Escape Artist: On Email, Social Media, and the Hope of Something Better

Every semester my students and I discuss social media at least once, no matter what the course topic might be. It is always interesting to observe their conflicting points of view regarding the use of social media by themselves and their peers. They know they have bad habits, but can't seem to shake them. In …

Fight the Distraction: On Redirecting Thoughts and Redefining Values

These past few weeks I have been returning to what matters in my life: God, family, friends, and work that matters. As such, I have been more aware of the distractions that tempt me away from these foci. Not surprisingly, the distractions are ubiquitous and destructive. To name a few: 1. Material envy. My husband …

You Are What You Read: On Choosing Literature to Lift You Up, Not Bring You Down

I have recently begun binging on motivational literature, including online articles and other blogs. While I was once shy about this practice, only downloading "self-help" books (an inaccurate way to categorize them as so many speak of to turning to God and developing relationships with others, but these are thoughts for a later post) so no one could …

Back Off, Haters: On Why We Should Seek to Understand, not Undermine Kim Kardashian

Yesterday I saw this post on my FB feed: http://time.com/2891358/kim-kardashian-boobs-black-tuxedo/ and after reading the scathing analysis of every aspect of Kim Kardashian (who, admittedly, I know little to nothing about), I felt both sympathy for her and a mild rage at writer Charlotte Alter for initiating yet another form of mom-hating: the mom who tries to be (not have) it …

The Ties That Bind…or Choke: Tradition in Women’s Literature, History, and Homes

My literary research is rooted in concepts of history and home, and how both affect women's lives. Women's identities, connections, and careers straddle the public and the private, and it seems we are always fighting past notions of femininity and what it means to be a "good woman." The fight for who you are in whatever …

Is It Better to be Powerful and Alienated or Playful and Loved? Thoughts on Disney’s Frozen

Like most little girls in America (the world?) today, my daughter is obsessed with Frozen. Now I know we throw around the word "obsessed" quite a bit, but there truly is no better term to describe the utter devotion and attention paid to this new Disney franchise. I'm not sure which of the Arendelle sisters' …