Shrinking World, Expanding Minds

After stress-baking, grooming the schnauzer, and endless rounds of the card game Exploding Kittens this weekend, my husband and I decided to quit squandering our time. We signed up for edX, the massive open online course provider that serves a worldwide community and offers thousands of free classes. Our dining room table became our classroom... Continue Reading →

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Instant Home Schooling

“Do you have any dot stickers?” texted my daughter-in-law Lindsey, now tasked with home schooling a four-year-old and a toddler because of the COVID-19 crisis. I found a cache of them in a kitchen drawer stuffed with Fourth of July sparklers, recipes and other assorted junk. The dots – inexpensive and invaluable craft items –... Continue Reading →

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Live-streaming life

Most weekends, I head over to my granddaughter Eleanor’s house loaded down like Mary Poppins with books, games, Calico Critters and all of their accessories. The coronavirus quarantine wasn’t going to interrupt our routine. So we live-streamed “Nini’s Story Time” on our iPads on Saturday, with three of the Calico Critters standing in as “teachers.”... Continue Reading →

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The Lighter Side of the Global Lockdown

In the past 24 hours, my husband and I have received texts and emails from friends and family in Seoul, Beijing, New York and Rome about how social distancing is affecting everything from “talking shop” to stress eating. Here are the best: From our son Dan in New York City: “In our neighborhood last night at... Continue Reading →

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Toilet Paper Shortages and ‘Nothing’ Cake

Some people in Newport, Oregon are calling 9-1-1 when they run out of toilet paper and one acquaintance tells us his elderly father is urging him to hoard whiskey and cigarettes to use for barter in an emergency. But at my house we’ve resolved to keep calm and carry on during the coronavirus pandemic, panic... Continue Reading →

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Lessons: 27 years of working from home

ANN ARBOR, Michigan – The buzz began in my Pilates class on Thursday night, when several female executives from the University of Michigan began wondering out loud how they were going to conduct business from home during the coronavirus pandemic. They were concerned about everything from domestic distractions and maintaining a professional atmosphere to gaining... Continue Reading →

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2017 SPJ Detroit Award Winner

"Anita Lienert is a master storyteller, using all of the skills she acquired as a reporter to weave together remembrances of Detroit that are both personal and provocative. This is a true blog, taking readers on a journey beyond quotes and facts and into territory they can feel. Whether writing with style and substance about... Continue Reading →

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Detroit ’67: A Family Photo Album

Just days after the 1967 Detroit riot, my father packed up the family in his Oldsmobile and took us on a terrifying road trip to Twelfth Street, the epicenter of the civil disturbance 50 years ago this month. Faded color photos from that trip are tucked away in a family album that ended up in... Continue Reading →

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Nine Business Lessons from Grandma’s Bar

My grandmother, Rozalia Krzemienski, a Polish immigrant with a third-grade education, ran a tiny shot-and-a-beer bar for autoworkers in Detroit for 60 years. I spent my childhood summers with her, watching her deal with customers and make decisions as the small-business owner of the Rose Café, which was named after her. She taught me some... Continue Reading →

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Not Enough Adjectives!

I’ve just wrapped up another semester of college-essay coaching, with my students getting early-decision acceptance letters from great schools ranging from the University of Michigan to MIT. As I look back on this latest group of students, I find that parents often need more reassurance and hand holding than their children as we go through... Continue Reading →

Taking Away Daddy’s Keys

When my friend Ted’s dad died in hospice last summer, Ted’s family asked if he had any final words to say at his father’s bedside. “Yes,” he said, turning to the corpse. “Dad, I’m the one who turned you in to the DMV.” Ted swears he heard a voice from beyond the grave muttering, “You... Continue Reading →

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