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Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Comfort of Discontent

“I know this sounds potentially ungrateful, but I don’t really know if I see my work as significant.”

Dear Loved Ones

I cannot help but think that we owe each other those small expressions of gratitude and that through them we are able, in small but meaningful ways, to break down these barriers that build up so easily in this life.

Memo on Hell

They have entered the physical realm of the heaven but are too wrapped up in their own expectations to notice. They’ve allowed themselves to become too tainted with the promises of the world to recognize the promised land.

How to Road Trip to Florida, With Detours, Part 1

Drive south until you reach a Ruby Tuesdays up in flames. At this point, you’ll be approximately seven miles from a beautiful cabin in the Smoky Mountains, but it will take you two hours to get there.

How the North Country Trail Taught Me to Love Ohio

Ohio is flat. Boring. Smoggy, smelly, and snooty. The cities sprawl into oblivion; legions of rusted warehouses and oily factories transition abruptly into very flat, very linear muck farms.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Journalism (Or Basically Any) Internship

Welcome to 2016. Today, internships during college are becoming just as important – if not more important – than college classes and your GPA. Here are a few things I got right (and several I didn’t) and how to get what you want out of an internship.

Very Sophisticated Treatise on Musical Comedy

Very Sophisticated Treatise on Musical Comedy

by | Apr 24, 2016

Grease is a overly-simplistic, stereotypical, peer-pressure-driven, youth-glorifying narrative, but on Wednesday, I remembered that it’s one of my all-time favorites.

Playing Pretend

Playing Pretend

I don’t remember what age we grew too old for make believe, but it was somewhere around middle school. The next logical transition was video games, which are basically still make-believe games, but more socially acceptable.

Atlases Shrugged

Atlases Shrugged

The first time I read Travels With Charley I learned, with great delight, that Steinbeck freely admitted to being a terrible navigator.

University Cost Continues to Rise

University Cost Continues to Rise

As most students and recent graduates know, college tuition has skyrocketed in the past 10-15 years. Private school tuition has certainly trended upward, but it is public university tuition in which the difference has been really pronounced.

Play

Play

I think that we must search out new pastures for play—Scottish dancing, Settlers of Catan, scuba-diving. When we begin to lose springiness in one area, we must seek it in another.

Old Habits Die Hard (I’ve Heard)

Old Habits Die Hard (I’ve Heard)

There isn’t some silver-bullet cure, some as-seen-on-TV solution that’s going to come into my accident-prone, easily distracted brain and take away the challenges of the life I want to live.

A Reevaluation: On the Disabilities Panel at FFW 2016

A Reevaluation: On the Disabilities Panel at FFW 2016

During a Friday morning panel at the 2016 Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, writer Jessica Mesman Griffith said something that would later come to trouble me.

Next Episode, Please

Next Episode, Please

Turns out, you burn through a lot of episodes when campus is a forty-five-minute drive and twenty-minute walk away.

In Germany, A Language Test Not Just For Refugees

In Germany, A Language Test Not Just For Refugees

In 2050, when the first histories of Germany’s integration project are written, the country will be graded on its efficacy in educating refugees in its native tongue.

I Joined Online Dating

I Joined Online Dating

Every time I have doubts, I ask myself where the line is between settling and compromising. Is this really not working? Are we really not right for each other? Or am I just unrealistic, idealistic, and CRAZY?

Unwilling

Unwilling

My sister owned a copy of Hanson’s first album, “Middle of Nowhere,” that I loved to steal, along with her cream-colored boom box, and play on repeat while I circled the garage in rollerblades and sang along to words I didn’t really understand.

Hi, My Name Is

Hi, My Name Is

She is polite, she is professional. She has never met you before, and probably won’t interact with you outside of formal setting, or ever again.

Text START for Help

Text START for Help

In training, we were taught to give specific words to people’s feelings, to say “devastating” instead of “sad” or “furious” instead of “angry.” But those are just fancy words for the fairly small and basic set of emotions we face as humans.

How to Love Living in the Now When You’d Rather Stay in Bed for All of Time

How to Love Living in the Now When You’d Rather Stay in Bed for All of Time

Some people live in the past, but I prefer the future. When I slip into bed every night, I am waiting for the next good thing.

Reasons I Have Complained About Adulthood

Reasons I Have Complained About Adulthood

The doctor asked me if I eat a balanced diet and exercise and I had to answer no on both counts. Banking. My health insurance coverage. I have no experience in shopping for used cars.

Public School

Public School

Amazing. What utopia am I in? Is this what I’ve been missing at private school? Do all public schools work like this? You just walk into a party and someone comes up to you with a list of girls who want to make out? Unreal!

The Chemistry of a Car Crash

The Chemistry of a Car Crash

In the movies, there is usually a lone car horn blaring, the hiss of steam from a broken radiator, dramatic music swelling. None of that today. Just NPR on my car radio, and when I got out, an almost reverential silence.

The Number One Conversation I Don’t Know How to Have At a Dinner Party

The Number One Conversation I Don’t Know How to Have At a Dinner Party

I also think you should know that I once used you, not by name (of course), as an illustration to my students. “Did you know,” I began, “that there are some people who know where I work and feel bad for me?”

I want a God like NASA

I want a God like NASA

I don’t feel comfortable when people talk about God’s perfect plan, probably because I don’t believe in it.

Excuses, Excuses

Excuses, Excuses

I got the syllabus, and I saw something new: forty percent of my final grade in the class is “social media impact.”

A Night on the Lash

A Night on the Lash

It was like asking the two of them to play a game of ping pong, but no one had brought any paddles and the only ball available was a brick.

Consider Your Houseplants

Consider Your Houseplants

At first, the concept of intelligent plants seemed a little far-fetched, or, rather, whimsical, a kind of wishful thinking that envisioned a magical world, rather Tolkein-esque.

Semi-Charmed Life

Semi-Charmed Life

We found a bike he fell in love with and, you guessed it, it’s pink and princess-emblazoned. He does not yet realize that this is not what is “expected” of him, and more power to him for it.

Are You Living Abroad as Authentically as I Am?

Are You Living Abroad as Authentically as I Am?

I remember being so overwhelmed and lost three months in. I can promise you—it gets better! How long have I been here? Almost a year, actually. Well, okay, six months. But coming up on a year.