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Freelance writer, editor, and tutor. I write about politics, health, NYC and other things.

The 2021 NYC primaries run June 12–22.

Collage by the author. Original images from Canva.

If you’ve been keeping up with the NYC elections, then you know, the Democratic primary, which starts today and ends on June 22nd, is an electoral experiment that will be closely watched by electoral enthusiasts everywhere.

On the other hand, if, like me, you’ve been distracted by everything else happening in the world and haven’t been keeping up, then you might be wondering: what’s going on?

Well, for the first time, NYC is introducing ranked-choice voting in races for several offices, including mayor, city council, public advocate, borough president, and comptroller. NYC will be one of few cities — and…

What a long, strange trip it has been.

Image by the author.

I published my first story on this platform on October 16, 2020. Yesterday, my 10th post was accepted by In Fitness and in Health. It’s been a long journey, and it has been far from easy, but it’s only just beginning, and I’ve learned so much already.

How have I done so far?

In total, I’ve made $10.12. I’ve gained 20 followers. I have 458 views and 141 reads and a ratio of 31%. I have 30 fans and 429 claps.

I could have prefaced these statistics with “just” or “only,” but I don’t see it that way. One, I’m…

5 strategies I used to build a daily exercise habit.

Author-made. Original image from Canva.

I’m not big on exercise. As a kid, I played sports, and I’m a fairly active person (as a New Yorker I regularly walk at least 2 miles a day), but for some reason, I’ve always avoided exercise for the sake of exercise.

But when the pandemic hit, and I could no longer rely on my daily travel to meet my movement needs, I decided to turn to exercise. While I struggled for months to build a consistent exercise routine, all of that changed when I started exercising in the morning.

After just two weeks of waking up at 7…

Josh Chen’s Animedoro is the future of human-centered productivity.

Screenshot and Collage by author.

The traditional Pomodoro technique is a time-management productivity device developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s and named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he used to implement the technique. In the last twenty years, productivity gurus everywhere have adopted the method, promising to help people supercharge their focus, become more productive than ever, and take back more of their free time.

In an age of constant distraction, the ability to take 25 minutes to focus on work seems like a luxury. But as a writer, I’ve found the habit stifling. I feel like I’m always wasting a Pomodoro by…

How adopting a growth mindset can dramatically improve performance.

Collage by Author. Background from Unsplash.

It’s like this: every week, you complete one practice test. At first, you might struggle, but you quickly pick up the basics. By week two, you’re getting through the test more quickly, and your score has improved significantly. A month later, however, even after doubling your prep time, your score has plateaued.

As a tutor, I often work with students who are very bright, competent, and very ambitious. Yet, it is often the students with the highest GPAs who struggle most with standardized test prep.

In part, this is because, since they’re usually starting out with a strong score, they…

Thin privilege and our summer weight-loss obsession.

Photo by Billie on Unsplash

For most of my life, my body has been a “problem.” I’ve never been “fat.” Which is to say, I’ve never experienced the kind of degradation and contempt that so many fat people have to endure daily. But for most of my life, I’ve occupied that uncomfortable space between thin and fat: not thin enough for the benefits thereof, but not fat enough for ridicule.

For most of my teenage and young adult years, a thought plagued the back of my mind: If I could just lose 20–30–40 pounds, things would be different. Things would be better. I’d have more…

The Titanic, the Diamond Princess COVID-19 outbreak, and how history repeats itself.

Photo by Laila Gebhard on Unsplash

When James Cameron’s Titanic arrived in late 1997, it sparked my decades-long obsession with the historical event. In an attempt to separate truth from fiction, I spent the next few months on the web and in the library, reading every account I could get my hands on: primary sources, old newspaper articles on microfiche.

I loved Titanic in part because of its emphasis on the economic stratification of the Gilded Age. …

Celebrating the Derek Chauvin verdict privileges Neo-liberal satisfaction over true justice.

Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash

Like many who participated in the June after the death of George Floyd, I did not feel like celebrating when the Derek Chauvin verdict was handed down. Instead, I felt a mix of relief and emptiness. I felt the absence of that horrible sinking feeling I had when the grand jury failed to indict the officer who killed Michael Brown, or when another grand jury failed to indict the officer who killed Tamir Rice, or when a jury acquitted the officer who killed Philando Castile — the feeling that what ails this country is terminal. …

It might not be the people you expect.

Photo by Van Tay Media on Unsplash

On the night I graduated from the top law school in the country, my parents sat me down and asked me, “What will you do when you fail?”

That’s right, on what was supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life, my parents spent over an hour lecturing me about how I’d thrown my life away by abandoning a career in law to become a writer.

For most of the four years that have followed that conversation, I’ve felt like an imposter. …

Seven strategies to read 50+ books in just one year.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I have a confession to make: last year, I read embarrassingly few books for someone who calls herself a writer. Seriously, I tried to make a list of the books I read this year, and I could only count 10. I’m sure I read a few more, but honestly, much of this year has been a blur.

Some people found 2020 a triumphant year for their reading goals. Cooped up in their apartments with nowhere to go, they devoured book after book after book.

I, too, started the year with grand ambitions, but the pandemic quickly wrecked those. In a…

Kaye Dems

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