RBG sign "I dissent."

I dissent.

Today is our third day of classes on my college’s campus. In person, without any legal backup to mandate masks or vaccines, or even require COVID-positive reporting. In other words, we’re well underway at becoming a COVID hotspot. It’s inevitable. In my class today, 1/3 of my students had masks on. I am literally not …

yin and yang

Defense against the liberal arts?

** With apologies to Harry Potter fans for butchering the line. I spend about six hours a week staring at a video feed of myself whilst holding virtual office hours (which I call drop-in student hours, because not everyone knows what “office hours” means). During that time, I typically have very few students actually swing …

I am grateful

Acknowledgements

After an incredibly tortuous journey, in August 2014 I defended my dissertation and officially earned my Ph.D., which would be conferred at some point later on. While I’m proud of my tenacity and proud of the research and writing I did, there’s no question that the best part of the whole process was getting to …

broken glass

This is what I believe

On this cloudy Friday, I believe a few things to be true: I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I believe Brett Kavanaugh is a basically good man. Notwithstanding his behavior as a teenager and his petulant performance yesterday, which reeked of entitlement. I also believe Kavanaugh doesn’t remember what Blasey Ford accuses him of doing because …

bad stories cover art

Bad Stories

One of my favorite podcasts is Dear Sugars, co-hosted by writers Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. They are both frank, passionate, clever creatives who give meaningful, compassionate advice to people facing any number of life issues. I listen regularly. So I was surprised, a couple of weeks ago, to find that Steve Almond has a relatively …

cracked Earth

Voices from Syria

You should buy and read the book, We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled, from political scientist Wendy Pearlman. To convince you, I’m going to share a half-dozen paragraphs that define the Syrian experience from 2011-2018, at least based on what I’ve read. Pearlman’s account is based on hundreds of interviews she’s done over five years …

finding commonality

Oneness

I’ve written before about how I see no inherent contradiction in being a political scientist who also teaches yoga. The undercurrent of my political science interests has always been an effort to understand people who are not like me. I’m fascinated by how others see the world differently than I do, and how that leads …