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Author: asciutto

Dead Weight

The moment you become, indeed, happy and healthy – rid of the anchor that dragged you to the bottom, filled your lungs with water, and chained you to self-doubt. Only now do I realize that I breached the surface of that place some time ago. A glance back toward the blackness now reveals no recognizable reflection, but a man with a death-cheating smile that flashes toward tomorrow. Undoubtedly does a return to the abyss peak curiosity, but only as the sun shines upon one sparkle of that sunken weight not ravaged by rust. It is the type of curiosity, however, that elicits pity, not longing. How lonely it must be, trapped forever by its maker’s design, to disappear as the whipping…

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Denver

A jolt in the leg caused him to stir  — she kicked frantically in her sleep, running away from nightmares yet to become part of her reality. He pulled himself up in the bed. Rays from the morning sun had bounced off the white Denver streets to find a home on her naked shoulder, as if God had only raised the sun so He himself could better see her. Each morning he opened his eyes to the sight of her, serenity overcame him. He was just a young man, but it was the first prolonged cessation of sickness he had…

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Reforming J-School: A four-phased, digital-first approach

Note: Originally published May 8, 2014 At this critical moment in United States history when government surveillance, health care and immigration reform dominate the national consciousness, the American public has a great need for balanced and hard-hitting journalism. What currently exists in the form of the professional press, however, is quite far from the ideal. The digital era has led to an information overload, as anyone with access to the Internet is now a content producer. Consequentially, traditional publications of the newspaper and television mold have lost the interest of their consumers: According to a June 2013 Gallup poll, only 23…

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An open letter to the man in the mirror

“Hey now — An open letter addressed to you. Sorry for treating you wrong all this time; I didn’t think the words would ever slice open those old wounds, or that the booze would infect more than it cleansed. Time heals until it decides to stab again, and it feels like we’re bleeding out at the base of that cycle. Sorry for the hope that things would be different if you changed. You did what you could, and I’m proud of you for it. There’s a nice foundation still being poured — can’t wait to see what you build from it. Sorry for continuing to push after…

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Expanding Horizons, One Book at a Time

As you may or may not  know, I am currently a Teach For America corps member teaching 10th Grade English in Charlotte, North Carolina.  One of the greatest challenges my students face is  the incredible pressure of No Child Left Behind that is placed on low-performing schools.  This pressure is creating incredible resistance to reading in the students who need to be reading the most.  This resistance is born from the “readicide” that is occurring in classrooms across our city in schools with the highest need.  In order to pass a standardized test, students are given skill-and-drill lessons day in and…

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Social observations of urban and rural Peru

I’m four seven weeks late to write this, but I’ve come to learn that life gets in the way like that sometimes. My 10-day trip to Peru … well it was a 10-day trip to Peru. Lima, Cusco, the Andes, Machu Picchu — the story is in the pictures, and we have thousands of them. My observations, however, didn’t translate quite well to film. Lima is a magnificent city, one that often gets unnecessary flack from travelers for “being empty” of value for tourists. I disagree wholeheartedly, as the Peruvian capital is one of the greatest places I’ve had the pleasure of…

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For the sake of American investment, end the Cuban Embargo

Unless Uncle Sam is content sitting idly as foreign banks shape the future of a nation only 90 miles from American soil, it’s time for the Obama administration to put down the Bacardi and lift the Cuban Embargo. Since President Raúl Castro took the reins from his brother Fidel in 2008, the Cuban government has gradually loosened its grip on the island’s crumbling economy. The latest move toward reform came at the end of last month, when Cuba’s National Assembly passed a transformative foreign investment law aimed at boosting sluggish GDP growth.  Under the new legislation, the details of which…

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