Happy leap day! We decided to put this extra day of the year to creative use by checking in with some of our former writers on the post calvin. They all send their greetings, and below you’ll find their updates on pets, projects, progeny, and what’s next.
If you’re a former writer who didn’t get their update in, feel free to comment and let us know what you’re up to!
And looking forward—if you hope to be a post calvin writer in the future, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always on the lookout for guest writers, and auditions for full-time spots will happen in May.
India Daniels (2017)
Same job, third move. Gave decently thoughtful birthday and Christmas presents. Dabbled in improv. Told manager he sounded like a dictator during a meeting (but gave a pretty good apology, plus he’s super chill). Hugged Cornel West. Grandfather died suddenly. Got wisdom teeth out—left side of face is still numb. Mother told me she was ready to die (but hasn’t). Tagged @Migos from work Twitter. Realized putting air in tires isn’t a one-time fix. I remember my dreams after I wake up again. Learning to belong.
Melissa (Haegert) Dykhuis (2010)
In the days post-post calvin, I’ve graduated with a PhD, moved to sunny Colorado, fed and watered two growing boys, dyed my hair blue and then red, written six (and a half) novels, walked with my best friend through the loss of her young husband, and reviewed an astronomy course for a homeschool curriculum. These days I’m excited about: the next hair color, the next writers’ conference, the first loose tooth, the return of spring, and a possible new asteroid science grant for work in the fall. I jog under my sliver of open sky and walk and bike and dream and write and try to save the worlds. All of them.
Amy (Allen) Frieson (2010)
I’m hitting a whole lot of almosts this February. It’s almost my nine-year anniversary of moving to NYC, which means I’m one year away from being a real New Yorker. My husband and I adopted our sassy cat, Rey, almost two years ago. And I’m almost one year into my new career as a web developer. I’m also almost ready to start working again on one of my half-finished writing projects; reflecting on my time writing for the post calvin is helping to strike that last “almost.”
Lauren (Boersma) Harris (2013)
I started writing for the post calvin in 2013, the year I graduated. After a few years of teaching high school English and outdoor education, I went back to school to get a Master’s of Science in Journalism from Columbia University. Now, I’m a reporter and writer at a media criticism publication called the Columbia Journalism Review, where I have a nine-month fellowship that concludes in June. This summer, I plan to travel and write about religious pilgrimage in Europe.
Laura (Bardolph) Hubers (2010)
I’m still in Grand Rapids and working for Eerdmans Publishing Company, though now in the role of Director of Marketing and Publicity. Matt and I have two children—Samuel is four; Lucy will be two in May—and I just signed a contract for my first book.–––
Griffin Jackson (2011)
So much has happened since my days with the post calvin. I married an incredible woman of God in 2017 and we welcomed a son last December! We’re living in Chicago where I write for Christianity Today and work as the editor for an economics consulting firm. I continue to blog and write fiction at griffinpauljackson.com, and am especially excited about a weekly series of children’s stories I’m working on. Hint: you should check it out.
Paula Manni (2013)
I work as Arts Programming Coordinator at Calvin, where I oversee the Artist Collaborative program and work alongside bright and creative students who are interested in arts of all sorts. I’m two months away from graduating from Michigan State University with a master’s in Arts Administration. It was a privilege to work with the post calvin editors on the latest post calvin book—making the cover art and inside illustrations was just the right push to continue making my own art, and the process opened my eyes to the complicated and brilliant work of the post calvin editors. I own a house in Alger Heights, Grand Rapids and live with my two housemates. I love the farmer’s market, GR coffee shops, cross-country skiing and hiking near Lake Michigan, and spending time with friends. I aspire to travel more and compost more in 2020. I still visit the post calvin and have especially enjoyed this month’s reflections on color.
Since my tenure at the post calvin ended in 2018, things have been going well for me. I’ve landed a job at a company I plan on staying with for the foreseeable future. I spend most of my free time with my family, and I couldn’t be happier. My daughter turned two this month and will become a big sister later this year.
I still peruse the post calvin and am blown away by the consistently quality posts. I’m also eternally grateful for the opportunity to write for it during a particularly tumultuous period of my life.
I haven’t had a drink since November 2016.
Carolyn Muyskens (2017)
I reluctantly gave up my spot as a regular writer for the post calvin when I started my first full-time journalism job and found it difficult to summon up the energy to write after a day at work spent writing. I’m still working as a reporter, currently for the Holland Sentinel in Holland, Michigan, where I cover city hall and the courts.
Andrew Orlebeke (2010)
2020 is a big year—a lot of planning, work, and stress, and a lot to look forward to. I’m still living in Seattle and have spent the past two years on political campaigns. I worked two congressional races in 2018, managed a Seattle City Council candidate in 2019, and am now managing a candidate for Congress in Washington’s 10th District. I’m also engaged and am getting married August 8, and my partner and I just moved onto a houseboat together!
I’m excited for the opportunities and challenges this year will bring. Thanks for continuing to read the post calvin, and don’t forget to vote!
Jake Scheppers (2012)
Whew, where to begin? My post-post calvin life has been a bit of a whirlwind. I finished up two degrees (PhD in English and MFA in poetry) and have now ventured into the great unknown of the academic job market, teaching at Notre Dame and Indiana University South Bend, revising my current scholarly book manuscript for publication, shopping around two poetry manuscripts, and working on other writing projects in bits and pieces. My wife received her master’s in social work last year, and with her new job we have finally escaped the dreaded realm of the unpaid internship. My relatively flexible schedule thus lets me handle many more “Dad duties” now, so I get to make up for lost time in grad school by running around with school drop-offs and pick-ups, appointments, and meal preps. The boys, Liam and Oliver, are nine and six now, which is crazy to me and perhaps more so for those of you who remember Liam as just a peanut when we were at Calvin. In less than two months, I’ll officially cross the post calvin threshold of turning thirty, so sharing this update with everyone is, as I see it, a fitting last hurrah.
Bethany Tap (2012)
After finishing my MFA in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington and celebrating the birth of our first son, Xander, I moved my little family back to Grand Rapids in 2016 to be closer to both sets of grandparents and extended family. I am currently employed at my family’s business, Fastco Industries, Inc. in Walker, where I work in both sales and HR. I run our benefits and wellness program, write the company newsletter, and provide cost estimates for all of our parts (we manufacture custom fasteners). My wife, Clarissa, and I welcomed our second little boy, Rory, in 2018. Most of my creative energy is currently spent on maintaining and updating our cute Alger Heights home and playing with my smart and funny kids.
Elaine Schnabel (2011)
My current career consists of teaching undergraduate courses, reading vast amounts of critical theory, and writing papers about Evangelical identification practices. In other words, I am in the middle of pursuing a PhD in communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My marriage and first cat coincided with my blogging years, but we have added a second cat to our little family. His name is Eugenides and he likes to snuggle. Most of my creative energies are taken up surviving the meat grinder of graduate school, but the leftovers are poured into gardening.
Ryan Struyk (2014)
I’m still covering our crazy political world in Washington. I’m working at CNN now, where I’m now a producer for State of the Union with Jake Tapper. My job is to write interview questions for politicians. This week: Joe Biden and Mike Pence. Ideas welcome. I recently bought a piano for my apartment, which I play constantly to try to stay sane. And I’m working on learning the ukulele. Only 248 days to Election Day!
Sarah (VanderMolen) Sundt (2012)
Since writing for the post calvin, I have moved with my husband to Seattle. We are both middle school teachers. I turned thirty a few months ago, and while I don’t have any kids, I’m hoping to get a dog in the near future. Since moving to Seattle, I’ve taught myself watercolor and now do pretty regular art markets and teach workshops. I still love reading the post calvin!
Abby Zwart (’13) teaches high school English in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She spends her free time making lists of books she should read, cooking, and managing the post calvin.