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Thinkpieces

The Circle of Life in a Walk in the Park

birth, death, and walking the dog just continue — even during a pandemic

“We should really try to go for a walk,” Tyler said, hovering over me. He had likely noticed my body was starting to look quite a bit like our living room couch and grew concerned ...

Christmas in a One-Room School

children, teachers, and everyone else became part of the annual Christmas program

The return to school after Thanksgiving during the 1940s and ’50s marked one of the most important events during the school year at Pleasant Hour School-: preparation for the Christmas program. Teachers brought out ...

Putting the 'Chamber' in Chamber Orchestra

Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra continues a centuries-long tradition of music from small ensembles

What’s a chamber orchestra? Well, that’s easy, you will say – a smaller orchestra, of course! Correct, but did you know how it came about, and what the ...

Threshing Time on the Farm

when rural neighbors banded together to work and eat

Although the combine had been invented, in the ’40s and early ’50s, threshing – or thrashing, as it was often called – was the method most small farmers still ...

Talking Smack With Facts

sports evolve over time, maybe team records should too

Talking sports smack is not always an equal proposition. Consider the plight of yours truly, a Vikings fan and Wisconsin native: any attempt to highlight why the Vikes may be, in some way, superior to the Packers can immediately be met with this stat: thirteen championships to zero ...

A Community Like No Other

Eau Claire soccer enthusiasts are welcoming to residents and transplants alike

In mid-January, I officially became a resident of Eau Claire. For the first time in 25 years, my whole life to date, I left Milwaukee. It was time for a change ...

Custom of the Country

rural waving rituals are one way of cutting through the tribalism of our times

As I walk my two little dogs up the road, I wave at the cars that go by. Often, the drivers wave back. Many are perfunctory acknowledgement; a raised hand, the minimalist but not unfriendly index finger lifted ...

‘I Want to Teach for the Money and the Fame’

aspiring teacher says it’s time to challenge stereotypes about educators

I want to be a teacher for the money and the fame. Or least that’s what I have been telling people when they ask me what I am going to school for ...

Neighbors Divided by Outrage

who really benefits when each news story splits us into two arguing camps?

Why is it that every news story is prepackaged with an assigned category of outrage? You don’t read about a notable advertisement from Gillette, you read about how a notable advertisement from Gillette ...

I Dream of Japanese Toilets

For some, hitting midlife means buying a sports car. One writer seeks a more private luxury.

For my 50th birthday, I want a Japanese toilet. Having researched the options, the toilet of my dreams is of the “washlet” variety. According to Wikipedia, a washlet toilets “include many advanced features ...

The Apple That Shall Not Be Named

the latest fruit from the University of Minnesota may not be a bad apple, but it’s got a bad name

Fall has arrived, and that means it’s time for the latest fruit to fall out of the chute from the University of Minnesota’s apple lab.

Women’s Bodies, Women’s Selves

UWEC student finds women of all ages are dissatisfied with their appearance. They shouldn’t be.

‘It looks like you’re filming a porno in here,” remarked my friend Hailey when I brought her to the lab.“It’s not a porno, oh my God,” I replied, utterly scandalized. “It’s for research.”

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

how NOT to behave when you’re out vintage shopping

As the world spins on its axis and every day brings fresh indignities to our news cycle, timeless and well-made vintage items persist as a reminder of a bygone era to which many seem to want to return, except this time with a good wireless connection.

Toasting Transatlantic Friendships

how a chance meeting in Vermont led to decades-long connect that transcends national identities

It started 31 years ago with a cold shower in Vermont. That’s how we met Frank and Uli, two college-aged Germans who were traveling the U.S. The campground showers on the men’s side were not hot ...

Let Us Eat Cake

thoughts on the "no lineup lineup" at Eaux Claires IV

In a recent interview with Volume One, Justin Vernon addressed the controversy surrounding his festival’s experimental decision not to release the names of the bands that would be playing until the festival ...

Teaching Makes Me Rich

Taylor Swift offers the perfect response for those who question this future educator’s career path

‘Are you prepared to be poor for your entire life?” Add this question to the long list of responses that future teachers get after expressing their occupation choice ...