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Podcast: Taylor Sloan

34 Years: Life and Death and Love

Every year after my birthday, I like to write a short essay reflecting on my life in the last year: the experiences I’ve had, the interactions with people known and met, and what I’ve learned from all of it. This year I have decided to start sharing that essay publicly.

In 2023 I turned 34 years old. This has been a year of my life that could be described as having ups and downs, but that might be an understatement. It has been filled with moments of incredible happiness, uncertainty, sorrow, and bittersweet joy.

This February, I asked my girlfriend of 18 months to marry me, and she said yes. It wasn’t a surprise to either of us, but having the ring in my pocket and waiting for just the right time to ask made me about as nervous as anything in my adult life has. We began wedding planning that day, and I’m happy to say that in a few weeks, we’ll be husband and wife (and on our honeymoon).

Before that, in January, my grandmother had started treatment for stage four peritoneal cancer. We all knew that the prognosis wasn’t especially good, but we didn’t want to immediately dismiss any hope that it might work. After all, she had survived breast cancer when I was a kid.

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The Problem With [and Solution to] Twitter

I’ve been on Twitter for 14 years now, which is strange to think about. In that time I’ve connected with dozens of real-life friends and acquaintances, followed and been followed by hundreds more people, stayed informed and entertained, and been a part of countless conversations.

I’m not going to talk in extraordinary detail about what’s happening at Twitter right now in the aftermath of Elon Musk’s takeover. Suffice to say… laying off half of the staff, making it possible for anyone to pretend to be a verified individual or public entity, and mandating a host of bizarre/extreme new workplace policies don’t bode well for the platform.

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An Open Letter from a Healthcare Worker to the Federal Government

It’s important to start out this post by saying that my views are entirely my own, not meant to be representative nor endorsed by my employer, my medical directors, or anyone other than myself as an individual. (Although my employer posted this on instagram today, which bears consideration.)

Hello everyone,

My name is Taylor Sloan, and I’m a paramedic. I was a paramedic years before the  pandemic started and I will likely be a paramedic for years to come. In the time of COVID-19, I’ve been a supervisor of a large ambulance service, and worked in both 911 and inter-facility transport settings. I’ve seen hundreds of some of the sickest COVID-19 patients. Gratefully, as one of the millions of “healthcare heroes” (your words, decidedly not mine), I was one of the first in my community to be able to receive my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on December 21, 2020 (time flies).

At the time, I thought this would be a red letter moment marking the departure from this godforsaken plague. What has happened since is not at all what I had hoped. That said, if I’m being honest, the pragmatic part of my mind predicted at least some of it. I accepted the reality that as grateful and excited as I and many of my healthcare worker compatriots were to receive that first dose of what felt like the way out of this pandemic, there would be those who would refuse vaccination.

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The ’90s Fever Dream That is Chex Quest

Have you ever thought that maybe something existed when you were a kid, but as an adult you realized that it seems like it could have never really happened? And have you ever decided to look into it to see if maybe, just maybe it actually did exist? Such is the narrative of my recent fascination with a little-remembered cult-video game from 1996: Chex Quest.

I was seven years old in 1996, and my nascent love for video games was clashing slightly with my adult family members’ suspicion of violent video games. This was the ’90s after all, and a media sensationalization of video games‘ inspiring kids to do violent things was in its heyday. And that’s where Chex Quest was different.

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