rebel! Archives - Page 2 of 9 - ⚡️Kristen Kalp

Posts in "rebel!" Category — Page 2

‘Don’t store a mouse in your mouth’ and other vital rules.

mouse

You might imagine that a Special Education facility for socio-emotionally disturbed students in Philadelphia would have lots of rules. You would be correct. The first thing you learn at new teacher orientation is how to successfully restrain a student without causing any harm to the child. (It’s a grip don’t twist scenario, in case you’re curious.)

Each classroom has a teacher and a full-time aide. Each classroom has no more than 10 students for the safety of all involved. Students regularly lash out, flipping desks or tossing books or throwing punches — at other teenagers, at therapists, at supervisors, at me — and all the rules keep the chaos to a minimum.

There are protocols for everything. Protocols for when a student brings a razor blade to class and protocols for when someone has a meltdown during lunch and protocols for verbal lashing out. Every staff member knows the general outline for rules: violence is bad, get it under control, and then issue a consequence. These rules are absolutely vital for the safety of everyone on the campus.

And then there are the other rules.

The classroom adjoining mine has a pet mouse. I don’t know who approved the use of a live animal as a reward system for a group of often-violent teens, but it’s happened. The kids love the mouse. He’s given potato chips and french fries saved from lunch and is often the recipient of copious amounts of love because humans have hurt these children deeply, but mice have not.

One kid — I’ll call him John — is a squeezer. Meaning he can’t be trusted to simply hold the mouse or enjoy the mouse, he expresses his love by squeezing the mouse. He’s soon banned from mouse-al contact.

He does not enjoy this turn of events and goes on a stealth mission to hold the mouse. He’s foiled at every turn: there’s always someone (or two someones, or three!) in the classroom.

And then.

One morning, he does it. He’s got the mouse, he’s giving it all his squeezing love, he’s in mouse-holding heaven! John’s teacher walks in. Oh…oh god. He’s caught.

He shoves the mouse in his mouth in an attempt to hide it.

He shoves. The mouse. In his mouth. To hide it.

This does not go well. The classroom next door erupts into screaming, chaotic laughter and the breathless teacher steps out for a moment to get her shit together. She cannot, under any circumstances, laugh at the mouse in the mouth situation. (But of COURSE she wants to laugh at the mouse in the mouth situation.)

I’m still not sure how the mouse gets out of the mouth: was it choked up or voluntarily surrendered? Did the mouse flee of its own accord and make a victory lap around the classroom, or was it simply spit into the open hands of the classroom aide who returned from the restroom in the nick of time? WE’LL NEVER KNOW.

Eventually, the mouse is returned to his cage, and a new rule is penciled onto the classroom rule board: don’t store a mouse in your mouth.

Life at the school moves on, and no other student finds out what the consequences are for mouse-in-mouth storage. Thank God.

I was telling this story over the weekend and it got me thinking about other rules: the necessary kind, the unnecessary kind, and how we often mistake the two.

No knives on your person in school: great rule. Don’t store a mouse in your mouth: true, but hardly useful. Mostly made up. Unlikely to be needed again.

We, as humans, as makers, as business owners, as evolving creatures, operate under an enormous set of rules. Laws, of course, but also rules of our own making.

Let’s take a minute to sift through the rules consciously, because I’ll bet there are some mouse-in-mouth rules that could use dumping.

This episode of That’s What She Said sorts through the murky, grey area between our current rules, our subconscious ones, and the rules that need dumping.

P.S. The trouble with mentors and the problem with bullet points.

Being brave with Nick McArthur.

Nick McArthur headshot

I first met Nick McArthur in 2012 as Nicki, mother of (then) 2 — now 5 — and I’ve watched with absolute admiration as Nicki transitioned to Nick over the course of the past year, with all the complication and bravery that entails.  We dive deeply into that gender transition in this hour-ish long podcast interview.

We also discuss whether male privilege is real, what it’s like to transition on the gender spectrum as part of a couple, the most surprising parts of leaving being a female behind, the sales messages he wishes males and females would learn to communicate more clearly, and what it’s like to have serious leg hair after spending about the first few decades of your life as a woman.

We talk highs, lows, and serious sales advice for your listening pleasure.  The audio is a biiiiit hard to make out at times — I guess the moose were rowdier than usual near the Canadian cell towers? — but I promise the conversation is worth it.

My deepest thanks to Nick for living the biggest and boldest brave truths of life, even when they require hormone shots and awkward conversations and endless fumbling with pronouns and butting up against other people’s fear and hate and big feels again and again and again in the name of simply being YOU.  I love you, friend.


Nick’s official bio: That’s me, I’m a dude, with a wife, five kids, and an online business. I also happen to have a history of being a chick. I share my life on the internet in an attempt to tell you all my secret views of the world as someone who has lived fully on both sides of the gender coin.

IG, writing, hire him.

50 everyday acts of rebellion.

Rebellion is often portrayed as Princess Leia risking life and limb to sneak around with Death Star plans, but everyday acts of rebellion can help us advance our ideals in a sustainable way.

Rebellion and resistance are often most effective when they keep us sane, happy, and capable of empathy in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. It’s our job to keep our joy, to do our work, and to resist in every small and large way possible. …and if you’re tired and out of energy, start small.

Rebellion can be small, but vital; seemingly insignificant, but capable of moving the needle forward today. Key word: TODAY.

1. Subscribe to a newspaper.
2. Read a book. (One of mine, even!)
3. Get and then use your library card.
4. Buy an album or a record instead of downloading a single from iTunes.
5. Support local music.
6. Boycott homophobic restaurant chains.
7. Register to vote.
8. Run for office.
9. Turn your phone off for the day. (Yes allthewayoff.)
10. Write a poem.
11. Add your representatives to your phone’s Favorites.
12. Actually call your representatives. (I know, introverts, I know.)
13. Make beautiful moments and don’t capture them in any way.
14. Sell art for charity.
15. Meet up with people like you in person.
16. Spend time with the sea.
17. Take notes in the margins.
18. Give up sugar.
19. Or alcohol.
20. Or both.
21. Smile at a stranger.
22. Attend a scholarly lecture.
23. Let out your weird.
24. Let yourself feel what you actually feel instead of pretending you’re fine.
25. Work from home without losing your mind.
26. Make space for your wild.
27. Stand firm.
28. Stop worshiping at the altar of Busy.
29. Gather your people and love them hard.
30. Quit social media for as long as you’d like.
31. Write a love letter.
32. Support your favorite artist, maker, guru, or leader. Likes and thank you’s don’t pay the bills.
33. Be at home with yourself.
34. Fuck. Make love. Both/and.
35. Ask for help.
36. Ask for help, ask for help, ask for help.
37. Make space for what you really want.
38. Give up on the ‘next level.’ It doesn’t exist.
39. Give up on using buzzwords, period.
40. Embrace your spiritual practice.
41. Hang your heart out to dry.
42. Assume people want what you have to offer.
43. Call out your asshole brain for what it is: an asshole.
44. Say your dreams that will not die out loud.
45. Acknowledge the pain of turning yourself down.
46. Ask more questions.
47. Change the tapes.
48. Eat well and hydrate.
49. Rest.
50. Choose love.

Ultimately, being a vital and alive, well-rested human is an act of rebellion.  Whatever you do from there is a bonus.

P.S. How to claim freedom from all kinds of bullshit.