“Get your mouth off that balloon, you might get AIDS,” my grandmother warned as I tried to resuscitate a deflating balloon I found at Chuck E. Cheese.

I’m not sure why I remember this randomly specific exchange I had with my grandmother as a child, but I have no doubt that it happened. My grandmother had a knack for lovingly scaring the shit out of her grandkids by pointing out all the ways the world could harm us.

She was the pre-internet incarnation of WebMD. If you had a headache, she would ask countless diagnostic questions to determine if you…

Steven Michael Mann

4th Grade Math & Literacy Teacher: NYC Public Schools | Curious about how faith, social justice, education, and the arts all combine.

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