The "This Girl Can" Campaign and Rhetorical Approaches to Feminist Fitness

Fitness, fatness, and my personal relationship to each have been intersecting sources of frustration and confusion for my entire adult life (and part of my childhood). This is something that I have written about on many occasions at this blog (see here, here, here, and here, for example). When I discovered the fat acceptance movement, I thought I had my answer ....more

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links!)

It's a new semester! I love the new energy and getting back to a routine, but I'm only two days in (and don't even have students back yet), and I'm already exhausted. If it's a new semester for you, I hope it's going well, and if you live in the non-academic world, then I hope you're having a great week!Anyway, here are some things I've been reading that made me smile (The Good), cry (The Bad), and think (The Curious) ....more

Blogging to My PhD: Are We Still Living in a Tidy House of 'Remedial' Education?

Today I'm reading a couple of landmark essays on developmental writing by David Bartholomae: "Inventing the University" and "The Tidy House." It's the latter that's really resonating with me and my work as a developmental writing instructor working decades after he published these words: "Basic writing has begun to seem like something naturally, inevitably, transparently there in the curriculum, in the stories we tell ourselves about English in America. It was once a provisional, contested term, marking an uneasy accommodation between the institution and its desires and a student body that did not or would not fit. I think it should continue to mark an area of contest, of struggle, including a struggle against its stability or inevitability....more

Can I Talk About Race Without 'Whitesplaining'?

I received an invitation to speak at a diversity conference as a result of this blog. In particular, the organizer read some of my blog posts about white privilege (like "The Silences I Don't Hear" and "I am Not Trayvon Martin's Mother," both of which were personal reflections on my position as a white woman raising a child of color.) I accepted the invitation and am looking forward to putting together a presentation that weaves together some personal narrative with some current events, including how my St. Louis neighborhood reacted to some of the Ferguson protests...more

Blogging to My PhD: The Intrinsic Desire for Identity, as Illustrated by Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I'm reading Dana Anderson's Identity's Strategy: Rhetorical Selves in Conversation. Anderson spends a good deal of the introduction to this book preemptively defending her practices and project in the face of postmodernism. She notes that a "pronounced effect" of postmodern perspectives has been "the virtual abandonment of 'identity' as a valid theoretical concept" (5) ....more

I'll Never Be "North of Vag"

Now that I'm six months out from my ankle break, I'm finally starting to get back to my previous workouts. I was making some pretty good progress with weightlifting before the injury, and I'm excited about getting back to it.Since it's also now winter break, this seems like a good time to make a concerted effort to get back into things. I went to this blog post from Samantha Menzies to make a plan for next week ....more

Privilege, Power, and Plywood: What To Do With Our Walls

This has been an interesting time to live in St. Louis.I was watching live feeds when the grand jury announcement was made (in full dark at 8:30 pm), and several protesters formed human barriers around buildings to try and prevent destruction, but I could also feel the tide of pain and anger swelling. That night several businesses burned in Ferguson, and a smaller protest took place in my own neighborhood.A group of protesters had marched for a few hours without incident, but it ended with tear gas at a coffee shop and smashed windows in 20 storefronts along a major business district ....more

The Spiral Road to Recovery

Six months ago, I broke my ankle while playing roller derby. Since then, I've retired from roller derby (with some amorphous hopes of returning as a ref after I finish my PhD) and started the challenging task of regaining my athleticism after the ankle break. I had the help of some great physical therapy, and my day-to-day actions are pretty much back to normal ....more

Unpopular Opinion: Do You REALLY Care About Thanksgiving Employees?

I've been seeing a lot of posts popping up in my social media feeds that are dividing companies into two realms: the money-hungry corporate thugs that would dare to make their poor employees work on Thanksgiving Day and the kind, loving companies who recognize the value of family and have given their employees the day off.Today I saw Think Progress (a site I follow because they cover stories that align with my own politics very often) post "The Progressive Guide to Holiday Shopping." Other posts with similar themes abound, including calls to boycott Thanksgiving shopping or to boycott stores that open on Thanksgiving for the entire holiday season. I'm going to try to approach this delicately because I think that my point can be easily misunderstood. First of all, I support everyone's right to boycott any place they don't like for pretty much any reason ....more