Apparently It’s Suicide Awareness Month?

***Serious Content Warning: suicide, self harm. Seriously. This one’s raw. . . . So, apparently September is “Suicide Awareness Month.” Let me just start by saying This Sucks. Seriously. I hate it. All those blithe “You have so much to live for, I’m always listening, here’s the suicide hotline” shareable posts. If you share oneContinue reading “Apparently It’s Suicide Awareness Month?”

Letting Students Lead: Race in the Classroom

Like my last post, this is addressed primarily to my white readers, this time the white teachers who read my Work Thursday posts. I’m white, from a super-privileged middle class background, one that has benefited a lot from systemic racism. Many of my students over the years, however, have been Black, from a variety ofContinue reading “Letting Students Lead: Race in the Classroom”

Dear White Christians

This one is just for the white Christians. If you’re Black, I love you, but there isn’t really anything I can tell you right now that you don’t already know; much of what I have to say here I learned from Black people. If you’re not Christian, then arguing on the basis of Christian scriptureContinue reading “Dear White Christians”

A Televangelist Meets God

In heaven, God walks with a recently arrived man. In life, he had been a wildly popular and successful evangelical preacher. The preacher finally asks his burning question:  “Lord, I prayed that you would keep us safe from the virus, but it killed me. I was so scared and in so much pain. It wasContinue reading “A Televangelist Meets God”

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”

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”

Escapism and Peace on Earth

Once upon a time, when my father worked for the Department of Defense, I asked him, “What do you want for Christmas?” He paused for a moment on the stairs and answered, “World peace.” “But,” I argued, “then you’d be out of a job.” Then he paused a bit longer this time, looking down asContinue reading “Escapism and Peace on Earth”

Nostalgia and Christianity

Although certainly many people who call themselves Christian today cling to the idea that the past was better than the present, I suggest that nostalgia is incompatible with Christian theology. Nostalgia requires a belief that things were better in the past than they are now or will be in the future, mistrusts youth and newness,Continue reading “Nostalgia and Christianity”

Does Art Persuade?

I spent a lot of summer depressed. This is pretty normal for me. But I want to talk about a particular set of triggers that had me in a really serious existential crisis. I’ve been playing Persona 5, and I’ve been enjoying the fantasy of it quite a lot. The various representations of how victimsContinue reading “Does Art Persuade?”

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