Category Uncategorized

My interview on KPFT, 90.1 FM

Michael Battey, President of Vegan for Life and a host on World Vegan 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 […]

Your question. My answer.

Q: “How was your trip?”  A: “Cathartic.” 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 […]

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

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

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

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…

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?

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?

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

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 […]

Apology unsaid and unreceived

Some nights you can’t forget.  I remember pulling into the driveway of the suburban Chicago home where I spent my adolescence one July evening twenty-five years ago.  The sun had not yet totally disappeared from the sky.  You could still feel the warmth of that summer day lingering as dusk approached.  I longed to take […]

Ignite does it again

When I listen to Ignite’s A War Against You (2016), I can’t figure out if it’s an arena rock-influenced melodic hardcore record or a melodic hardcore-influenced arena rock record.  In my opinion, many of the guitar leads and chord progressions, combined with the vocals and slick production, make it sound like more of the latter.  […]

Avert cynicism, look inward

As a teacher, it would be really easy to resign yourself to defeat when students don’t follow directions or meet your expectations.  Those of us in education have all been there.  You grade a round of assignments or exams that leave you feeling befuddled and exasperated.  At times like that, I think we really need […]

Even subtle victim blaming is unacceptable

Eager to escape the congestion that’s too common in northwest Harris County and relax by spending time outdoors, my friend and I regularly drop by a local park just a few miles from my apartment.  It’s a simple, yet perfect, suburban refuge conveniently tucked behind a housing development just off of a major thoroughfare.  While […]

“Use Your Voice” by H2O

If you enjoy H2O’s Nothing to Prove (2008) as much as I do, then Use Your Voice (2015) will be a solid companion album worthy of adding to your music collection.  It has plenty of catchy guitar riffs and intense, rapid fire drumming across the eleven tracks for those of us who dig melodic hardcore.  […]