Ben DeVries

Ben DeVries (’15) graduated with degrees in literature and writing. He and his wife Jes, a fellow Calvin grad, live in Champaign, Illinois, where Ben is looking to add some letters behind his name. On the academic off-seasons, he reads fantasy and works as a glorified “go-fer” at the Champaign Park District. He’s been known to make a mean deep-dish pizza.

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Stumping for Calvin

If nothing else then, the Illinois Regional College Fair confirmed for me what I already knew: I would make a terrible salesperson.

Chocolate Milk

The smoothies are revoltingly healthful. One recipe, dubbed “The Beginner,” calls for pear, banana, pineapple, avocado, and a full six cups of kale.

Farewell, Orphan Black

Like any good sci-fi tale, then, Orphan Black is finally far less interested in predicting what might be, than it is in describing what exists now.

Wiggles and Jiggles

The cheese cube relish, while very much not my thing, had a sort of melt-away pickle flavor that was not wholly unpleasant.

Mega Screen

Two weeks ago, in the lead-up to a concert, I got to read poetry off a video screen that was larger than the end zone of a football field.

Cheesecakes and IRB Forms

Toward the end of the graduate bible study my wife and I led this past academic year, two things were almost always certain: cheesecakes and IRB forms.

The Nineteen

The number nineteen appears with such frequency in this deposition, it begins to feel rehearsed.

I Consume

and when it bursts I imagine in my place a heap of broken bylines allusions clickbaits hottakes jpegs gifs intros outros all spooled out on the floor

Fly the W

If anyone in contemporary America can sympathize with the frustration of first-century Christians awaiting the imminent return of Christ, it’s we Cubs fans.

I Want To Believe

Specifically, I want to suggest that irrespective of the cloak-and-dagger politics it portrays, The X-Files does an excellent job of exposing our secret pleasure in conspiracy theories.

On Gollum

Gollum’s torture reminds us of the hand that we the good, we the kind and generous-minded, have in producing “bad character.” We call forth the best and worst in each other.

A Game of Croquet

Jessica, meanwhile, cut against the interpretive grain. She saw in Stephen’s lurching movements, his silent fury, his body at war with itself, something that looked like her.

The Big Clean

I drag around furniture, scramble on top of kitchen counters. I dust, I sweep, I wipe. I also bleach and mop, neaten, vacuum, air, fluff, and polish.

Miracle Drug

There are other rules too, in addition to these. Sit tight. Speak clearly. Press CALL if you need anything. Know your medication (Trivora, prednisone, plaquenil, Tylenol). Have insurance.

A Sort of Homecoming

Recently, my wife and I watched all six Star Wars movies in preparation for The Force Awakens—a feat I hadn’t done in years—and I remember my vaguely alarmed reaction during the credit-crawl for A New Hope.

Everything Changed When the Fire Nation Attacked

Our theme for the month of October is “the elements.” When I say that my brother and I watched Avatar before Avatar was cool, I find the need to clarify two points: Yes, I am asserting my #hipstercred. No, I’m not referring to the 2009 Avatar—the one that...

Campus Ministry

But mostly when I laughed, I laughed not because of the priest-man’s antics, or because of the students’ enthusiasm for debauchery. Mostly I laughed to hide my uneasiness.

You Are Now Having Fun

Things like sex or empathy work better the less you engage with them analytically, the less you step back and watch yourself doing them.