Podcast: First Solo Hike in California

Podcast: First Solo Hike in California

Last Saturday, I went out for my first solo hike since I arrived here in South Lake Tahoe.  Destination: Lake Margaret.  Trail length: 5 miles.  Difficulty: moderate.  Elevation: 7735 feet.  Temperature: 65-70 degrees.  While teaching is my life, outdoor activity is one of the personal reasons why I sought to relocate to this part of […]

Goodbye H-Town

Goodbye H-Town

“I’m not walking away from here with a bunch of things I still need to declare…” -Bane On Saturday, I will depart Houston to pursue a new teaching position in South Lake Tahoe, California.  Yes, I’m moving to the Sierra Nevada Mountains!  While I lived in between three mountain ranges during my stint in Arizona, […]

Whenever possible, try repairing instead of replacement

Whenever possible, try repairing instead of replacement

There’s a good chance that a lot of what we own will one day end up in a landfill  somewhere and take years to degrade (click here and here for tables on the amount of time).  I’ve often wondered about all of the e-waste that we produce on an annual basis.  What happens to the […]

Dismissing people only fuels anger

Dismissing people only fuels anger

After years of controversy, the Texas State Board of Education unanimously agreed to adopt a high school Mexican-American studies course, but then nine members voted to change its name from “Mexican-American Studies” to “Ethnic Studies: An Overview of Americans of Mexican Descent.”  While this might appear rather innocuous, the decision speaks to a much deeper […]

Inspire me

Inspire me

Imagine all of the exchanges that are taking place at any given moment around the globe as countless thoughts are shared in-person, over the phone, and online.  How many do you estimate are truly meaningful to the people having them?  I know, what constitutes “meaningful” is totally subjective.  Also, the emotional or social gravity will […]

Intuition or reason?

Intuition or reason?

A colleague and I enrolled in a continuing education class at Rice University called Democracy and Disagreement this semester as an extension of our work with the Center for Civic Engagement.  Part of what attracted me to it is Dr. Elizabeth Barre’s interdisciplinary approach, which encompasses other important fields such as psychology and biology.  One […]

Trust me, you bear some responsibility

Trust me, you bear some responsibility

Insecurity is a poison that kills human relationships.  I wish that more people grasped this fact and those who struggle with it had the courage to examine the person they’ve become.  As complex emotional creatures, most of us have felt unsure of ourselves at some point just like we’re inclined to occasionally feel angry or […]

Dissent: Political punk from the Badlands

Dissent: Political punk from the Badlands

Even in the punk scene, thoughtful idealism can be really hard to come by.  The day I found Dissent’s self-titled LP (1988) at Toad Hall in Rockford, Illinois, I discovered a great record that originated in one of the most unexpected of places.  Without question, I connect with the band’s leftist political consciousness and I […]

They leave, I stay

They leave, I stay

When each semester winds down, a bittersweet thought crosses my mind: I won’t teach most of my students ever again.  Now, I periodically encounter them in the hallway or at a campus event, but our instructional time together is over.  As this realization sinks in, I wonder what impact my class had upon them.  This […]

Love: Elusive, but it will be found

Love: Elusive, but it will be found

My teenage years will always be an important time in my life.  There’s so much that happened during high school and community college that forged the person I am today.  Looking back, I can plot my own layered progression from adolescence into young adulthood.  One of the more important layers involves the emotional intimacy of […]

What I appreciate about Houston

What I appreciate about Houston

Four years.  That’s how long I’ve been in Houston.  I have to be honest, this place never made the list of cities that I wanted to live in when I considered leaving the Midwest.  Most of the people I meet here are from somewhere else and everyone who’s from somewhere else moved here for a […]

Liberate yourself through forgiveness

Liberate yourself through forgiveness

Last Thursday, the Center for Civic Engagement at LSC-CyFair hosted a powerful event featuring members of The Journey of Hope, a non-profit advocacy group that opposes capital punishment.  Two activists, Shujaa Graham and SueZann Bosler, shared incredibly moving stories that captivated the audience.  Mr. Graham spoke about serving time on death row before his exoneration.  […]

Courageous people…

Courageous people…

…are genuine at all times…inspire us to do more…provide truthful explanations for their actions while taking responsibility…show compassion…ask thoughtful questions even in the most difficult of moments…understand which boundaries they should maintain and which ones they should transgress…rethink their current approach…believe in a myriad of possibilities…fight like hell to uplift the human condition…demonstrate their gratitude…know […]

Goals for the upcoming school year

Goals for the upcoming school year

“We are born with a chance.  Rise above!  We’re gonna rise above!  I am gonna have my chance.  Rise above!  We’re gonna rise above!”  -Black Flag It’s hard to believe that another fall semester is just weeks away.  Can someone please tell me what happened to the spring?  The last several months have passed so […]

A cathartic solo excursion to the desert Southwest

A cathartic solo excursion to the desert Southwest

It has been a long five years.  Too much has happened.  If I think about all of the changes and disappointments, I start to feel dizzy.  If I think too much, the stress manifests in my head, chest, and abdomen.  It gnaws at my insides as the tension grows.  There are fleeting moments where everything […]