Discover more from Wood House 76
New Substack Name, Subscriber Option, and More About Me
Today marks a slight name change to this Substack, from Wood House to Wood House 76.
A big reason for the change is Twitter’s choice to suppress articles with Substack in the address. Maddening, but also a good excuse to secure a dedicated domain name.
WoodHouse.com was taken, so I chose WoodHouse76.com. I was born in 1976 (a.k.a., a “Bicentennial Baby”). The allusion to 1776, the year credited as the birth of America, also resonates with my commitment to the First Amendment - including freedom of the press.
Me, 3 months old
With the new domain, I’m (finally) activating a subscriber option. Free subscribers will continue to have access to public posts that are less than 7 months old, plus the ability to comment on those posts. Monthly/yearly subscribers and “Founding Members” will receive my gratitude; the satisfaction of supporting investigative work and public discourse; and access to the archive of posts. I may do some subscriber-only posts or data in the future.
Despite being branded a “self-employed covid conspiracy writer” by ideological opponents where I live, no one has paid me for posts to my Twitter account, and this is the first time I’ve opened my Substack to voluntary paid subscriptions. No one tells me what to tweet or write about or otherwise directs my posts. If dark money checks have been sent my way, they are so dark I haven’t seen them!
I’ve been self-employed since 2007 (which I’ll talk more about in a bit). I think it’s obvious to anyone who has followed me that I’ve spent a lot of personal time on research, analysis, and advocacy. These pursuits have always been and will continue to be fueled by a passion for seeking the truth. I’ve never been afraid to be that person who raises her hand to ask the uncomfortable question or challenge a commonly-held view. “Well-honed skepticism,” a mentor called it, which is a nice way of saying I rarely take anything at face value.
More About Me
My life before the WHO pandemic declaration involved skills similar to those I’ve used in the “Covid Era.” I have several graduate degrees in education fields, including a PhD in educational psychology from the University of Virginia. I worked in and with public and private schools and other education entities for over 20 years, first as a classroom teacher, and then (post grad school) in consulting roles. I co-authored three books (two for practitioners and one more scholarly) and was mostly involved with on-site teacher training, curriculum writing, and program evaluation. That may sound boring for a fired-up gal like me, but really my job was to convince people to change what they were doing and do something better that would help more kids achieve higher standards. I traveled to schools in the U.S., Canada, and South America, and was fortunate to see many kinds of school and (best of all) a range of people from different backgrounds. I periodically taught online graduate courses for my alma mater too, so I’m no stranger the benefits and challenges of higher education via Internet.
When widespread school closures enveloped the K12 landscape, I was both flabbergasted and devastated that board members, administrators, and teachers embraced fear, ignored data, and (worse) denied the predictable immediate and long-term harms of relegating children and teens to screens. Locking out poor kids was especially appalling — certainly the worst kind of “systemic racism” that many American educators insisted they were against. I told friends early on that Teacher Union leaders in particular would be the barrier to reopening. Sadly, I was right.
I spoke up on social media and elsewhere about schools opening. Naturally, this elicited accusations of being a Trump supporter, grandma-killer, and virus-denier. We decided to homeschool that year (2020-21). I have no regrets about that decision, but with libraries, musuems, and much else either closed or heavily mitigated — and many co-ops in our area implementing their own brand of Covidianism — it was not like homeschooling in a “normal'“ year.
We sold our house that spring and moved out of Cook County and farther west. This was mostly to escape a suburb where we were (among other things) yelled at on the sidewalk for not masking outdoors, and to make sure our son would start as freshman year in an actually-open school. Eventually, most schools across the country finally embraced my “groundbreaking” plan 🙄 for getting students back in the building. But after seeing schools do what they did, it was hard to imagine doing the work I used to do. Perhaps time and reflection will bring parents and students more letters like this one from a Superintendent in Illinois.
Since The Homeschool Year, I’ve done data and media-related work for a law firm and worked as a policy analyst for a non-profit. On the “Covid-related personal investigations” side (which are not related to an entity), some things I’m proud of are alerting the FDA about the University of Illinois’ false claims to a covid-test EUA for a covid saliva test; calling out the CDC’s bad data on covid-19 deaths among children; testifying as a data analyst in a vaccine mandate arbitration case against a large city; obtaining numerous public records and files via Freedom of Information and other kinds of requests (see New York City posts for some examples); and emails/letters I’ve written to elected and public officials.
I came to Substack when Twitter first “permanently suspended” my account. I say “first” because another ban came later. I’ve always seen Twitter as a place to react to news and events and chronicle research specifics, and Substack as a place for more substantive posts. I’m not a journalist, essayist, or incisive political analyst. Rather I have questions, seek the answers, and don’t care as much about being right (though being right is nice) as I do making sense of things that don’t make sense to me. Ideally, I’d like to take more things I’ve posted on Twitter and integrate/archive them as Substack articles. That’s in addition to new posts on things I’ve already been writing about (e.g. NYC, flu, Chicago).
However far and long this endeavor goes, I appreciate the 5,000+ subscribers to what is now called Wood House 76. I look forward to more of your thoughtful engagement in the comments.
Happy Flag Day/Night! 🇺🇸