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 […]

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 […]

I want to be…

I want to be…

We hear a lot about emotional availability in our culture, but what about emotional awareness? To me, emotional awareness is the sense of self that one develops from reflecting upon life experiences, which includes examining your own feelings along with how your behavior affects the well-being of other people.  You have to admit and own […]

Time: Just how do you want to spend it?

Time: Just how do you want to spend it?

Geographic location.  Career direction.  Interpersonal relationships.  There’s a lot in life that can be negotiated, however, time will never make the list.  After all, we only have so much to divide up in a variety of different ways.  I know who and what matters to me; I’m focused.  It probably has something to do with […]

Independent voters?

Independent voters?

Recently, I rewrote a presentation on political parties because I felt that it needed to be updated.  While looking for supplemental materials that will be used to generate an in-class discussion, I found polling data from earlier this year that indicates 42% of people surveyed self-identify as “political independents,” i.e. they don’t claim either the […]

Some routines may confine

Some routines may confine

Routines.  I really like them.  I embrace the consistency of a healthy pattern because repetition brings me comfort.  That said, sometimes routines have to be intentionally broken.  Why?  Challenging yourself is vital to a purposeful existence.  A couple of months ago, I decided that I wanted to do something in addition to teaching over the […]