Category Personal Outlook

This one’s for the feelers

As a student at Yale Divinity School, I am more aware of emotions than the average graduate student. We divinity students are feelers. We spend hours discussing the proper way to self-care and entire semesters determining which tone of voice is best suited to ask the tough questions. Our obsession with emotion may seem a […]


Work Hard and Be Nice to People

It’s been six months since I laid out plans for my twenty-third year. 182 days have brought me closer to a place of peace than I thought possible when I discussed waking up early, learning to cook and indulging in as much trashy television as my heart desired. In this almost-but-not-yet space between 23 and […]

What I talk about when I [don’t] talk about God

Today I received feedback on my final sermon for preaching class. It was positive overall, though the professor ended on a comment that embodies the kind of criticism I’ve grown to fear as a Presbyterian layperson in the midst of future Preachers. She wrote, “While I am delighted to see such an improvement in your […]

The best stories sneak up on us

At the end of a recent interview, my interviewee, a seasoned journalist himself, asserted that I’d forgotten to ask the most important question of all. Never one to take criticism well, I eyed him skeptically, and replayed the last hour in my mind, guaranteeing that we’d touched on all of my article’s most important themes. […]

Summer Sabbatical

When I was in sixth grade, I took my teacher’s advice and began keeping a gratitude journal. Each day I’d pen a short sentence about the ice cream sundae I got to have after dinner or the game of checkers my grandma let me win, giving thanks for the simplest of pleasures. Now twice the […]

Tu me manques

The French verb manquer, meaning “to miss,” has a lesson to teach us. For some uncertain but arguably romantic reason, this verb places special demands on students of the language. It requires an advanced level of grammatical aerobics, extra attention paid to the maddening subject-verb-direct object agreement. Instead of Je manque mon chien, je manque ma mère, je […]

Lobster and Learning about Religion

This time last week I was up to my elbows in butter, crushing a crustacean’s exoskeleton with a nut cracker and debating the merits of saving the claw for last. I tackled my very first lobster and it was a gourmet experience unlike any I have known before. When our waitress delivered my lobster, I […]

Lessons I Hope to (Finally) Learn This Year

Earlier this week, I turned 23. While rarely noted among the great birthdays of one’s life, I anticipated this age change for much of my twenty-second year, which proved to be a period of uncomfortable adjustments and, at times, loneliness. 23 is meant to be my breath of fresh air, begun with a summer of writing […]

Lost & Found

Wednesday morning I awoke with my teeth clenched, feeling the aftershocks of a singing competition in my dreams. Though my subconscious had done a shabby job of fixing my less than enviable voice, it wasn’t my squawking that caused my REM cycle distress. Instead, it was my dream self’s recognition that I could have spared […]

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!

Today, my Facebook feed is full of the claims of a competitive bunch of Millennials who can’t imagine a mother as perfectly superb as their own. Though superlatives are the stuff of my everyday speech, this post isn’t about saying that Marsha Dallas is the best, the strongest, the “est”-iest of all the world’s moms. […]