Open Mic

A Violet Battle Flag: Somehow, I found myself genuinely, internally distressed about color choices I was debating between painting a room in the upstairs of my new house. Pressuring myself to make a selection in my mind, I was increasingly full of doubt regarding selecting either hue. Would this one complement existing colors? Would that one go well with the furnishings?

I don’t mind turning fifty, really I don’t.  I suppose after you lose your hair at thirty, aging just becomes an abstraction:  I can’t really go gray after all, and I’m too blind to see my wrinkles, so no big deal, right? 

That said, I have noticed a trend I’m not so crazy about, this one where people I know and love, people my age, get sick.  And they don’t get better.  That’s not so good.  I’m not so crazy about that

Open Mic Essay: A Tale of Two Dogs

Dec 3, 2015
Creative Commons

I never wanted a dog. Growing up, my main interactions with dogs involved being chased by the junkyard variety. 

Years ago, my ten-year-old son, Ian, began lobbying for a dog just before his remaining sibling headed off to college. This last child desperately did not want to be left alone in a house with aging parents.

Postcard from Iran

Sep 22, 2015

The postcard read, “One memory of Iran, that I present of my very perty (sic) Sara,” and was signed, “Bahman and Reza.” 

The card showed a picture of a young girl, maybe 14 years old, working at a loom—“A girl carpet weaver of Isfahan, Iran,” read the caption.

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?