June 17, 2015

Student loan debt is a problem. It’s becoming a public health crisis (economically speaking). It’s unsustainable, and just as ecological unsustainability always harms the poor the most, it takes it greatest toll on those who most desperately need affordable education. And Lee Spiegel’s resentful screed has done absolutely nothing to help. Read more

June 9, 2015

Outside evangelical circles, the Bible is largely seen as either a primary cause of patriarchy or too steeped in it to generate any genuinely counter-cultural options. Within evangelical circles, the impetus to protect the Bible from its critics (because, you know, God needs our help with that) has generated a hermeneutic of suspicion toward feminist or egalitarian “revisionist” readings. Neither party is all that keen to believe that a specifically evangelical reading of the Bible, committed to the sorts of things evangelicals tend to be committed to, can offer all that much criticism of patriarchy and its cultural expressions. Read more

May 29, 2015

I hate writing the academic integrity paragraph on my syllabus. I have to name all the ways a student can cheat, because someone has done it in the past, and I have to make sure that whoever does it in the future can legitimately be held responsible for his misdeeds. I’ve done my best to rewrite it to emphasize what ought to be done, rather than what ought not to be done, but I can’t do away with the finger-wagging part entirely. Read more

May 26, 2015

A new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that competent people aren’t always happy about it. (Nice popular-level summary of the findings here.) Other people tend to give competent folk more work than they would give less-competent folk, and they tend to overestimate the ease and speed of a task when a competent person is doing it.  In their turn, competent folk perceive these effects at work and at home, and feel overburdened and dissatisfied because… Read more

May 8, 2015

Given how ruthlessly mothers’ hard, good, important work is devalued and discounted in society, and given how ruthlessly all work is devalued and discounted when it is done by women (the economic language is not used metaphorically there), I’m a little skeptical of attempts to manage Mother’s Day by making it “available to all.” Read more

May 6, 2015

Note: This post is part of the Public Square series on rites of passage.  Read more here! Our church scheduled its Nursery Worker Appreciation luncheon on the same day as its High School Senior Recognition luncheon this year. For just a second, I was really, really annoyed. “Why on earth would they deliberately schedule such a conflict? Parents can’t be at both luncheons at the same time. What were they thinking???” I all but screeched at my husband. “Probably that… Read more

April 30, 2015

Often, a failure of workplace ethics is a failure of shame–a failure to be ashamed at doing what one knows or senses to be wrong. It is a mother’s job to install that shame button, and by and large moms do a good job of it. Read more

April 27, 2015

Refraining from idle and malicious gossip can keep good will from being destroyed, can keep bonds of affection from being broken. But it doesn’t quite do enough to form them when they’re not already there. Holy gossip can do that. It is to the collective body what a gratitude journal is to the individual body. Read more

April 22, 2015

My youngest son had to have blood drawn today. I was more distressed by this than I should have been. Read more

April 18, 2015

The professions–I use the word in its technical sense–carry with them an expectation of virtue, a presumption that a professional–a person devoted to one of the professions–will be the same person on and off the job. Read more

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