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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

My interview on KPFT, 90.1 FM

My interview on KPFT, 90.1 FM

Michael Battey, President of Vegan for Life and a host on Vegan World Radio (KPFT, 90.1 FM in Houston), asked me to be a guest on his show, so I joined him in the studio tonight (along with Angela Villanueva, M.P.H.) to discuss punk, veganism, activism, and teaching.  I really appreciate the platform to share […]

Our experiences should inform, not distort

Our experiences should inform, not distort

“Yeah, I heard it in your voice tonight.  It’s got you feeling like there’s nothing you can do.  But there’s something you can do.  You can light the way.” -Betrayed Whether it’s trying to find the hope in a demoralizing situation or the truth hidden behind all of the political drivel, the struggle to understand […]

A moment on the Chinquapin Trail

A moment on the Chinquapin Trail

Earlier today, I hiked over seven miles on a series of trails at Huntsville State Park.  Rays of sun pierced the tree branches to illuminate the forest.  Leaves rustled in the strong breeze to produce a soothing, white noise.  The solitude that I found during my visit provided the time I needed to disengage thoughts […]

Illuminating policy issues with notable stories

Illuminating policy issues with notable stories

When I think about it, I can’t exactly pinpoint where my desire to follow the news originated.  I delivered papers as a young kid in the early 80s, but I don’t know if that experience is the independent or dependent variable here.  My memory is a bit fuzzy.  It has been 35 years.  Whatever the […]

Embrace vulnerability

Embrace vulnerability

Marriage?  I don’t know much about it.  While I’ve been in several long term monogamous relationships since high school, I’ve never been close to reciting vows because the circumstances haven’t been conducive to taking that step.  So, periodically I ask some of the married people I trust and respect about their experience of making a […]