorial received tons of love from people, including fellow writers.
“I’m so so sorry that you’ve lost her. That obituary might be one of the most joyous things I’ve ever read, funny and tender and loving, what a brilliant person your mum was xx,” Jess McGuire commented
“I am so sorry for your loss. And for the whole world’s loss! Your mom sounds fabulous,” added Mindy Kaling.
You can read the obituary in its entirety below. Maureen, you are deeply loved by your “favorite child,” and now by all of us as well.
Got the worst news I’ve ever gotten last week. My mom and I made each other cry laughing all the time. I hate to think about all the deals she’s going to miss out on. I hope she guides me to the best sales forever. pic.twitter.com/dZoWdIu86C— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) June 22, 2022