Essay

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Pope Francis’s visit to the United States and Cuba has passed into history.  Its impact is still being felt – but Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says in looking at history, there are other milestones we should examine to understand the intersection of Catholicism and Western politics:

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If the various kinds of writers in the world all have one thing in common, it’s the hope their words have an effect on people. But Lake Effect essayist Alvaro Saar Rios offers a cautionary tale:

Earlier this year, I wrote a "recycling" musical about a pair of Milwaukee teens who learn how to repurpose trash into musical instruments.

Essay: Three Little Questions

Oct 7, 2015
Joakim Wahlander / Flickr

The Milwaukee Film Festival is into the homestretch, with two more days of short and feature-length films at a variety of locations. 

The festival has attracted thousands of film buffs, among them Lake Effect essayist Joanne Weintraub:

I’ve never run a marathon, but for the last 2 weeks I’ve been sitting through one. Determined to get the most out of my prized Milwaukee Film Festival all-access pass, I’ve put myself on a rigorous high-popcorn diet and pledged to watch as many movies as I can take in 15 exhausting days.

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We all have our quirks, which can sometimes make us endearing to others, and sometimes, not so much. 

At any rate, Lake Effect essayist Linda Benjamin has been considering those quirks – flaws, some might say – and how they affect our interpersonal relationships:

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Even as the Democratic front-runner will visit Wisconsin today, it is dynamics of the GOP field that interest Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr:

The 2016 presidential campaign seems different. Traditionally, the Republicans have nominated a known-quantity candidate with extensive government experience. The Democrats are more given to surprises.

Essay: These are the Days

Sep 8, 2015
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A lot of us look at the transitional month of September wistfully.  The carefree days of summer are over, and we’re on to another grade – even if that means 28th or 36th grade. 

But Lake Effect essayist Joanne Weintraub is happy to see the post-Labor Day edition of our fair city:

These are the days, my friends! These SEPTEMBER days in Milwaukee. They're not so cool and they’re not so hot, and I mean both of those in a GOOD way. They're also not so crowded with THIS fest and THAT fest and the OTHER fest, and I mean THAT in a good way, too.

Courtesy of Alexandra Rosas

Even though school has already started in some places, the beginning of September is the time most of us remember as the traditional start of the new school year. And many of us remember one particular teacher who made us excited to return.

For Lake Effect essayist Alexandra Rosas, it was Miss Quill, her second grade teacher, who always comes to mind each September. Rosas says she was one of the great ones - a teacher who went beyond her job description:

English is not my first language, Spanish is.

Cari Taylor-Carlson, Instagram

Go to the self-help section of any bookstore or scroll through the documentary section of Netflix, and there are dozens of titles linked to happiness. There are lots of different ideas on what the path to happiness is, but Lake Effect essayist Cari Taylor-Carlson is only an expert on her own efforts:  

Last October, my granddaughter Lily “tagged” me with the latest teenybopper Instagram fad. Because I was tagged, my task was to post a daily photo with the hashtag 100 Happy Days for that number of consecutive days.

Essay: Sesame Street Makes a Tragic Move to HBO

Aug 19, 2015
Selena N. B. H. / Flickr

 

The news broke last week that the children’s TV show, Sesame Street, a staple of PBS for 46 years, will soon air first-run shows on HBO.  It’s a development that some welcome, but concerns many others, including Lake Effect essayist Joanne Weintraub.

You know the song, right? “Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?”

Essay: Hangers

Aug 14, 2015
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A few months ago, we introduced you to a woman who helps people downsize, or eliminate a household.  That can happen when someone dies, or moves into assisted living.  It is, physically, a big job, but as Lake Effect essayist Joanne Nelson can attest, the job’s emotional toll is just as large:

Essay: Jon Stewart: So Funny It Hurts

Aug 6, 2015
Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

Later tonight, on Comedy Central, is the finale of John Stewart’s run as host of “The Daily Show,” the iconic sort-of news show.  Lake Effect essayist Tom Matthews is going to miss it, which he expressed through his essay:

It was one of the tens of thousands of lines that Jon Stewart delivered during his 16 years on "The Daily Show." It was December 2004, and more and more Americans were demanding that the Bush administration get us out of Iraq.

westfotos.de / fotolia

It’s no fun thinking about the end of your lifespan.  Well, usually, it’s not. Essayist George Berdes points out that thinking about the end of your life can be a little more entertaining than you might think:

Your doctor wants a copy of it in your file.  If you’re smart, you’ll send one to each of your kids.  It’s best they know your wishes now…while you can still talk.  Otherwise there could be a lot of love – and emotion – clogging the situation.

jordi.martorell / Flickr

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba have taken steps to further normalize their relationship after earlier this month, a plan was announced to restore embassies in their respective countries. Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr says that this is a step in the right direction:

Essay: Alarm Bells

Jun 30, 2015
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Patients often judge their doctors on their bedside manner.  But doctors also pay attention to how well they get along with their patients. But as Lake Effect essayist Dr. Bruce Campbell explains, it’s for reasons patients might not realize:

He is the happiest person in my medical practice, and every visit is full of his non-stop banter.  As soon as I walk in the room, he is off  and running.

Essay: Transracial

Jun 18, 2015
NBC News

Since the head of the NAACP in Spokane, Washington, stepped down in the wake of a revelation that she is not African-American (as she claimed), a national debate has ensued on what it means to be of one racial background, but identify as another.  Lake Effect essayist Dasha Kelly has some thoughts on the subject for her first "What I Learned Today" essay series:

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