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Identity

The Ambition of Being Better: The Absurd Command, Part 1

The Ambition of Being Better: The Absurd Command, Part 1

We are dissatisfied with who we have come to be; all of us, vexed by the selves we negotiate the world as. Funded though they are by the nature of what we are, we recognize that who we have been overwhelmingly shapes who we are at present. We can imagine counterfactual selves, but the reality […]

The Life-Changing Magic of Tearing my Students’ Papers Up

The Life-Changing Magic of Tearing my Students’ Papers Up

Grateful to share this piece by Mischa Willet: The exercise goes something like this: at the start of class, I ask students to take out a piece of paper, which more often than not these days means they cast about looking helpless till a more-responsible classmate offers aid. I give them some prompt, whose subject […]

Bauer Out(r)age

Bauer Out(r)age

This post was written by Kyle Dupic.  In the last issue of Sports Illustrated, MLB pitcher Trevor Bauer was featured due to his lightning rod of a personality. Bauer is a perfect example of the way social media has expanded and highlighted our love/hate relationship with nearly everything. He is on the cutting edge of […]

Another Week Ends: Hipster Conformity, Mononucleosis, Greek Basketball Coaching, Curated Imperfection, and The Secular Work Ethic

Another Week Ends: Hipster Conformity, Mononucleosis, Greek Basketball Coaching, Curated Imperfection, and The Secular Work Ethic

1. Tis the season for sickness. B.D. McClay over at The Hedgehog Review got mono, and while the short term result was a bout of feverish nightmares, excruciatingly painful swallowing, thundering headaches, and seemingly unending fatigue, the long term result was this marvelous essay: “The Ills That Flesh Is Heir to.” Her essay is a […]

What Happens When You Finally Quit Social Media

What Happens When You Finally Quit Social Media

An anonymous confession. A recent study reported by The New York Times suggests that people are people with or without Facebook. People without Facebook have mood swings; people with Facebook have mood swings and access to thousands of pictures of people they might only kind of know. Examining the study, Benedict Carey explains how “heavy […]

Here's To You, Fellow Introverts

Here's To You, Fellow Introverts

Every now and then, I let myself think that I’ve left behind my introverted tendencies and moved into the (seemingly) glorious land of extroverted, outgoing people—they have it so much easier, right, being able to strike up a conversation with anyone about anything? But then I find myself in a situation where that introvert makes […]

Trial by Fyre

Trial by Fyre

Grateful for this one by Sam Guthrie: In the game Jenga, players pull foundational wooden blocks from a block tower and place them strategically back on top. The tower gets higher and weaker, and all it takes is one misplaced block to bring it all tumbling down. If you’ve never played Jenga, but think you’d […]

The Art of Subtlety in Faith (and Doubt): Our Interview with Meghan O'Gieblyn

The Art of Subtlety in Faith (and Doubt): Our Interview with Meghan O'Gieblyn

Our first peek into the Faith & Doubt Issue is this interview with Meghan O’Gieblyn, author of the new book of essays, Interior States. We also were lucky enough to republish parts of her essay, originally published in The Point, “The Insane Idea.” Copies of Faith & Doubt can be gotten here, and here.  If […]

Moonlighters Anonymous

Moonlighters Anonymous

Moonlighting—also known as working a second job, having a “side hustle”—is a pretty standard theme these days. Thanks to Pinterest and Instagram, everyone’s got a home renovation project, a knack for macramé, and a small business opportunity. But in truth it’s been around forever. Loads of famous people “made it” by moonlighting. The American poet […]

The Trauma of Decadent Religion (and the Best Worst S-Word)

The Trauma of Decadent Religion (and the Best Worst S-Word)

The notion of sin dominated my girlhood. Raised in Indiana by fundamentalist parents, sin was the inflexible yardstick by which I was measured. Actions, words, even thoughts weren’t safe from scrutiny. The list of sinful offenses seemed infinite: listening to secular music or watching secular television, saying “gosh” or “darn” or “jeez,” questioning authorities, envying […]

All Are One in Thee for All Are Thine

All Are One in Thee for All Are Thine

For reasons that were not clear to me at the time, and are still a little fuzzy, my family of origin hosted a stream of long-term houseguests when I was a child. If someone needed a guest room because of a poor choice in his marriage, or because she didn’t have a job that could […]

Mindfulness Lowered My Anthropolgy

Mindfulness Lowered My Anthropolgy

I started practicing meditation out of necessity. Mind you, it was before mindfulness and meditation were the buzzwords they are now. I started sitting in silence and focusing on my breath in seminary after my father was diagnosed with aggressive cancer. It was the only way I could be in the presence of God; the only […]