3 Things: Overweight Kids, Ortberg Aliens, and Community Schools / by Chris Duffy

Hi friends,

If you're new to these emails, welcome! Every Saturday, I send out a short email with three great things. If you feel like you haven't gotten these emails in a while, try checking to make sure this email is a trusted address so they aren't getting filtered to spam. For live shows, I've got a bunch featured below and a complete list on my website. Feel free to spread the word about these emails! Anyone can sign up for the mailing list online and/or check out the archive with all past emails here.


NYC: TODAY! It's Saturday, September 19, which means that at 4:30 p.m, You're the Expert is at The Bell House with Jo Firestone and 30 Rock's Scott Adsit.Details/tickets here 

Tomorrow (9/20), You Get A Spoon! is back at Under St Marks with a reading by Alexandra Schwartz (The New Yorker), music from Nora Fox and Ethan Philbrick, and stories/jokes from Aparna Nancherla (Conan, Comedy Central). Plus so many audience prizes. Get tickets here!

Boston: Sunday 9/27 You're the Expert in Boston featuring Jo Firestone, Josh Sharp, and more. Later that same night, stand up and free snacks at Taste Test Comedy.Details here!

San Francisco: You're the Expert is at the Bay Area Science Festival on Friday, October 23 at the Castro Theatre. Details/tickets here

You can see my full schedule for September up on the website now.

Ok, on to this week's list!

1 Thing I Think Is Great:

Elna Baker brings such empathy and compassion to her writing about herself and others, but she also always manages to make it funny and charming as well. She's one of my absolute favorite storytellers. Her latest piece is about how to talk to your kids about self-esteem and staying healthy, but even if you don't have kids (I don't) it's a fascinating and revealing personal essay. If you do have kids, I imagine it's even more relevant. Either way, it's a great read and the rare piece of writing on the internet that will leave you with more sympathy for the people around you. Helping Your Child with Body Image: Advice from a Formerly Overweight Kid

[Also, if you want to see Elna live and you live in Massachusetts, she and I are doing a show together with poet Sarah Kay on October 1 at Johnny D's in Somerville. It's almost sold out but I believe there are a few tickets left. You can check here]


1 Thing That Made Me Laugh:

Speaking of human bodies, they're all pretty weird, huh? That's what makes Mallory Ortberg's latest piece for The Toast so hilarious. Mallory's writing never stops making me laugh. I feel like she has a superpower for seeing what's funny about every part of the world. This particular piece is excerpts from a romance novel "written by an alien pretending not to be horrified by the human body." Everything in here is great, but here are some of my favorite lines: 

"Everything was just a mess."

"Various parts inched forward, then retracted, rather as turtles do."

"Together they put all of their clothes in a pile on the floor, where the dog lives."

Read the whole thing here: Mallory Ortberg on The Toast


1 Interesting Thing:

When I was teaching fifth grade, I found out partway through one year that a student's family had recently become homeless. Everything - the missing homework, the falling asleep in class, the acting out - suddenly clicked into place. Places like Mott Haven Academy Charter School are inspiring new ways to walk that delicate line between understanding what's happening outside of class and making school a safe escape where learning comes first. 

Two thirds of the elementary students at Mott Haven Academy Charter School are in the child welfare system. Needless to say, it's challenging to learn in school when there's so much stress going on at home. But Haven Academy is pioneering effective ways to make students cope. "The entire setting at Haven Academy is geared towards making kids feel safe enough to learn. The school is housed in a bright and colorful new building, every classroom has two teachers, and classes never have more than 26 students. Art, music, or dance is offered every day. There are two social workers - a behavioral specialist and an outreach worker." The teachers and staff also spend a lot of time thinking about a culture where acting out is addressed without students being sent out of class. It's a beautiful and thought provoking way to think about education. When Home is Tough, Making Kids Feel Good at School

[If you're interested in getting deeper into this, one of my favorite books about teaching isChoice Words, which is all about how the way we talk to kids and the words we choose help form their internal conceptions of themselves.]

Ok, thanks for reading! More details on shows and my full schedule online atwww.chrisduffycomedy.com/calendar/

Have a great weekend,