Hi! Welcome to At The End Of the Day. I’m Hannah Sung and I write this for a people-first perspective on the news. Support our team by becoming a patron here on Patreon.
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I’m sending this newsletter a little later than I usually do.
A little voice in me says, “You have a duty and a deadline!”
And the rest of me says, “I just want to liiiiive!”
To be clear, “living” isn’t confetti cannons in Cabo. It just meant that instead of more desk time at my computer, I spent my Friday afternoon at the eye doctor, leaving with my pupils dilated and useless for any reading or writing (when you fumble home with sunglasses layered on top of your usual glasses — it’s a look).
I skipped seeing my eye doctor for the entire pandemic, even as I worried about the state of my eyes (do I need readers or do I just stare at a screen too much?). However, going to his office felt great. No early-pandemic clutch of anxiety. We chatted about his Covid protocols, which have been amazing, thanks to the way he and his team have risen to the occasion. I’m so grateful for healthcare workers of all stripes who are bearing the burden of care in a massive way for the past two years.
And then this morning, instead of immediately sitting down to my desk on a Saturday, I chose to run with a podcast and it was incredible (I’ll link the show below, I highly recommend it).
As someone who has written before about struggling with workload boundaries, I’m actually pretty stoked that I can be flexible on my own deadline. Plus, writing this letter is a highlight of my week so I knew there was no way I wouldn’t get it to you.
After my jog in the rain this morning, my daughter asked, yet again (that’s her style — sweet but wildly persistent) if she could run an errand for me.
See, yesterday we had some alone time together for our last day of March Break. Over lunch at a restaurant, I asked what she thought would be the right age to be sent to the store alone. You know, if I ever “needed an onion.”
Her imagination was captured by this onion mission. She couldn’t stop asking me to be sent to the store to get an onion.
So this morning was her momentous time to go get me an onion. I changed the request to bell peppers.
“Um, okay. Is that the round thing?” This would be interesting.
I watched her put on her shiny, light-up silver shoes and tie-dye fashion backpack (after lunch yesterday we had an impromptu mini-shopping spree at the mall). I gave her a crisp twenty and her mask.
I watched her bounce down the street, upright, confident and filled with purpose. I kept watching all the way to the corner where she obediently craned her neck to check the intersection in all directions even though it was her light (she listens! She really listens!).
I chuckled. I know my face must’ve been a mood ring of emotions as I watched.
My little kid, who was in kindergarten when the pandemic struck, whose ballet and Korean classes and whole damn school were closed to her for so long, was now going to the store by herself, charged with instructions, and it struck me that these very small, normal rites of growing up are coming back. Thank all the spring stars.
Today, I’m grateful for the expansion of everyday life that is ever-so-slowly creeping back into how I spend my time. The eye doctor, the bell peppers from the store, the restaurant for lunch. Every little thing.
As you may know, a small team and I are deep into making a podcast for you and I want to include voices of the people who make it all possible. If you’re reading, that means you.
Interested? These are some of the things on my mind.
➡️ Losing your BFF to misinformation
It seems that everyone has a story of losing a friend or family member to online misinformation. Everyone but me? (I am either lucky or my world is too small).
Maybe the no-go zone in your family WhatsApp chat is QAnon or conspiracy theories about bioweapons. Or maybe your sister doesn’t believe in Covid science, or worse, any kind of science.
Whether it’s your fave cousin or your high school BFF, it’s very painful to have to avoid talking to them about science or politics—or worse, cutting them off altogether.
My mission is to find concrete pieces of advice on what to do when you’re dealing with this. But first, I want to hear your story.
➡️ What about anti-racism and your kids?
These lessons aren’t easy. When did you start and what do you say? Are you in the midst of a divisive issue at school?
➡️ Social media, technology and your kids
This one is my straight-up plea for help.
So far, my kids are young enough that they don’t have phones nor have they dipped their toe into social media but it’s imminent. My older child often asks about TikTok.
I don’t want to be the fun-ruiner. I myself love the surprise and delight of TikTok, et cetera.
But I also know how addictive social media is and I’m wary of opening up a Pandora’s box without having laid down a few foundational attitudes. My question: Will I ever be able to prepare my kids enough for what’s next?
What are the rules in your house? What’s working for you? What’s your biggest challenge around phones, screens, gaming and social media?
Talk to me
On any of the above topics, I’d love to hear from you.
*Infomercial voice* Our operators are standing by. Seriously, though — we are.
To get in touch, fill in this form.
If we use your voice when we publish the podcast, we will use your first name only.
Meet the podcast team!
When I say you can get in touch with “us,” exactly who do I mean? Meet Olivia.
Name: Olivia Trono
What you do for the podcast: I’m the Associate Producer for the ATEOD podcast!
Secret talent: It’s not so secret, but I love harmonizing. I miss being in choir and musical theatre productions—but luckily I have a sister who is also happy to burst into song.
And now Frances…
Name: Frances Kim
What you do for the podcast: Editorial Assistant
Fave thing about spring: The kind of deep appreciation for warmer weather and sense of renewal you can only experience after going through another long winter. Also, watching everyone's reaction as they giddily put away their winter gear and change their tires in April only to be hit with one last snowstorm. Happens every year!
I’m so excited to be working with Olivia and Frances, who are smart, cool and humour me with plenty of BTS side-chats.
As you may know, all of my podcast work is done within the universe of my beloved Media Girlfriends crew, a company we started in 2020. It’s the most organic thing I’ve ever grown in my whole life (I admit I’m not a gardener, as much as I’d love to be, but I feel great about growing a podcast company instead!).
ICYMI you can read about how we started Media Girlfriends here and please let any aspiring journalist in your life know that our Media Girlfriend scholarship applications are open! A new scholarship this year focuses on Indigenous students of any gender looking to study journalism, communications, tech or media studies. Forward this information to students and teachers alike. Applications close April 30, 2022.
And finally, don’t forget. Next week I’ll be doing my first ATEOD event. It’s a Zoom panel Thursday, March 24 @ 8 pm ET called, “Got Your Back: Making public life safer for women,” and the line-up is stellar. Learn from some of my friends who have stories to tell. Register here.
I’m counting down to warmer days and my 100th newsletter (it’s coming up! how should I celebrate?).
As ever, thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend,
✨✨✨ At The End Of the Day is edited by Laura Hensley ✨✨✨
Trolls Aren’t Like the Rest of Us, The Atlantic. A great, quick read on dealing with (or choosing not to deal with) online trolling behaviour
Coercive control can be a life or death issue in relationships. But few people even know how to recognize it, The Globe and Mail. A Canadian woman is killed by an intimate partner, on average, every six days. Eight out of 10 women who experience spousal abuse don’t report it to the police. Read this.
Tennessee requires domestic violence training for cosmetologists. This hairdresser made it happen, The Washington Post. This story is amazing, featuring a combo of being empowered by personal experience and professional positioning
Ontario rejects TDSB’s request for more time in lifting mask rules in schools, Global News. While the province of Ontario has rejected the Toronto District School Board’s request to extend mask mandates, some private schools and universities are continuing to mask indoors. Masks are also required on public transit. I wish I had something more reassuring to say than, “Good luck.” Thinking of everyone sending their kids back to school on Monday
Hamilton school board extending mask mandates following March Break, CTV News. Meanwhile, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, next door to Toronto, is going with a transition period of two more weeks of masking before making it optional
Everyone Was Surprised By The Senate Passing Permanent Daylight Saving Time. Especially The Senators, BuzzFeed News. I’m a huge fan of clear, plain-spoken explainers on systems that are designed to be complicated and exclusive. But also, say what now? I love to hate the changing of clocks, lol
Authentic: The Story of Tablo, This is the podcast I was listening to while out for a rainy jog this morning. I’m only one episode in but so far, it’s brilliant. Big, big recommend. On the topic of internet culture, truth and lies, music and the immigrant experience
The 100 Best BTS Songs, Rolling Stone. While other musicians try and make it onto a Top 100 list, BTS are a Top 100 list. You can tell this list is made by true fans just by the songs in the top spots. The rest, however, I want to debate (so fight me) 😂
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