massimhokuto / Fotolia

The case of Dontre Hamilton – a black man killed in an altercation with a white police officer – shines another light on the divide that frequently exists in this community.

Alexandra Rosas

Holiday displays like the one at the BMO Harris building often shape our memories of the season and remain with us long after we’re no longer children. But sometimes different memories define the perfect Christmas for us, as essayist Alexandra Rosas discovers:

On a thin carpet over bare wood floors, my brother and I sat and waited. Buzzing with anticipation, our   eyes wide, giggling, with our fingers in our mouths. It was Christmas Eve, and my entire family was sitting around our tinsel covered, brightly lit Christmas tree.

Essay: ‘Tis the Season

Dec 17, 2014
Mark Makela/Getty Images

There's been violence in the news this week - the mass murder of school children in Pakistan, the hostage drama and killings in Sydney, Australia.

And it's a time of year that leads Lake Effect essayist Aleta Chossek to think back on the violence that touched her family, years ago.

bottled_void / Flickr

All of us face challenges in life – big ones, small ones, and challenges in between.  In fact, there are days when life can seem like a constant struggle to keep all the juggling balls in the air before they come crashing down. 

As people begin to look at the leading storylines from the past year, the rise of the so-called Islamic State movement – and its attacks on western interests – will surely be one of the international stories at the top of the list.

Essay: Dollar Bill

Dec 2, 2014
Richard Cahan / Flickr

The next time you open your wallet to pay for something with cash, it’s likely you will have a couple of 'ones' in there. They are the lowest denomination that US paper money comes in, and Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank hopes we keep it that way.

Inafrenzy, Flickr

On this Thanksgiving holiday, Lake Effect essayist Kyle Cherek has been thinking about access to food.

Sackton, Flickr

Lake Effect essayist Alexandra Rosas comes from a more recent immigrant family – having come here from Colombia in the 1960s. She remembers her family’s first Thanksgiving as assimilating Americans.

AntonioDiaz -

Lake Effect essayist Lane Pierce – the mom of a toddler – would urge you to look at public temper tantrums a little differently in the future.

Essay: Fred and Me

Oct 30, 2014
PumpkinWayne / Flickr

Although some towns in the area have already celebrated their Halloween, tomorrow marks the actual all hallows eve. 

Essay: Heidi's Goats Love The Farm As Much As She Does

Oct 18, 2014
LongitudeLatitude / Flickr

Heidi Friedrichs reads her essay, Heidi's Goats Love the Farm As Much As She Does.

Essay: September

Sep 25, 2014
14ktgold -

We’re into the last week of September now. It’s a month that, even years after you left school, can still feel like a melancholy transition in life.

Essay: John Doe

Sep 10, 2014
Gateway Technical College, Flickr

Lawyers arguing on both sides of the John Doe investigation were in Chicago Tuesday as prosecutors sought to restart the investigation, which was brought to a halt in May.  


There’s a comic strip – it’s a classic Calvin and Hobbes strip -  tacked up in my office.  Four panels, all featuring our young hero, which read like this: “Here I am.  Happy and content.  But not euphoric.  So now I’m no longer content.  I’m unhappy – my day is ruined.  I need to stop thinking while I’m ahead.”

Getty Images

Monday is the 40th anniversary of President Gerald R. Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon, the only President in American history to resign.