Personal

Sufficient, But Not Saving

Read Time: 3 min.

I often notice that a lot of commercials and ads have one big message in common: if you’re not buying or doing or subscribing to or wearing such and such, your life is not as good as it could be. There seems to be almost a moral pressure to consume the advertised thing. It’s easy to wonder if I’m good enough, doing the right thing, living life the right way, or consuming the “right” things. These ...

Getting Real About Money and Limits

Read Time: 3 min.

I’ll be honest, I’m not writing about my financial health because I’m financially healthy. I’m writing about it because I’m not great about my money… and it bothers me. A lot of people in my life would say that I’m a pretty good adult—perhaps that I have been since I was about four. It’s a hazard of being an only child. And in a lot of ways it’s true. When I’m presented with a task or an area of m...

When Fall Doesn’t Come

Read Time: 3 min.

I am a California baby raised primarily in the northern Midwest. For most of my life, fall meant a clear change in the seasons. In childhood, fall meant leaving the city for field trips with my Detroit classmates in the orchards of the Michigan countryside, driving through different northern regions to see the colorful changing foliage, and jumping into leaf piles that my dad created in our front ...

Courage in the Wilderness

Read Time: 3 min.

My feet were dragging across a rocky singletrack trail in the Superstition Wilderness east of Phoenix. It was nearly 90 degrees outside and I was 43 miles into a 52.4 mile run—a double marathon. The entire right side of my body was cramping, my legs were sapped of energy, and I could feel my heart rate climbing like a mountain goat up a scree field. I hurt. I hurt bad. I was in what ultrarunners c...

Failing Friendships and Learning to be Kind

Read Time: 4 min.

I’ve heard it said that, even more than their lessons, educators teach who they are as people. Students learn about their teachers’ passions, annoyances, available buttons to push, and amount of care they hold for their pupils—perhaps even more than they learn about their coursework. As a teacher, I have seen this happen. As a former student, I’ve learned that the most important person a student c...

Marshmallows and Delusions of Grandeur

Read Time: 3 min.

As a kid, I loved marshmallows. The way they turn golden brown over an open flame. Their powdery mouthfeel and sugary taste. And not to mention their effortless ability to perfectly smoosh together on top of a melted peanut butter cup (that’s right—even as a kid, my s’mores game was strong). Unfortunately, these puffy treats were ruined for me thanks to the marshmallow experiment. If you aren’t fa...

How Art Has Changed My Life

Read Time: 4 min.

I was recently asked what experiencing a creative art taught me, if I could quantify its effect on my life, and what “good” came from it. As a self-proclaimed “arty farty” person, my first reaction is to soap box the importance of art in our culture.  How it shapes us and our reality.  How it’s used in marketing, film, politics, and is statistically proven as valuable for test scores and SAT’s. I ...

What I Didn’t Know I Needed to Know

Read Time: 2 min.

Like many others, I wasn’t able to escape craze surrounding Hamilton: An American Musicalthat has swept America in the last few years. Whether it’s the shock and novelty of rap in a major musical, the celebration of an unsung American hero, the brilliant character development, or the themes that keep recurring in unexpected places, it seems to be finding its way into American hearts on a host of l...

The Gift of a Tender Heart

Read Time: 4 min.

Despite how it sometimes seems when we focus on the negative, Americans still value kindness as a culture. Each person’s view on kindness may be a little different, but the idea is still in our framework as a people. No one has ever sat in a merging lane of a highway traffic jam forever. Someone will eventually let them in with a wave. Most children’s television programming regularly teaches ways ...

Virtues

Read Time: 3 min.

Honesty. Truthfulness. Purity. Kindness. Forgiveness. Courage. Humility. Obedience. Integrity. Faithfulness. Trustworthiness. Peace. Mercy. Compassion. Perseverance. Love. Hope. Moderation. Generosity. Wisdom. Patience. Common Sense. Diligence. Forgiveness. Endurance. Cheerfulness. Gentleness. Self-control. Serenity. Loyalty. Contentment. Strength. Joy. Purity. Unity. Faith. Respect. Dignity. Hono...

You Can’t Plan

Read Time: 4 min.

Life is funny, isn’t it? From the beginning of my freshman year of high school, my goal was to be in the select Jazz Choir for my junior and senior year. It was going to happen. It didn’t matter that only 16 voices got selected. It didn’t matter that I needed to fit it into my schedule. I just KNEW. And when the roster was posted at the end of my sophomore year and my name was under the altos, my ...

Why I Spent Four Years Pursuing a “Useless” Degree

Read Time: 4 min.

Every once in a while it is nice when things don’t go according to plan. For me, those were my four years as an undergrad at the University of Illinois. I had entered college with the intention of pursuing a degree in International Studies. My concentration was in “Middle East Politics & Policy.” The plan was to go on to pursue a career in diplomacy, move to Washington D. C. and intern with th...


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