Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth, on how parents can help their children maintain their well-being while managing school during this uncertain time

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Whether you’re a caretaker with a young school-aged child or a parent with a high schooler, you may be facing the stress of juggling homeschooling — along with everything else on your plate — right now. You’re in luck: with our friends at Sleep Number, we’re answering your burning questions about how to make sure your kids aren’t missing out on important learning experiences while maintaining a healthy routine for the whole family.

In our first installment, Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth, a nonprofit that creates healthier school communities by empowering students to create a healthy future for themselves and their peers, answers a question from a Wake-Up Caller whose high school student is struggling to do her best at school during this uncertain time. …


Advocate and author Houston Kraft opens up about why kindness should be more intentional.

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Courtesy of Aiden White

With the coronavirus pandemic showing no signs of letting up and millions of Americans out of work, acts of kindness may be more important now than ever.

Author Houston Kraft believes people should be more intentional about the way in which they go about being gracious to others. In his new book, Deep Kindness: A Revolutionary Guide for the Way We Think, Talk, and Act in Kindness, the newly minted author addresses the problem of kindness being oversimplified in our culture.

“One of the most damaging narratives that we have as a culture is that kindness is free,” he told Wake-Up Call, noting that displays of goodwill often cost us comfort, convenience and sometimes, our egos. …


Everything you wanted to know about “the change of life” but were afraid to ask

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Wake-Up Call is launching a new series on women’s health with my gynecologist Dr. Rebecca Brightman, an assistant clinical instructor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Brightman is also a certified provider with the North American Menopause Society. She’s concerned that more women aren’t talking about health issues. Our first topic? The menopausal transition…yay! And yes, folks, we are getting real. You’ll see with our first question why we’re calling this “In Your Business.”

Wake-Up Call: Let’s just get right down to what we’re all wondering here: how can a woman expect her vagina to change during the menopausal transition?

Dr. Rebecca Brightman: Menopause is not really a light switch, and everybody’s experience is different. Some women start to notice vaginal changes during perimenopause, which is the period of time directly before menopause, and can last for up to seven-and-a-half years before a woman has her final period. This is when women may start to have symptoms that interfere with sleep, like night sweats. And for many women, this is when you might start to notice vaginal changes. It may be something subtle, like you may not have needed to use a lubricant before, and now you do. …


“I don’t know when the red on-air sign in the broadcast studio will flip back on again, or when the virus will meet its match in a tiny glass vial”

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Jillian Kuehn

As the country continues to reconfigure a new normal amidst a global pandemic and calls for racial equality, higher learning institutions are entering uncharted territory. So what’s it like to be on or off-campus right now? KCM gets the scoop from college students, themselves…

Jillian Kuehn, a journalism student at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, reflects on a canceled reporting trip — and writes about making the most of her senior year from her parent’s house.

Once upon a time, in the college town of Chapel Hill, life was very different. As a current senior journalism student at the University of North Carolina, I often feel like my college life before Covid-19 shutdowns was an imagined fairytale. …


In her new documentary, ‘The Way I See It,’ she captures the White House through former photographer Pete Souza’s eyes

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Director Dawn Porter just tackled civil rights icon John Lewis in her film, John Lewis: Good Trouble. Now, she’s spotlighting a new icon: former White House photographer Pete Souza.

In The Way I See It, Porter showcases Souza’s experiences capturing President Ronald Reagan and President Barack Obama in the White House — and follows Souza’s foray into activism during President Donald Trump’s administration.

Despite their different policies and viewpoints, Porter explains that Reagan and Obama had more in common than you would think. …


A humor series on navigating this difficult time

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Illustration by Chari Pere. IG: @chari.pere.

Today, for my Wake-Up Call newsletter (subscribe here!), I’m sharing another installment of a humor series from my friend Pam Goldman, centering on a woman named Ramona, who tries to help… in her own way. If you’re new to this series: Here’s the previous installment. Read on.

Did you take ballet when you were a child? I did. Miss Pat Likely’s Dance Studio was next to the Food Fair in Linden, New Jersey and my mother took me there every Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning for ballet, tap and acrobatic lessons. …


The do’s and don’ts of handwashing amid flu season and Covid-19

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As winter hits, and we face the double-threat of the flu and Covid-19, it’s important to make sure we’re taking the right precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

Since we’re continuing to live in uncertain times, our Wake-Up Call newsletter (subscribe here!) turned to Safeguard Senior Scientist Dr. Maiysha Jones for some advice on when we should be sudsing up — and where else to clean so our handwashing isn’t in vain.

Wake-Up Call: Now that we’re heading into winter, we’re facing the threat of the flu AND Covid-19. What is the proper way to watch your hands?

According to the CDC, hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs and one of the best ways to protect you and your family from getting sick. …


Comedian Daniel Franzese on losing roles…and finding himself

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In the halls of North Shore High School, where the characters in Tina Fey’s hit film, Mean Girls gossip and scheme to no end — a student named Damian is a breath of fresh air. He’s hilarious and loyal to his friends. He also happens to be gay — and proud of it.

“He’s probably the most unproblematic character in the movie,” says Daniel Franzese, who played Damian in the film. “He’s a lot more mature than most of the high schoolers — he’s comfortable in his own skin.”

While playing Damian, Franzese, 26 at the time, was silently grappling with coming to terms with his own identity. Although he knew he was gay, he was terrified of being outed: “I was afraid of America. It wasn’t just about being ashamed of who I was — it was about losing family members. …


A University of Kentucky nursing student on learning medical procedures over Zoom

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Courtesy of Julia Way

As the country continues to reconfigure a new normal amidst a global pandemic and calls for racial equality, higher learning institutions are entering uncharted territory. So what’s it like to be on or off-campus right now? KCM gets the scoop from college students, themselves…

Julia Way, a junior at the University of Kentucky, didn’t expect to be learning how to insert a catheter from home — but being a nursing student during a pandemic required some creativity from students and professors. Now she’s more motivated than ever to enter the healthcare field.

In March, when the University of Kentucky decided we would not be returning to campus from spring break, the solution was to hold classes over Zoom. But, as a nursing student, Zoom couldn’t exactly solve all my problems. Hands-on learning is at the center of the nursing curriculum. How was I going to take classes from my childhood home in California — over 2000 miles away and in a different time zone? Was I still going to graduate on time without clinical experience in the hospital? …


The author and comedian weighed in on cancel culture and the need for laughter amid these uncertain times.

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Courtesy of Getty

Within the past several years, the idea that a person can be “canceled” — or culturally blocked from having a prominent public platform or career — has become a contentious topic of debate.

Veteran stand-up comedian Judy Gold pushed back against this notion of “cancel culture” saying it amounts to an assault on comedy and represents a fundamental attack against the integrity of the art.

“We’ve got to stop canceling comedians because a world without laughter really — I mean is there a reason to live if you can’t laugh?” Gold told Wake-Up Call.

Gold believes comedy is not only a coping mechanism — but it can also serve as a unifying force amid these particularly polarizing times. “A great joke makes you laugh and it makes you think,” she said. …

About

Katie Couric

Founder, Katie Couric Media. Newscaster: Wake-Up Call. Podcaster: Next Question. Doc filmmaker. @SU2C founder.

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