Becoming a TOLI Educator
Sluiter Nation
by Katie
1y ago
If you follow me on social media (Instagram & Twitter: @ksluiter), you know I spent ten days in New York City as part of the TOLI Summer Seminar. TOLI stands for The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies & Human Rights. I experienced a TON in those ten days, so I thought, rather than write a novel about it, I would split it up into a series of posts to avoid the TL;DR effect. The entire reason I was there was to learn and grow as a Holocaust and human rights educator. Roughly 20 educators (teachers, librarians, professors) from the United States and Europe gathered every day o ..read more
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You Are From
Sluiter Nation
by Katie
1y ago
This poem was the product of a 10-day intense summer seminar with The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI). More posts on that experience are forthcoming. To my children: Eddie, Charlie, and Alice, You are from the Dutch.  From west of Groningen, northwest of Drenthe and Overijssel. (names that are familiar,  but places that are foreign.) You are from coastal towns, dune grasses and peat meadows with windmills that turn with time. You are from immigrants and farmworkers Gerrit and Akke jailed for holding unauthorized church services now living on th ..read more
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The Teenager
Sluiter Nation
by Katie
1y ago
Dear Eddie, Oh my goodness, you’re a teenager! It feels cliché to ask where the time went or how did we get here so quickly. I know very well where the time went, but dang. It doesn’t feel like that long ago that dad and I were talking about “the teen years” and then brushing it off with, “but that is a long way off yet.” And yet, here we are. I scrolled through my Timehop memories on my phone yesterday morning thinking about how the night before you declared, “tomorrow is my last day of being 12!” When you were turning 6 I asked if you if 6 was too old to cuddle your mom and you told me you ..read more
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Two Handfuls
Sluiter Nation
by Katie
1y ago
“Charlie! You are ten! Now you are TWO handfuls!” “Mom,” he says with a smirk, “I have ALWAYS been two handfuls.” My dearest Charlie Bird, You have, indeed, always been two handfuls. Over the past year you have started a new school in a new program and made lots of new friends. Other kids might be shy or afraid, but you jumped right in. The adults on your new team at school say that you are so personable–you warm right up to people–and everyone likes you so much. You are quite the charming fella, despite your challenges. You care deeply about things that matter to you including fairness (wh ..read more
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Happy Seven!
Sluiter Nation
by Katie
2y ago
Dear Alice, I hate that what they say about your last child has proven to be true–all the things parents do for their first starts to dwindle as they have more children. I did all the things for Eddie as a little kid, some of the things for Charlie, and almost none for you. You have no baby book, no record of firsts (unless I posted them here by chance), and late birthday letters on a blog that may or may not be around much longer. You are the one who will care the most. You are the one who asks the most questions about what you were like as a baby. You ask about your birth story and your fir ..read more
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Ruby The Ruckus
Sluiter Nation
by Katie
2y ago
My dad bought me this cow chew toy that looks like me. We are two weeks into being dog owners and I am tired. This weekend, after being woken up by barking at 7am, I thought for the first time, “I wonder if we can give her back. I feel done with this.” It’s a good thing she’s cute and that I know the puppy phase won’t last forever. (It has taken me 15 minutes to write those three sentences because she keeps going where she is not supposed to be.) I get the “how’s life with a puppy?” often. It’s exhausting! It’s a little like having a toddler around. Somewhere around a million times a day I say ..read more
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I Guess This is a Dog Blog now
Sluiter Nation
by Katie
2y ago
I am not a dog person. I have said many, many, MANY times: I DO NOT WANT TO BE A DOG OWNER. The only dogs I ever had as a kid were 1) a mutt named Pepper who was crazy weird who my parents got before I was even a twinkle in my mom’s eye. The dog was old and they hired a hitman to take her out while we were on vacation when I was little. She barked and was crazy. and 2) my dad had a beagle dog named Belle, but she lived 100% outside in a dog house/pen situation. He breeder her once and we kept one of the puppies and named him Bo. Bo and Belle both lived outside. I had nothing to do with those ..read more
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A Healthier Me
Sluiter Nation
by Katie
2y ago
In January of 2019 I was finished with chemo and radiation to hopefully zap any remaining microscopic jerks of cancer that could be lurking in my body after my lumpectomy in May of 2018. In order to hopefully stay cancer-free, my oncologist put me on tamoxifen, an estrogen receptor modulator that blocks estrogen and progesterone from feeding anymore cancer. I have to be on it for 5-10 years. One of the side effects of tamoxifen is that it throws you into menopause if you are not already there. At age 40, I was not already there. It also causes weight gain. I was not exactly slender when I wen ..read more
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COVID Comes to Sluiter Nation
Sluiter Nation
by Katie
2y ago
Masked up at the Imagination Station in Toledo, Ohio (July 2021) We follow the rules. From March of 2020 until school started in September 2020, we did not interact with anyone–our extended family included–without masks and/or six feet of distance. We had ONE family in our quarantine bubble. Once school started, we masked, washed hands, sanitized constantly. The only person from our house still going anywhere other than school/work was Cortney. We still get our groceries delivered (this isn’t even because of COVID, if I am honest. I just hate grocery shopping). I signed up to be vaccinated in ..read more
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The Back to School Post I Forgot About
Sluiter Nation
by Katie
2y ago
We went back to school like…two months ago. I took pictures and had every intention of making a nice little post here for posterity. Then my life laughed and laughed and laughed at me. So anyway, Back to School! There are four of us that went back to school–in four different buildings, naturally. Alice is in 1st grade this year at Quincy. She is in the shark room and loves every minute of it. She is happy to go to school, happy to do homework, just happy happy about all things learning. She loves learning to read and going to her music special the most, although Spanish is a close second. Cha ..read more
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