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Memento Mori: A Visit to Beech Grove

Something that is safe and pleasant right now is to take a walk in your local cemetery. In a twist that runs contrary to every impulse most people have, the living are dangerous right now, but the dead? Perfectly safe. Cemeteries used to be popular gathering places, no different than other parks. People would haveContinue reading “Memento Mori: A Visit to Beech Grove”

In Defense of the Unfinished Project

In my family, I’m known as the finisher of projects. My mother has given me a number of projects—some started before I was born!—and I’ve finished many of them for her. I have a reputation for getting things done, for being cunning and not even attempting something until I’ve made a plan for its executionContinue reading “In Defense of the Unfinished Project”

Facing Mistakes: What Being Mature Means

On a recent Sunday, I woke up 7 minutes after I was supposed to be at choir rehearsal. This is, of course, my greatest fear in life. Not missing choir rehearsal specifically, but the thing I dread most, literally the thing that keeps me awake at night, is being late to social obligations. This isContinue reading “Facing Mistakes: What Being Mature Means”

Flu Shots: Report From Spring Break 2020

I get my flu shot every year, religiously. I have a hundred students every semester, give or take; most of them live in dorms, where disease travels as easily as a leaf down a stream. As such, I consider myself at elevated risk for flu—not as much at risk as, say, a pediatrician, but certainlyContinue reading “Flu Shots: Report From Spring Break 2020”

Something’s Up in Muncie: A Writing Prompt

Thursday last week was like one of those episodes in a sitcom where there’s multiple plots going on, and the most interesting plot is put in the background, so that the main characters only sometimes see glimpses of what’s happening. That’s me. I’m the main character. And I have no idea what was happening inContinue reading “Something’s Up in Muncie: A Writing Prompt”

Joy Without Talent

One of the best therapists I ever had had a way of asking questions that haunt me, in a good way. And lately I’ve been thinking about just one of those episodes, where he would posit a question that would turn my thinking around. On that day, we were working on separating self-worth from work,Continue reading “Joy Without Talent”

Normal People Are Weird

content warning: depression, suicide When I was in 6th grade, I tried to kill myself. Well, more accurately (as far as I’m concerned), I tried an experiment to see if I could kill myself, but therapists tell me that’s the same thing. That same year, I had a friend who was starving herself. I alsoContinue reading “Normal People Are Weird”

When Classroom Management Failure Is An Understatement

I normally don’t talk about professional material on Mondays in this space, but, after last week, I think there’s something we need to talk about. Some of you may have seen Ball State University, where I teach, in the news lately. If you haven’t, here’s the story, go read it. I’ll wait. My understanding ofContinue reading “When Classroom Management Failure Is An Understatement”

Things That Are Incompatible With Christianity

It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the U.S. That means we’ll hear all the usual “I Have A Dream” platitudes. In churches yesterday, hymns were sung along themes to honor the reverend doctor, such as traditional Aftican American spirituals. In the U.S., the word “Christian” is often conflated with conservative, Republican, etc. It’s aContinue reading “Things That Are Incompatible With Christianity”