Back to School: Chaos and Umbrellas

Sep 3, 2015

It’s back-to-school time once again. Students everywhere are returning to campus excited to see each other and catch up – but Roanoke College Professor Brent Adkins wants to know something. He wants to know why students are in school in the first place – and encourages them to look beyond the degree.

Why are you here? This is a question that I ask all of my classes in one form or another. Let me tell you how the conversation usually goes.

Me: Why are you here?

Open Mic Essay: Mother Would Not Be Pleased

Jul 16, 2015

I’ve always told my children, “Don’t hitchhike and don’t pick up hitchhikers.” But, in truth, from my own experience, I’ve found that hitchhiking can lead to some interesting adventures.

Cast Aluminum Nurse with IV (New Kensington, PA)

Top entries from the 13th Annual Celebration of Reflective and Creative Writing (2015):

It’s never easy to deal with sickness and death, but nurses do it every day.  In her essay, UVA graduate student Melissa Beth Behl   explains how  and why she’s  able to cope with the stress of caring for patients.

Mother's Day Remembrance: Benedetta at 106

May 1, 2015

Mother's Day provides a chance to think about our mothers and about those who came before them -- the often unsung heroes of countless families. Charlottesville writer Debby Prum remembers her grandmother -- who lived for more than a century and left her family with many amusing memories. 

Channeling Your Inner Luddite

Feb 25, 2015

My son gave me a record player for Christmas.  Here is how it works. You turn a knob to switch on the power. You place the vinyl LP onto the turntable. You lift the black lever and guide the needle to the record. The needle drops and then—miracle of miracles--you hear music.

On the other hand, turning on my television requires an advanced degree in electronic devices. How I long for the big brown wooden box of my childhood, the one with an on/off knob and a rotary dial to select the four available channels.