The Philosophy of Outsourcing and a Review of Blue Apron

There are some realities that I just have to learn to face. As a liberal living in Missouri, for example, I am always going to be sad about the outcomes of state-wide elections. I will never, not ever, be able to wear high heels gracefully and without pain ....more

Shame, Blame, Restoration and Victimhood Culture

There has been a swirl of tangentially connected and frustratingly amorphous thoughts going through my mind lately, and I'm going to attempt to better connect them here in the hopes that it will spark a conversation to help me sort them out. The solidification of these connections started when I read Conor Friedersdorf's Atlantic piece "The Rise of Victimhood Culture." In this piece, Friedersdorf examines an email exchange between two Oberlin college students to illustrate what is being read as the rise of a new cultural consciousness. The email exchange centered around a Hispanic female student who was insulted by a white male student's group email about a soccer club ....more

Challenging Cooperative Games and Gobblet Gobblers

Pre-parenthood, I loved board games. I have a whole closet full of dusty, lonely games as evidence of this forgotten personal history. I have this fantasy that someday my daughter, too, will love board games, and my by then ridiculously-outdated collection will get a renewed life as a cornerstone for raucous family game nights.Until then, though, I am stuck playing "age appropriate" games (which is really code for "mind numbingly dull" games) and pretending to like them because otherwise my child will grow to associate games with misery and doom and my fantasy will be dead in the water.I'm kidding ....more

Blogging to My PhD: The Agonistic Cycle of Belief and Doubt

I want to talk about how a quick little interactive puzzle from the New York Times...more

Piercing the Silence: Chemical Pregnancies, Miscarriage, and the 12-Week Wait

Last week I was pregnant. This week I am not.I had what is called a "chemical pregnancy," or a pregnancy that reads positive on a test, but fails to develop or fully implant. Apparently, this is extremely common and accounts for up to 75% of all miscarriages ....more

Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money": Violence, Feminism, and Fantasy

Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money" video is causing quite a stir, and the response has swung from playfully positive (Rebecca Nicholson...more

Blogging to My PhD: Do I Need to "Get Real" About My Teaching Goals?

I've managed to fall down a research rabbit hole and have spent the past few days wading through a decades-old (or, depending on how you want to tilt your perspective, millennia-old) debate. This particular iteration of the debate took place when Min-Zhan Lu published a 1992 article titled "Conflict and Struggle: The Enemies or Preconditions of Basic Writing?" Ammunition in academic battles. In it, Lu makes an argument very similar to the one that I'm using at the core of my dissertation: students labeled "remedial" are particularly positioned at a place of conflict in the academy, and a pedagogy that accepts (and even seeks) that conflict will serve them better than one that attempts to ignore or mitigate it.In making that argument, Lu angered several of her contemporary colleagues in basic writing ....more

Guest Post: Je Suis Charlie Ou Non (A Reflection on Trigger Warnings)

In the five months since the shooting at Charlie Hebdo, popular opinion has swung back and forth in support of and against the ideas the satirical newspaper supported. For publishing a cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammad, five people died and 11 were wounded.Now, there is an argument to be made that publishing images that rise to the level of blasphemy for Muslims is beyond the pale. Religion is one area that people more readily accept censorship regarding ....more

Philosophizing Lunch: How I Tricked Myself Into Better Eating Habits

I've written about the notion of a fragmentary or momentary self before, but those writings were very theoretical in their approach. Today, I want to talk about something very practical: how the idea of a fragmentary self has helped me trick myself into better eating habits. As of a few months ago, this is how a typical day went for me as far as eating goes ....more

Sacrifice and Protection: Is Pop Culture Warning Us?

Last night's Game of Thrones (which I will be spoiling) hit me hard on a visceral level. The scene in which Stannis has his daughter Shireen burned alive as she screams for either of her parents to save her from this cruel fate made me physically ill. In fact, the only other pop culture scene I can think that made me feel like that was the curb stomping scene from American History X.I had to step back and try to figure out why it impacted me so badly ....more