Why aren't my great grandparents smiling? Have you ever noticed that people in old pictures didn't smile. Have you ever wondered why, or ever contemplated when people did start smiling in pictures? I did, so I did a little research and found that most early pictures did not feature people smiling for various reasons. Some … Continue reading Sometimes you shouldn’t be expected to smile.
As a competitive person and coach of a collegiate debate team, I am forever reflecting on the means of persuasion and thinking about how we as humans respond to certain messages and reject others. When my career as a debater first began, I was extremely sensitive to the rhetorical barrage I endured and took most … Continue reading Dealing with my defensiveness.
I am saddened to hear of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was an inspiration by every account and her passing finds me once again in a reflective mood providing me a moment to revisit some observations about the modesty culture of my youth and how this culture specifically policed the bodies of … Continue reading The passing of RBG and reflections on modesty culture.
Church attendance wasn't an option for me growing up--not that I minded all that much as I really enjoyed going to our small, rural Pentecostal church. It was rather exciting. If you are familiar with Pentecostal worship styles, especially as they were expressed during the eighties and the nineties, then you know exactly how exciting … Continue reading Saturday Night Fever vs. Sunday Night Fervency.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus,the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its … Continue reading The Unbroken Circle
One of the cultural peculiarities of growing up in the 1980s was being treated to After School Specials. These were moralistic tales produced to give comfort to young people experiencing the traumas of everyday life. Most of them involved circumstances far removed from my rural Arkansas challenges. And interestingly enough, had my Dad attended my … Continue reading Apostolic Angst and After School Specials.
Nostalgia is now a product to be bought. I saw it advertised on Facebook. It’s one of those old-fashioned combination coffee pots, grill, and oven. But food isn’t the only thing fashioning our notions of nostalgia these days. We all want to be reminded of the “good ole’ days,” but are those days really ‘good’ … Continue reading Nostalgic Aspirations and Failings
Making my way through Their eyes were watching God I came across this passage describing the plight of the lead character Janie, "She had learned how to talk some and leave some. She was a rut in the road. Plenty of life beneath the surface but it was kept beaten down by the wheels. Sometimes … Continue reading A Rut in the Road
After teaching today I received this email from one of my students, “You mentioned the negative stereotyping of athletes as poor students in class today, and it reminded me of my experience with my brother. He has been very athletic and played four sports in high school. I have been a bit less involved in … Continue reading Approaching fifty. Still a work in progress.
There is a palatable tension in the air. Do you feel it? This is the feeling of Black people standing up to our Nation’s racist systems. Another unarmed Black man is shot. This time it’s Jacob Blake and he is shot by police seven times in the back. His children were watching. Collectively we mourn as we … Continue reading Stop with the Whitewash