Archive for the ‘Conversations’ category

An uncomfortably sincere confession, but what the hell.

Years ago, one of my students took me completely aback when she claimed, “People don’t change until it’s too painful not to.” I thought about that for a long time. Is it true? Are we really so reluctant to disturb the status quo, even if it’s unhappy? Are we ever capable of something more? Without […]

Widening gyre

This whole month, both of my literature classes have turned into discussions of what defines the human and what we assume that humans deserve by being human. We’re reading a lot of 18th-century stuff on colonialism and slavery, so it keeps coming up, even if I fear that the conversation is getting wide of strictly […]

So funny you should ask

One morning, seemingly out of the blue, I thought, I should call a colleague I have not contacted in months. I should call her now. I did. She said, so funny you should call, I was just thinking about you and wanted to ask you something important. I read a memo at work that mentioned […]

Dang, y’all.

Today was my day! And I blew it! It’s not too late, right? Last night I had one of those “if we’ve only got a couple of hours to sleep, let’s make it count” dreams. I don’t know if I can fully explain it because it was so awful I woke up crying and couldn’t […]

Hiring season

The Ad First we secured the line. Then we wrote the job ad. Like most things decided by committee, it ended up a miscellany of priorities and desires—a cross between an eHarmony mash note and a letter to Santa Claus. Please, Santa, bring me the perfect colleague, someone who can teach competently in several incompatible […]

When I Change My Life

“When I Change My Life” — The Pretenders Probably the most brilliant idea I ever had was the discovery that I could run away. When I was a miserable little kid, I fantasized about death because I couldn’t imagine my way out of my situation. I was eight, and I told people what I needed, […]

Not to be reproduced: New Year’s open thread

Rene Magritte, La Reproduction Interdit / Not to be Reproduced (1937) On January 1, 2011, I was lucky enough to wake up in the home of dear friends, with whom I had joyfully celebrated the night before (at a party complete with bicoastal buddies, disco dancing, and a “gorgeous gateau”). As we eased into the […]

Happy New Year! . . . ?

Happy 2011 everyone! Here’s a photo of a bunch of random white people drinkin’ and smokin’ snatched from the google image search “new years eve” : – }

Peasant stuff

Since I moved in with a friend of mine a few months ago, I often walk into the kitchen and find my roommate standing at the stove, stirring a pot of stew or checking on a loaf of something in the oven. “What’s cooking?” I ask. “Eh. Peasant stuff.” She’s from a small European country […]


Overheard in the Bar at Chili’s: A:  Did you see that movie, “Zombieland”?  B:  No.  A:  It’s really funny.  B:  I hate Zombies.  A:  Why?  B:  You can’t kill them. They just keep coming. They can’t die because they are already dead.  A:  You can cut off their heads or blow them up.  C:  Or […]