The artist dying to come out

When I was 20, I took a drawing class. I believed in the Liberal Arts tradition that college should be about more than just checking off a list of required classes. I believed that college should help you to become a better person. You should learn a career or trade, but also learn about yourself …

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A frank look at white privilege

I remember the first time I heard the term “white privilege.” Oh, the African American student who yelled it at me, didn’t use the actual term white privilege, it wasn’t a word that you heard all that much back then, but his point was still the same. It was a chilly spring day, but the …

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Everything’s gonna be alright

The voice on the other end of the call became garbled and faded out. I saw the senior executive's face on the Microsoft Teams call, but I couldn't make out what he said. When he came back on, all I could hear him saying was "what do you think, Brian?" In this crazy COVID-19 world, …

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And a child shall lead them

My daughter loves hanging out with her friends. She also enjoys reading or relaxing with our dog Nittany. Likewise, my oldest son loves to lift weights and watch action movies. Over the past twelve months, I’ve watched as both have given up things they love and stepped out of their comfort zones to tackle new …

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Memories that stick

One moment lasted a little more than an hour, the next, maybe ten minutes max, but once they were gone, they were gone. I’m talking of course about two moments that my wife and I experienced at the beach a few weeks ago: one was a beautiful sunrise and our walk on the beach and …

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When simple name calling becomes assault and battery

You hear it all the time: “He’s an idiot!”  “No, she’s a moron!” Whether it’s on social media, television, driving, or even just in the local convenience store, I’m constantly amazed by the level of aggression people throw at each other. I used to blame the combative language and scheming in every day life on …

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First world problems, minor irritations

When I was a kid in elementary school, the lunch lady used to lecture my friends and I about wasting food. She would tell us that little kids in China or some third world country we had never heard of were going to bed with an empty stomach and we were throwing away perfectly good …

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