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Being pansexual is an important part of my identity, and though it was summer when I discovered this, it significantly influenced my experiences in school. I did not struggle much, because my identity was easy to hide, and it took me a while to embrace it fully and to actually meet other people that were queer as well. However, in the three years that I have identified as a radical intersectional feminist and socialist, I have learned more about the LGBT community both online and in person than I ever could have imagined. Though my personal experiences do not reflect the deep struggles of the queer population, many members of the community have made clear to me the rights they deserve and the help that they need to succeed in a school setting.

There are two types of challenges that we can face, internal and external. LGBT people in school face both of these challenges for different reasons. Some examples of external challenges LGBT people face are bullying, microaggressions (small gestures that still uphold the system that oppresses LGBT people), or difficulty finding a partner. Some examples of internal challenges LGBT people can face are conflict about their identities, mental health afflictions (depression, anxiety, complex ptsd, etc), self-hatred, the urge to self harm, or the presence of suicidal thoughts.

One of my closest friends’ (let’s call him Dirk) gender identity was pushed to the side for his entire life. Because of things like his abusive father and his family’s struggle to make ends meet, he never spent time thinking about his gender, like many other LGBT children whom have trouble at home. He always dressed masculine, and would frequently be called “young man” by unknowing friends’ parents – and while everyone in the room was embarrassed, he never seemed to care. His only response was “Actually, I’m biologically female,” and would chuckle as said parent apologized profusely.

During the winter of our junior year, he came out to me as transgender online, and already being an activist for almost two years, I was excited to help him come up with a nice nickname that made him feel more comfortable. After this, he slowly came out to our group of friends at school; some of them laughed and said they already knew. I remember feeling so lit up about his “new” identity, and was enthusiastic to relay the message to everyone, including his teachers. However, I knew that we had to take things slowly, because one wrong move could make him the victim bullying by his peers, and alienation by his teachers.

A few months later, most of our friends knew Dirk’s preferred name, and what pronouns to use when talking about him in the third person. When he joined marching band the following season, I made a point to speak loudly when referring to him with masculine pronouns around our band director and the staff. Twice a week in the summer we would rehearse, and by the time we went to band camp up in Pennsylvania, many of the members of the ensemble caught on to Dirk’s identity. It didn’t take the staff long to understand, either. My band director asked our drum major what was going on, and she simply told him “Dirk is a guy, and prefers to be referred to with he/him pronouns when talked about in the third person.” And with that, I spent my last band season beside one of my closest friends, and knowing that the staff and most of the students in the ensemble were on board with Dirk’s identity made me so happy.

However, Dirk had dark times throughout those two years just as many LGBT students do. Forced to use the girls’ bathroom out of fear, he felt incredibly out of place. During band camp, I waited for him outside of the shower in the girls’ bathroom and comforted him afterwards for about an hour in my dorm. These types of struggles are extremely common within the transgender population, and the unique and heart-wrenching feeling of not being comfortable with (one or more aspects of) your physical body is called dysphoria.

Many of his teachers (two of them we shared) were confused because he was listed as female, along with his birth name, on the class roster. There was one particular teacher that we both shared that would refer to him as a girl, no matter how loudly I articulated my ‘he’s and ‘him’s. However, since he never contacted his teachers to explain his identity, I can’t blame our teacher that much. But whenever she misgendered Dirk, it made both of us extremely uncomfortable. I do believe that if one student consistently refers to a friend of theirs with a certain set of pronouns in front of an educator (for an entire year), that educator should catch on somewhat.

I will say this: radical change requires education, commitment and willingness to unlearn harmful concepts (whether they are sociopolitical or not). All faculty in educational systems must be fully educated about the LGBT community. For example, many people refuse to acknowledge the existence of bisexual people, using arguments like “just pick a side”, or “you’re just confused”. Obviously, not everyone is open about their opinions, especially educators. An educator that is uninformed about LGBT culture and identities may not say anything offensive, but if a student came to them for help, their negative and inaccurate opinions would influence their response. LGBT students are running out of safe places and people to turn to, and it shows in the statistics; suicide is the leading cause of death of gay and lesbian youth in the US. This is why teaching educators about the intricacies of their identities could change and even save lives.

Holly Jarrett

Holly Jarrett

You're reading What Lgbt Students Need In Schools: Teachers, It’s Up To You

Five Reasons Why We Need Poetry In Schools

Let me start with this: We need poetry. We really do. Poetry promotes literacy, builds community, and fosters emotional resilience. It can cross boundaries that little else can. April is National Poetry Month. Bring some poetry into your hearts, homes, classrooms and schools. Here are five reasons why we need poetry in our schools.

Reason #1: Poetry helps us know each other and build community. In this blog , I described how poetry can be used at the start of the year to learn about where students come from and who they are. Poetry can allow kids to paint sketches of their lives, using metaphor, imagery and symbolic language to describe painful experiences, or parts of themselves that they’re not ready to share. Poetry allows kids to put language to use-to make it serve a deep internal purpose, to break rules along the way (grammar, punctuation, capitalization — think of e.e. cummings) and to find voice, representation, community perhaps.

Reason #2: When read aloud, poetry is rhythm and music and sounds and beats. Young children — babies and preschoolers included — may not understand all the words or meaning, but they’ll feel the rhythms, get curious about what the sounds mean and perhaps want to create their own. Contrary to popular belief amongst kids, boys get really into poetry when brought in through rhythm and rhyme. It’s the most kinesthetic of all literature, it’s physical and full-bodied which activates your heart and soul and sometimes bypasses the traps of our minds and the outcome is that poetry moves us. Boys, too.

Reason #3: Poetry opens venues for speaking and listening, much neglected domains of a robust English Language Arts curriculum. Think spoken word and poetry slams. Visit this Edutopia article for more ideas. Shared in this way, poetry brings audience, authentic audience, which motivates reluctant writers (or most writers, for that matter) .

Reason #4: Poetry has space for English Language Learners. Because poems defy rules, poetry can be made accessible for ELLs — poems can be easily scaffolded and students can find ways of expressing their voices while being limited in their vocabulary. Furthermore, poetry is universal. ELLs can learn about or read poetry in their primary language, helping them bridge their worlds. (This is not quite so true for genres such as nonfiction text that get a lot of airtime these days.)

Reason #5: Poetry builds resilience in kids and adults; it fosters Social and Emotional Learning. A well-crafted phrase or two in a poem can help us see an experience in an entirely new way. We can gain insight that had evaded us many times, that gives us new understanding and strength. William Butler Yeats said this about poetry: “It is blood, imagination, intellect running chúng tôi bids us to touch and taste and hear and see the world, and shrink from all that is of the brain only.” Our schools are places of too much “brain only;” we must find ways to surface other ways of being, other modes of learning. And we must find ways to talk about the difficult and unexplainable things in life — death and suffering and even profound joy and transformation.

On this topic, Jeanette Winterson, a poet and writer, says this:

“…When people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read in school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language – and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers — a language powerful enough to say how it is. It isn’t a hiding place. It is a finding place.”

A final suggestion about bringing poetry into your lives: don’t analyze it, don’t ask others to analyze it. Don’t deconstruct it or try to make meaning of it. Find the poems that wake you up, that make you feel as if you’ve submerged yourself in a mineral hot spring or an ice bath; find the poems that make you feel (almost) irrational joy or sadness or delight. Find the poems that make you want to roll around in them or paint their colors all over your bedroom ceiling. Those are the poems you want to play with — forget the ones that don’t make sense. Find those poems that communicate with the deepest parts of your being and welcome them in.


If you don’t already have these two books, get them now!

Top Cloud Computing Skills You Need To Pick Up

Operating “in the cloud” refers to storing and accessing data through the internet. The term “cloud” refers to the internet. Businesses now have a flexible and worldwide means to access their data wherever they are, at any time, thanks to cloud computing. Your company may use cloud computing to manage its online computer resources.

Skills to master for Cloud Computing Application Programming Interface

Companies can make the data and functionality of their applications available to internal company departments and external third-party developers and business partners through application programming interfaces or APIs. A specified interface enables services and products to interact with one another and use one another’s data and capability. To interact with other software and services, programmers only utilize the interface; they are not required to understand how an API is built. Over the past ten years, use of APIs has increased so that many of the most well-liked online services today would not be viable without them.

Cloud Database

A database service created and accessible using a cloud platform is known as a cloud database. Many of the same purposes of a conventional database are still served, but with the extra flexibility of cloud computing. To implement the database, users install software on a cloud infrastructure.

A database service that is created and accessible via the cloud. Enterprise users may host databases without investing in specialized hardware thanks to it. Either given as a service and maintained by a provider or controlled by the user. It may handle NoSQL and conventional databases, such as MySQL and PostgreSQL (including MongoDB and Apache CouchDB). They are accessed via a vendor-provided API or a web interface.

Cloud Migration and Multi-Cloud Deployment

Another crucial ability of cloud computing that shouldn’t be overlooked is cloud migration and multi-cloud deployment. Business organizations are searching for experts familiar with the cloud to update their apps and services. Public cloud migration is accelerating.

Enterprise Moving to the cloud can be beneficial for businesses with trouble allocating resources to meet demand and aiming to save time on routine operations like database backup or maintenance.

Multi-cloud migrations are becoming more prevalent in the workplace. Businesses are becoming more adaptable and selecting various venues depending on cost and performance. Thus, professionals should consider upgrading their abilities across several platforms, including Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform.

Cloud Orchestration and Automation Cloud Programming

Cloud computing refers to delivering computing services, including servers, storage, databases, networks, software, analysis, intelligence, and more, through the Internet to promote speedier innovation, adaptable resources, and scale economies. Java has established itself as a cloud computing language and a general-purpose language. When it comes to cloud computing, Java functions well due to its ability to run the same software on several distinct platforms. Microsoft created chúng tôi as a programming language to build multifaceted websites and online applications. Offering high-end solutions with dynamic web pages that can be seen in many browsers is what makes it unique. Ruby makes a great first programming language for cloud computing.

DevOps & DevSecOps

DevSecOps is an evolution of DevOps in that it takes the DevOps concept and adds security as second layer to the ongoing development and operation process. DevSecOps brings in Application Security teams early rather than treating security as afterthought to strengthen the development process from a security and vulnerability mitigation viewpoint.

Cloud Architecture

The SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and EDA architecture of cloud computing combine these two concepts (Event Driven Architecture). The components of the cloud computing architecture include the client infrastructure, the application, the service, the runtime cloud, the storage, the infrastructure, the management, and the security. The client side of the cloud computing system is referred to as the front end of the cloud architecture. The phrase “contains all user interfaces and apps” refers to the fact that it contains all of the tools and resources that clients utilize to access cloud computing services. The backend is the cloud that the service provider makes use of. It provides security measures, maintains the resources, and regulates access to them. Massive storage, virtual machines, virtual applications, traffic management systems, deployment techniques, etc., are also covered.


Therefore, you should select one of these in-demand hot skills for cloud computing this year. A career in the field of cloud computing requires the mastery of the top competencies listed below. If you have the required technological know-how, you will have more opportunities in the competitive cloud market. Get certified when you have acquired these cloud computing skills.

What Is Nether Wart In Minecraft? All You Need To Know

Almost every single player is familiar with the overworld biomes of Minecraft. But when it comes to the Nether dimension, their knowledge can get fuzzy, especially when talking about the fungus growing in the game. Most players don’t even know that Minecraft has fungus in its world. And to change that, we are here to explain what is Nether wart in Minecraft and how this unique fungus can help change your world and your crafting recipes. With that, let’s get started.

Nether Wart in Minecraft: Explained (2024)

We have gone over the spawning, mechanics, and uses of Nether wart in different sections. Use the table below to explore these and learn all about this Minecraft fungus.

What is a Nether Wart in Minecraft?

A part of Minecraft plantations, the Nether wart is a type of fungus. It looks similar to real-world mushrooms and has a Nether-style reddish color. But unlike other plants in the game, the Nether wart is completely immune to lava and fire. So, you cannot burn it in any way, but you can destroy Nether Wart with a TNT blast.

You can easily mine Nether wart with any tool. A fully grown Nether wart drops two to four pieces. But if you break it before that, you only receive a single piece of Nether wart. Moreover, this fungus is essential for brewing some of the most popular potions in Minecraft.

Nether Wart Spawn: How to Get Nether Wart?

Nether Fortress: Next to staircases in small soul sand gardens

Bastion Remnant: In courtyards of Piglin housing areas

In either of these spots, you will find Nether warts growing only on top of soul sand blocks. Note that soul sand blocks are different from soul soil blocks. Not to forget, at times, you can also find Nether warts in chests found in the Nether dimension.

Uses of Nether Wart in Minecraft

You can use Nether Warts in Minecraft for the following purposes:

Trading: You can trade Nether Warts with master-level cleric villagers (one of many Minecraft villager jobs) to get emeralds

Crafting: The Nether Wart can be used to craft Nether wart blocks and red Nether bricks using a crafting table.

Composting: If you put a Nether wart inside a composter, it can raise its level of compost, which can be really helpful.

Brewing Potions: Nether wart is, arguably, the most important ingredient to make potions in Minecraft. Without it, you can’t brew an awkward potion, a base potion for stronger potions, without this ingredient.

How to Plant and Grow Nether Warts

As mentioned earlier, Nether warts only spawn on top of soul sand blocks. Thus, if you want to plant and farm them, you need to do it on soul sand blocks. This mechanic is similar to growing other crops in Minecraft. The good part here is that you can grow Nether warts in any dimension within Minecraft. So, you need to grab a bunch of soul sand blocks, place them in the overworld, and then use them to grow Nether warts (see picture below).

When planted, the fungus goes through four growth stages before being fully grown. This process can take anywhere between 10 to 15 real-world minutes. Moreover, since bone meal doesn’t work on this, there is no natural way to speed up the growth process. Though, you can increase Minecraft’s tick speed to speed up the process with commands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Nether wart doesn’t need water or sunlight to grow. It only requires time in terms of Minecraft ticks to fully grow and be ready for use in potions.

Does lava speed up Nether wart?

Just like water, lava doesn’t affect the Nether wart’s growth. Also, lava does not burn Nether wart.

Why can’t I find Nether wart in Minecraft?

Get and Plant Nether Wart in Minecraft

Xbox All Access: What You Need To Know

Xbox All Access is a good deal, but there are some things that you need to consider before you sign up. The first and arguably most important thing to consider is that these packages are only available at a brick and mortar Microsoft Store in the US. There are just about 100 Microsoft Stores dotted around the country, but if you don’t live near one of those, you’re out of luck. You can check this list of locations to see if there’s one near you.

The second thing to consider is that Xbox All Access sales are only available to “qualified customers.” What that means is a bit nebulous, as most things involving credit checks are, but if you’ve got bad credit or no credit, you probably can’t qualify for one of these bundles.

Assuming you live near a Microsoft store and you pass the credit check necessary to utilize Xbox All Access, there’s still the question of interest. Financing is handled through Dell Preferred Account and, as long as you pay everything off within two years, you won’t be charged any interest. There also isn’t any down payment to make, again assuming you pass the credit check.

What happens if you don’t pay off your bundle within 24 months? For that, we turn to the fine print, courtesy of Microsoft’s Xbox All Access FAQ:

DELL PREFERRED ACCOUNT (DPA): Offered to U.S. residents by WebBank, Member FDIC, who determines qualifications for and terms of credit. Taxes, shipping, and other charges are extra and vary. Payments are the greater of either $20 or the sum of any Monthly Planned Payment Due plus 3% of the New Balance shown on your billing statement (excluding any balance on a Planned Payment Purchase), rounded up to the next dollar. Minimum Interest Charge is $2.00. Rates range from 19.24% – 29.99% variable APR, as of 6/30/18, depending on creditworthiness.

24-MONTH EQUAL PAY OFFER XBOX ALL ACCESS BUNDLES. No interest charged on promotional purchase if total purchase paid in full within 24 months. Available at time of purchase from 08/27/2024 through 12/31/2024, while supplies last. Monthly payments required. Purchase amount divided into 24 substantially equal monthly payments, rounded up to next dollar. Outstanding balances at end of promotional period are subject to terms of Credit Agreement for existing accountholders. For new accounts: Rates range from 19.24% to 29.99% variable APR; Minimum Interest Charge is $2; subject to credit approval.

So, if you don’t pay off the whole thing in time, you’re going to be subjected to some pretty high interest charges. With that in mind, you should only sign up for Xbox All Access if you’re sure you can pay it off within the allotted 24 months, otherwise, you’re likely far better off saving up the money and purchasing everything upfront.

It’s also worth remembering that once you’re outside of your local Microsoft Store’s standard return policy, there are no refunds or returns on Xbox All Access purchases. In other words, outside of what’s likely a 30-day return policy, you’re stuck with this if you change your mind later.

What You Need To Know About Future Web Standards

While it started as an experiment forty years ago, the Internet has become a very important part of our lives. Think about it, think about how much influence it has on areas like education, business, commerce, science and technology. To cope with the traffic demand and other aspects like speed and security, many new Web standards and protocols have been added and upgraded over time. In fact, many of such protocols and technologies are being framed and deployed as we speak. Last week, the inventor of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, spoke about the changes the Web has seen in recent times. Let’s take a look at what new things we are seeing on the Internet right now and the new web standards we’ll be presented with in the near future.


While the majority of the browsers have provided support for SPDY in their latest versions, sadly that is not enough for enabling this feature to work. To load a web-page faster, the website needs to resonate the same tech. Popular sites such as Google, Facebook and Twitter have already enabled this capability, but a vast majority of the sites have yet to make the switch. Later this year we’ll see the implementation and deployment of HTTP2.


The web browser is getting smarter every day. Not only is it becoming more secure and stable but behind the curtains it is quietly implementing some homegrown tools to replace proprietary tools that are install separately and are required. One such homegrown feature is Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). This allows users to make video conversations without having to use a VoIP service such as Skype. Everything required is built in to the browser. Chrome and Firefox already support WebRTC. You can head over to the WebRTC Demo page to try out this feature.


People use thousands of devices to access the Web. One person could use the iPad Mini, while the other may fancy Nokia Asha to get to the labyrinth of the Interweb. Some of these devices sport high resolution screens, whereas many of them don’t. The challenge here is to provide the appropriate image resolution to users. So how do we do that?

The answer is Source Set (SRCSET). It is an extension of the HTML5 standard, which allows Web designers to set up various versions of the same image file. So in accordance with the kind of device you are using, the website will find the right image resolution for you. Although it is yet to go mainstream, as of now, this is the one of the prominent ways to overcome this issue.

Responsive Web Design

Much like SRCSET, Responsive Web Design is something that many Web designers have started deploying on their websites. There could be any number of devices consumers may use for accessing the website. Hence making the web-pages pan out well regardless of the screen size it is being viewed on is important. Ethan Marcotte had described it quite succinctly. Today, many websites, including Make Tech Easier, have deployed techniques like fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries to make the website adjust on any size of screen.

HTML5 and CSS3

HTML5 already has a fair amount of traction. The web-programming language is responsible for the creation and appearance of a web page. The new version allows publishers to embed video and audio content on a web page without requiring any third-party tools like Silverlight and Flash. In addition, it can hold the location-based information too. It also provides support to offline access of web apps. This feature has already gotten the approval but is awaiting W3C’s recommendation.

After over a decade, the third version of CSS finally rolled out. The biggest difference between CSS3 and its previous versions is the separation of modules. In the previous versions, everything was to be written in the same document, whereas CSS3 introduced separate modules, with each having specific capability.


When the Internet was being framed, creators assigned it with 4.3 billion addresses – basically that many termination points through which devices were to connect onto the Web. But soon, as more mobile devices and computers started popping up, the 4.3 billion addresses that seemed like they will never be fully utilized were found insufficient to meet the current needs. The new version IPv6, which has already been adopted by several popular websites such as Google and Facebook, offers 340 “trillion trillion trillion” addresses. It’s safe to assume that even if all the planets of our solar system hopped on Internet connection from Earth, we will still have enough of it left.

Native Clients

As all our computational needs are moving towards the cloud, our web browsers are being laced with more power. Thanks to Google and Microsoft, we have several native and portable web apps that can be run on the browser itself. Google Drive and Office Online are two great examples. Until a few months ago, these native apps couldn’t have been made to run on Android and other mobile devices, but recent amendments from Google show support for non-Intel processor devices.

Where are we headed?

Many of the aforementioned web-standards haven’t gone mainstream yet. It is a continuous process, and the adoption takes a fair amount of time. Every day new things are being added to it, and the older not-so-optimized codes are weeded out.  Many research organizations are working on building new protocols and enhancing the existing ones. The Web as we know it is changing. To keep up with it, our web browsers are picking up new technologies as well. One very assuring thing to come out of this is the Internet is getting better.

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