The Art of Medicine After COVID-19

Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, my ophthalmologist sent an email that he was offering “virtual eye exams” to his patients. But when I developed a serious eye problem over the Memorial Day weekend, I was advised that I couldn’t be treated on Zoom; despite a continuing “stay-at-home” order in Michigan, I had to come... Continue Reading →

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College Essays and COVID-19: Growing Up

My student in California apologized for her raspy voice, and said she would prefer not to Skype and just connect by phone for our tutoring session this week. Her dream is to become a physician’s assistant, and we were discussing the new supplemental essay questions that some schools are asking, including “How has COVID-19 affected... Continue Reading →

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Mystery Brides, Mystery Corpses

The day after my parents’ 67th wedding anniversary on May 3, 2019, my mother was diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer. Heartbroken, my 95-year-old father died on June 28, and my mother followed 10 weeks later. Determined to honor their 68th anniversary with a blog post, I began searching through family albums to find the perfect... Continue Reading →

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Earth Day: A Mile Down to Water

When I was a newlywed living in New Baltimore, Michigan my father-in-law Robert Lienert used to drop in several times a week and visit while I made dinner. He would entertain me with stories about growing up on a small farm in Harvard, Nebraska during the days of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.... Continue Reading →

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The ABCs of Remote Learning: 5 Tips

I’ve been teaching people how to write at a distance since 2004. In the past year I’ve tutored students in Shanghai, Singapore, Jakarta, Sydney, Detroit and Los Angeles via Skype. They are almost always learning to write college essays for undergraduate admissions, Ph.D. programs, and fellowships, but occasionally I get the odd request from a... Continue Reading →

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Coronavirus Connections

Tidying guru Marie Kondo is urging the world to get organized while everyone is holed up during the COVID-19 pandemic. It turns out cleaning the house is forging connections between long-lost friends – and even strangers. My first inkling of this came in late March, when Iklas Bahoura-Bashi, a student I hadn’t heard from in... Continue Reading →

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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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