Day Ten of the Shortform Challenge

I’ve already introduced myself — and at least a cat or two — around these parts:

So, I’ll tell you what I do these days: I teach.

At my core, I’m a teacher. I’m currently a concierge educator, which means I freelance online. I teach/tutor everything from introductory microscopy for…

Thoughts, Impressions, and Glorious Photos


I’ve been an Android phone user for as long as that’s been a thing. My whole family has been using iPhones for approximately as long. …

Day Four of the Shortform Sprint

Social media has changed our relationship to dopamine. This neurotransmitter serves as a reward: eat a tasty, high-calorie snack? Dopamine hit! Get a smile from an attractive member of the opposite sex? Dopamine hit!

The evolutionary thinking is that by rewarding our brains with good-feeling dopamine, we’ll want to repeat that positive behavior. Positive behaviors promote survival and reproduction, so dopamine exists to guide those habits.

But now, you can get a dopamine hit from someone “liking” your post. Comments and shares? More dopamine.

The problem is, the dopamine system exists to encourage healthy habits. Now, it’s twisted to promote social media activity. We’re adapting to a constant flow of dopamine, instead of the occasional hit of encouragement.

This has plenty of knock-on effects, from our attention spans to our priorities, in ways that don’t benefit survival.

I’m torn — do I describe the new standing desk in the corner of my office where I actually do most of my writing? I really do love it.

Or do I let my imagination scamper hither and yon, seeing what we can come up with?

My dream writing place…

Day Two of the Shortform Sprint

I popped my girlfriend’s most recent cassette creation into the deck, much to her delight. She mixed tapes like she was fighting an opponent, like she really had something to prove. The foundation of the tape was always clear.

This time, the theme of the whole album was spirituality. Songs…

Melinda "Millie" K. Dooley

Ms. Melinda Dooley is a lifelong educator and enthusiastic biologist, and is a confirmed student of failure.

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