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Category Archives: Illinois

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.

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.

Pentecostal Weather

Throughout the service, the wind seemed to heighten our attention rather than scatter it; there could be no looking away from God that day.

A Name is a Name is a Name (?)

I’ve found that the mundanities of teaching quickly and quietly bleed a name of its import.

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.


As the semesters and years roll along, my library—my store of knowledge—becomes more and more unread, and, in a similar way, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I actually know.

The Real Thing

The Real Thing

by | Nov 3, 2015

The Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, however, is different. There’s a ritual to entering this cold, dry, protected space. Before going in, you have to lock up your backpack, purse, coat, pens, snacks, water bottle, binders, and folders.

Big Ten 101: Elementary Football

Big Ten 101: Elementary Football

So, a few weeks ago, while I was reading Shakespeare, my friend prepared a twenty-slide Powerpoint presentation on the basics of this facet of American culture about which I am completely illiterate.

Obituary for Big Blue

Obituary for Big Blue

Affectionately known as “Big Blue” and “The Behemoth” to those who knew her best, the Savana was celebrated by nearly all who came into contact with her.

How to Wait for a Train

How to Wait for a Train

But letting go of all those demands emptied me out, and the process of refilling with the right things—that’s what’s taking so much time.