Gabe Gunnink

Gabe Gunnink (’14) graduated Calvin with degrees in secondary education, Spanish, English, and writing. He is currently teaching our nation’s youth how to say the colors in Spanish but hopes one day to relocate to York, England, where he will write poetry out of tea shops, go for lolloping runs through the British countryside, set the record for the most treacle cake consumed in a single sitting, and work part-time as a magical singing nanny with a knack for reminding families of the important things in life.

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Out and Back

And I realized these are the first things: not medals or adventures, but the cinch of laces around a foot and reliable slide of mud and bitter perfume of sweat rising like smoke off shoulders.


Meanwhile, I am childless, jobless, and directionless. I don’t feel that I’ve wasted my time, and I don’t feel dismayed, but I’m also tired of feeling crushed under the weightlessness of potential and gawking at figs like stars I could never align.

Charli XCX and the Female Gaze

The song and video are so simply adorable that it would be tempting to brush them off as frivolous. But indulging that temptation would be dismissing a cultural commentary of Beyoncé proportions.

I’ll Make a Man Out of Me

This week, I decided to spend a day allowing society (a.k.a. the internet) to tell me exactly how I should be a man. For one day I would dress, drink, and spend my time how the cyber arbiters of masculinity determined.


Sometimes, though, I wonder where my personality ends and my OCD begins. Or if they’re distinct at all.

Four Easters and a Funeral

Christmas is always the musk of dusty angel robes and glow of Christmas tree lights on the hardwood floor. Easter, however, is rarely the same twice.

Postcards from Queer Camp

There’s nothing like bustling down the baking needs aisle with a week’s supply of Oreos yelling out for “Anthill!” to make you realize you’re not currently leading a traditional life.

La Malinche Trump

This narrative of Melania as a sly badass emerged through a series of clickable Internet conspiracy theories.

An Ode to the Road

Never have I felt more American / than lying on my back in a middle Illinois / gas station, duct taping my car together

Principles of Something

For this reason, merely believing in “something” is not half-hearted or vague, but both mind-blowing and earth-shattering.

The Gang Causes Gabe Moral Unease

That is exactly what It’s Always Sunny manages to do; it takes the depravity we all hold in common and, with a little creativity and a lot of imagination, makes it feel oddly magical.

Friends Like These

Success, money, fame, and even romance feel laughably conceptualized when placed against the visceral reality of friends singing along the highway and filling the car with farts.

Family Portraits

In the evening we venture out into the city that she has called “the armpit of California” and find a place to procure some burritos. As we eat, Aunt Ellen tells me about her world travels.

Learning to Mourn

What I really want the smiling broadcasters to say is that there is no silver lining. This is not an opportunity or a warning call or a new beginning. It is an ending, and endings should be mourned.

A Grandmotherly Half-Truth

It frustrates me to hear people complain that they feel like they’re choosing between two evils or that they’ll just stay home on Election Day or that they’ll pack up and move to Canada if things don’t go their way.


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.


There is something gladiatorial about watching two players march onto the court before a roaring, royalty-studded crowd and knowing that only one will prevail

The Golden Gabe Awards

Tina: Good evening, I’m Tina Fey…
Amy: …and I’m Amy Poehler.
Tina: Welcome everyone to the 26th annual Golden Gabe awards.

Loosening My Religion

As I opened my mouth, I realized I was about to put words to a trend I’d been observing in my faith life but that until this point had dozed cozily in my subconscious: “I don’t care as much as I used to, and I’m kind of fine with it.”

Naked and Deflated

What I do think I’m saying is that we all need time to wade into the scum of life, the crude wonder of being a breathing, embodied person. We need to strip down to just ourselves and swim out from there.

The Last Year of Youth

Deep down, I know that there’s no “getting it right.” The most tragic aspect of this segue from youth to adulthood is simply realizing you can’t choose everything.

A Gunnink’s Guide to Being the Best

We lazed like turtles on a sagging log, eating a mystery soup with our 3-in-1 backpacking cutlery, while Kara described her mother’s habit of reminding Kara and her siblings to “remember who you represent.” “She says that to us every time we leave the house. It’s kind...

No Speedo, No Service

There was, however, mingled comfort and horror in knowing that if I hadn’t packed it, a Speedo vending machine was available in the lobby.