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grin and bare it

A blog by Matthew Dicks

Malaria vaccine will change the world forever

By mattyd | September 28, 2022

Amazing news out of the University of Oxford: A malaria vaccine trial on 409 children was found to have an 80 percent rate of protection. Malaria kills 409,000 people a year — mostly babies —…

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Worst decision #1: SportsCenter hat

By mattyd | September 27, 2022

I thought it might be fun to occasionally reveal some of the worst decisions of my life. Humiliation is always amusing. Right? Here’s one: A purple SportCenter hat, which I purchased while on a tour…

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Is The Yearling a sad movie?

By mattyd | September 26, 2022

For reasons that are unimportant and amount to little more than following an internet rabbit hole. I found myself wondering: Is The Yearling a sad movie? I knew that the film was based upon a…

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Religious wisdom on a boat

By mattyd | September 25, 2022

Charlie and I are on a paddleboard in the middle of Dunning Lake when I hear the first rumble of thunder in the distance. Charlie hears it, too. “Time to head to shore,” he says.…

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The lifespan of “Leaving on a Jet Plan”

By mattyd | September 24, 2022

Making stuff is a circuitous and oftentimes unpredictable route. Doing the work, every day, again and again, when the outcome is uncertain and unknowable and seemingly impossible, is most important. Do the work. The rest…

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Teachers, this is our time…

By mattyd | September 23, 2022

My fellow teachers: I would like to humbly suggest that given the massive teacher shortages that school districts are experiencing around the country, we must recognize that our value to our school districts and society…

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The proper response to a bad handshake

By mattyd | September 22, 2022

Earlier this year, a man reached to shake my hand after I congratulated him on winning a storytelling competition. As his hand clasped mine, he squeezed much harder than was necessary or expected, causing me…

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Pivoting toward Lizzo

By mattyd | September 21, 2022

Elysha and I were discussing marriages wherein one spouse takes a sudden turn towards the ultra-orthodox version of their religion, oftentimes attempting to impose new rules and patriarchal gender roles into the relationship as a…

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“I’m too old for pronouns.”

By mattyd | September 20, 2022

I was speaking to someone who told me that he was “too old” for the changes in the way we use pronouns to treat people respectfully. I felt bad for this person. Obviously, his brain…

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Shortcomings and Flaws: 2022

By mattyd | September 19, 2022

More than a decade ago, a reader accused me of being materialistic after I wrote about my lack of a favorite number, specifically criticizing me for saying that when it comes to my salary, my…

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