A beginner’s guide to modern-day card acquisition

Athletes from different sports on the field with confetti in the air. Celebration.
Athletes from different sports on the field with confetti in the air. Celebration.

Sports cards are back, baby. And the comeback is of epic proportions. The market for cards is scorching hot and now is a great time to join in on the fun. I recently began collecting again, and while I was disappointed to find out my one thousand card Frank Thomas collection wasn’t worth anywhere near the sentimental value I assigned it as a twelve-year-old, I’ve been enthused to see a whole new world of card collecting.

Whether you’re rediscovering sports cards or getting into them for the first time you might find the modern collecting world a little daunting. So…


How losing my job taught me to be a better husband and father.

A daughter and father, exchanging a gift. Daughter has her dad’s eyes covered.
A daughter and father, exchanging a gift. Daughter has her dad’s eyes covered.
Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

On August 28th, I came home unemployed.

I was part of the teacher movement that resigned at the highest rate in history due to COVID-19 health concerns.

It was a decision I wasn’t going to go through with, but in the end, was the right move for me and my family.

Before resigning, it was easy to rationalize the decision from a financial standpoint.

I dare say I looked forward to it.

We had a small safety net and my wife could pick up more shifts at the hospital.

It wasn’t ideal, but it was possible.

But once I resigned…


Chadwick Boseman at a Vanity Fair photo shoot. Looking up.
Chadwick Boseman at a Vanity Fair photo shoot. Looking up.
Emmanuel Lubezki (Vanity Fair)

The passing of Chadwick Boseman, from a four year battle with colon cancer, was yet another example of the world losing its greatest artists too soon. While his loss resonates much deeper for some, his brilliant talent illuminated the lives of the entire world.

Representation matters.

In 2018, Marvel’s Black Panther finally gave black people a dynamic superhero that looked more like them.

At the time the film was released only 2 in 10 movies featured a black actor in a leading role.

And while he wasn’t the first actor to play a black superhero role on screen, (that goes to Michael…


A guide to know when it’s time to go

Business woman in jeans doing work in the elevator
Business woman in jeans doing work in the elevator
Photo: Mateus Campos Felipe/Unsplash

All good stories need change. And in today’s dynamic economy, careers do too.

But, before you consider your next career move, ask yourself these questions.

1. Have I tried to improve the situation?

Don’t cower in the corner and let other people play with your toys and walk away mad without saying anything.

Speak out, professionally. Address those issues at work, as directly with the people causing the problem as you can.

If that doesn’t yield the change you were hoping for, its a good sign you’re not where you’re supposed to be.

If things do change, well congratulations you just made yourself a new job.

2. Am I just having a bad day/week?

Strive for…


A brief history of the Hatch Act and its lengthy list of violators

Blatant Hatch Act Violator and Secretary of the State, Mike Pompeo (Photo: US Embassy & Consulates)

Before Mike Pompeo gave his speech to the Republican National Convention while on a tax-funded trip to Jerusalem and before Chad Wolf conducted a citizen naturalization ceremony broadcast to roughly the same crowd, there was Kellyanne Conway, Kellyanne Conway, and Kellyanne Conway, casually and chronically violating the Hatch Act.

But in response to the ethical allegations against them fellow cabinet member, Secretary Pompeo was curt.

“Nobody outside the beltway cares.”

And yes, he’s mostly right. You and I don’t care. But, should we?

The Hatch Act of…


How my resignation letter turned into a living will one month before school started

Teacher in the classroom, lecturing students.
Teacher in the classroom, lecturing students.
Photo by Shubham Sharan on Unsplash

I sat at the kitchen table on a muggy night in July coping with a shitload of stress for this time of year. My laptop was up, my eyes were bloodshot and locked on its screen.

Typically, the middle of July is a special time for teachers. The second summer paycheck rolls in and the planning for the upcoming school year unofficially begins.

Lesson plans get written and Pinterest projects get completed to varying degrees of proficiency.

But tonight, I’m writing a resignation letter.

I can’t believe it’s come to this.

The last straw for me was the district's…


Photo by Jorge Fernández Salas

My best friend, a long time high school teacher and fellow debate coach texted me this morning.

“I have a heavy heart today, but I need to tell you what’s on my mind.”

She proceeded to outline her plans for the upcoming fall semester.

I was saddened, but not surprised to learn those plans did not include going back to school.

We had talked prior to this morning. Venting, commiserating, going back and forth providing details about our future resignation letters and the costs of personal protective equipment.

“If I can just get a good deal on a hazmat suit…


Absent increased transparency and real accountability, the criminal justice system is destined to repeat its tragic history.

Adobe Stock Image

The killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor have reignited the national conversation on police violence and racial discrimination. On February 23rd, 2020 Arbery, 25 was shot and killed by the son of a former police officer during his afternoon jog. Less than a month later, Taylor, 26 was killed during a police raid of her home with a search warrant that contained the name of a man who was already in custody by the time she was pronounced dead.

Both events exemplify the hypervisible violence that has forged America’s ongoing legacy with racialized police brutality. …


Photo by Leonardo Baldissara on Unsplash

I would like to ask the small crowds of angry protestors who are challenging the state shutdowns in the name of freedom, how they feel about the freedom to kneel during the star-spangled banner at nationally televised football games.

Or the freedom to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

Or the freedom to choose a bathroom based on gender identity.

And then I’d like to ask them the date for the next anti-seatbelt rally.

Or if their anti-compulsory education movement will have picket signs ready by the start of the next school year.

Make America Open Again is more than just a…


Beyblades — Image courtesy of Blog DeJapan

“3…2…1….Let iiiiiiit RIP!”

My six-year-old and I shout at the top of our lungs one early Saturday morning.

Thud.

I watch as the small, three-piece sprocket crashes on the coffee table taking a little piece of my heart with it.

Whish…whish…whhiiiiiish…

I look up and see my sleepy-eyed six-year-old jerking his shoulder so hard and so far back I’m a little worried he might dislocate it.

He rips the black cord of the Beyblade Launcher with all the faithful optimism you’d expect from a first-grader, but it doesn’t budge.

We didn’t rip shit.

No big deal. We got this. I…

Chris Flowers

Parent, partner, educator. Working from home or hardly working? chrispaulflowers@gmail.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store