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Showing posts from 2014

Boldness and Authorship

As the semester has drawn to a close here at Baylor, I have had to conclude a number of writing projects.  It is always hard to declare a piece of writing "finished," but I have found this to be especially difficult after grad school.  In the academic life cycle, a masters degree declares to the world that you are a work in progress.  At least this was the case for me, since I completed mine with the full intention to continue to a PhD, and this two-year delay is undesirable.  But as I hover in this liminal space as I wait to continue my education, I have found that I do still need to write things occasionally, and I have to do this with the knowledge that I am not the writer nor the expert that I someday will be.  There have been a few journalism projects that have come across my desk in the past few weeks, and I can't believe I am contributing to projects in areas in which I have zero special expertise.  And yet, I must read what I can, think carefully, write well, and…

Christian Response to Non-Christian Religious Persecution

On Monday, a video was released showing approximately 100 of the 276 young women who were abducted in Nigeria nearly a month ago. The militant group responsible for this crime, Boko Haram, has the aim of imposing stricter enforcement of Sharia law in the country. Though the group has largely confined its violence to Nigeria, the risk of a spiraling insurgency prevails. 

The past few weeks have also brought updated news of the horrors faced by the Muslim Rohingya population in Burma. The issue was ignored during the recent meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations; in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Lê Lương Minh, Secretary General of the ASEAN, insisted the issue "has not been brought up and will not be brought up." In the last two years, ethnic and religious violence in Burma has killed nearly 300 people and forced another 140,000 from their homes. The violence has spilled over into Indonesia and Malaysia. Hundreds of aid workers have been f…

Immortal Diamond

Bacchus one day, the Black Dog the next.  I had a wonderful weekend up in the Sierras near Tahoe. My brother met me at a family friend's beautiful home that is one of the coziest places on earth.  We ate wonderful food, had some fantastic conversations, went on some mountain snow adventures, and played with puppies, horses, kitties, and chickens.  I had a lot of fun with my brother.  A wonderful weekend.

And yet when I got on the plane, melancholy jumped right into my lap for a long and heavy sit.  Tears streamed from my eyes for three hours, silently, while everyone around me, thankfully, pretended not to notice.  I was excited to get back to work - CS Lewis and more Dante on the docket this week, it's a dream - but I missed Greer so horribly, as if I was a little teenage Juliet who sees no other purpose for living except nearness to my boyfriend.  I can laugh at that even when I am in the midst of one of these fits, and I also begin to have more respect for that peculiar pl…

The Need of Bacchus

I haven't touched my Divine Comedy since school ended in May.  My Dante exam was my last final exam, and as soon as it ended I packed up my books, moved them to Fort Drum, and spent the fall reading easier things (such as, ahem, Inferno by Dan Brown....don't judge it was amazing).

I shipped my entire library to Texas when I moved here, and just opened the last boxes yesterday morning as I started to prepare to lead a section of Ralph Wood's Great Texts class.  To my delight, they are nearing the end of Purgatorio and I get to guest teach his class tomorrow.  
It felt wonderful to return to these books.  I loved seeing all my old notes in there - it made the pages feel living again, like they were inhaling when I opened the cover.  
I wanted to teach on the Earthly Paradise (I can't get enough Matelda!), but at the last minute my assignment was switched to the terraces of Sloth, Avarice, and Gluttony.  Not the most memorable moments of my journey through Purgatorio, I …

One Who Has Hope Lives Differently

Greer departed for Afghanistan exactly one month ago.  It seems that we have both gotten our footing in our new environments, and our FaceTime conversations have been less teary/forlorn and more about the work we are doing and whatever we're reading.  Just like the old days, in a way. 

I confessed to friends over dinner last night that it feels strange to focus solely on my professional development instead of using my work to enrich my family.  I have lost a lot of the richness of my academic inquiries now that I no longer share them with Greer every day.  I miss my conversation partner, and I miss building our life together. 

However, as I hear one amazing story after another about Greer's time overseas, I can't honestly continue to feel that we are simply "on hold."  Greer is working incredible hours over there, and each one of them seems to make history, both in his own life and on the current geopolitical stage.  The demands placed on him these days are cul…


Since Greer's departure exactly three weeks ago, I have been unsure of the degree to which I should share my feelings about his absence.  It is with no small amount of sadness and struggle that I have endeavored to set up a new life in Texas that does not include him.  I have revealed that this has been disorienting as I have moved from single grad student living alone in New Haven to a summer living with family in California to the wedding and honeymoon to married life on an enormous Army base in upstate New York to now living alone again as essentially a grad student again in a sleepy town in central Texas.  It is disorienting.  But it is much, much more than that, and I have hesitated to contemplate it too deeply.  After all, my sadness is bridled by the fact that I am overwhelmingly grateful for Greer in the first place.  He is the tall, dark, and handsome young officer-lawyer-scholar-athlete-gentleman that I always imagined when I looked at Tiffany's ads in magazines as a…

The Baylor Move

What a whirlwind the past two months have been.  Greer and I moved out of our apartment at Fort Drum, drove my Mini to Waco, Texas (we were in a blizzard for the first two days of the drive), spent nearly three weeks at home for the holidays (and had our first married and thus two-family Christmas), had two going away parties for Greer, flew back to Fort Drum to await his deployment, got stuck in a total whiteout blizzard, I flew to Texas to start my new job at Baylor, arrived to find that all four brakes on my car had completely rusted out because of all the salted roads during various snows, spent two days stuck in Dallas while they were getting fixed, finally made it to Waco to move in, then Greer flew to Afghanistan (via Germany and Kyrgyzstan) and began his yearlong deployment.  Whew.  We are both finally beginning to regain our strength and are able to assess the situations with our new jobs and living arrangements.  I live in a nice Baylor-owned apartment in Waco, and Greer sha…