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Jessica Smock
Jessica Smock, Ed.D., is a former English teacher. A graduate of the Emma Willard School and Wesleyan University, she received her doctorate in educational policy from Boston University this spring. Her research interests relate to educational inequality, and her dissertation was about a Boston nonprofit that prepares urban kids for New England private schools. A mom to a toddler boy in Buffalo, New York, she writes about parenting, education, and books at her blog, School of Smock. She is also co-editor of The HerStories Project, a book and a blog about female friendship.

Entries by Jessica Smock

Is It Harder to Break Up With a Friend or a Lover?

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 12:27 PM

"I grieved it hard. I talked to only a few close friends, in spite of being a real talker, because I felt such shame about it."

"I was broken. This was my best friend from the fifth grade up into young adulthood. I don't know if I ever have truly...

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8 Tips for Dazzling an Editor With Your Personal Essay

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 6:56 PM


Ironically, as a reader, I never used to be a fan of anthologies or personal essay collections. As a teacher, I did love showing students how to write personal essays or short memoir pieces. As an English teacher and a writing instructor, it...

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6 Ways for Parents to Teach Kids About Grit

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 5:12 PM

When I was younger, I used to dream about boarding school.

A weird dream for a kid perhaps, but not only did I dream about it, between the ages of 12 and 14, I made it my primary goal to go away to boarding school.

I lived on a farm...

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Have You Had a Painful Breakup... With a Friend?

(1) Comments | Posted January 20, 2014 | 9:08 AM

Here's what my co-author and I are hearing from women in our new survey about the end of an important relationship:

"It was kind of like a death. I actually mourned. First I was devastated and numb, then angry, then indignant, then civil."

"I was very angry and...

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The Do's and Don'ts of Online Mom Friendships

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 12:29 PM

Co-written by Stephanie Sprenger

Are you a mom whose communications with your friends happen through Facebook or texts? Or are you a new mom who's having trouble meeting other new parents in your neighborhood?

Maybe it's true that social media connections are not a true replacement for...

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5 Lessons From a Proud Self-Published Author

(5) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 8:32 AM

I wrote a novel as a teenager.

In that combination of arrogance and ignorance that teenagers excel at, I thought it was a masterpiece. Destined to make me a literary prodigy. I envisioned sending out the book to "an agency" -- I wasn't sure what that was exactly but...

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Toddler Apologies -- In Verse

(2) Comments | Posted November 13, 2013 | 5:02 PM

Here's a note left to me from my toddler son. He's a clever little guy... He left a poem.

This Is Just To Say, Mommy

I woke you up
last night
10 times
in 5 hours

and now
you're probably
tired today


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How 'The Walking Dead' Can Help You Survive New Parenthood

(4) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 12:36 PM

As the mom of a toddler, I see myself in "The Walking Dead" characters' quest for survival. The show tells the story of a small band of survivors after modern society has been destroyed by a zombie outbreak. What the show is really about is maintaining your humanity and spirit...

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Why American Moms Are 'Maxed Out' and 'On the Brink'

(5) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 5:19 PM

When Sheryl Sandberg told us to "lean in," I was confused. I thought I had tried it, but I still "fell over."

When Judith Warner updated us about the "opt-out" generation that now wants back in, I was confused once again. What was it that I'm doing? Am I opting...

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5 Reasons Parents Should Watch More TV

(21) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 4:35 PM

"We don't have a television."

Last weekend, a 30-something guy said this to me at a dinner. I had just asked one of my new ice breaker questions when meeting new people: "Do you watch Breaking Bad?"

Out of politeness, I didn't say anything back. I resisted my desire to...

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Lessons From Elizabeth Gilbert (That Don't Involve Eating, Praying, or Loving)

(7) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 10:06 AM

Originally posted on the blog School of Smock:

I'll admit it: "Eat, Pray, Love" is not one of my favorite books. That's an understatement. It's not even in the top 1000. Actually, it annoyed me so much in parts that I skipped long sections of it. But...

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