“The End of the Beginning:” I Gave Up on Organized Religion

In 2011, I was casually attending the hip new church in my hometown. The Table* stuck out like a green steeple from the fold of worship halls found in that Buckle of the Bible Belt town. The people there didn’t care about your tattoos and piercings. There was no dress code, in theory or in practice. They were non-denominational. Instead of a choir singing hymns, they had a band playing contemporary praise-and-worship. I thought, wished, hoped that they were different. Continue reading

wonder woman

Wonder Woman, Is the World Ready for You?

As a person who spends a lot of her time in geek and nerd circles, I often find myself caught up in age-old arguments, like Can Wolverine Really Die? or What’s Stronger: Captain America’s Shield or Mjolnir?* Sometimes these arguments can get a little—okay, a lot—offensive. Just recently, someone made the comment that the new Superman movie was going to be a Justice League film, because Batman was going to be in it. “Aquaman and Wonder Woman, too,” I said. The groans started almost immediately, and I expected the next comments to steer the conversation towards a light dissection of Aquaman’s illogical League inclusion. But no. The offender was not that most useless of Super Friends, but Wonder Woman.  Continue reading

A Quick and Easy Guide to Buying Textbooks as an Undergrad

With my last semester at USC Upstate beginning next week, now seemed like a good time to publish this bit of advice for undergrads. In the almost eight years I’ve spent working on my BA, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to avoid buyer’s remorse. With the economy still in recovery, and textbook inflation since 1978 nearing 900%,* it is now more important than ever that students save money when and where they can. The following post contains my three-step book-buying process, plus a handy collection of related tips. Continue reading

Think the Publishing Industry Is Genderblind? Think Again.

By the time we reach a certain level of professionalism, most of us would like to believe that our work speaks for us. Sometimes this is not the case, we reason—like when the hiring manager is an old nemesis from high school—but it’s largely what we do, not who we are, that determines our success. Although I am well-aware that not even men can get by on their merits these days, I also know that women absolutely cannot afford to navigate the working world with this rose-tinting philosophy. Continue reading

Professional Jealousy: How to Handle Others’ Fame and Success

Last week, I caught World’s Greatest Dad—starring Robin Williams as prep school poetry professor Lance—on Netflix. He’s a hard-working, unpublished writer who is sidelined as everyone celebrates the successes of his easy-going colleague, Mike, played by Henry Simmons. Lance catches his publishing break entirely by accident, and is therefore unable to take credit for his work. Continue reading