The Relationships Between All Things

The Relationships Between All Things

German prepositions are the bane of my existence as a nonnative speaker.  I know the “obvious” prepositions (the ones that function just like their American English counterparts) and the commonly used ones, such as the prepositions used to distinguish between “going...
Discerning Dignity

Discerning Dignity

Those of us who grew up in the United States learned about it in school. Those of us who live in the United States sometimes refer to it in conversation and occasionally see and hear snippets of it on television, the radio, newspapers, or the internet. References to...
Wonderfully Absurd

Wonderfully Absurd

There was a locust tree in the back yard of my parents’ house. Its spindly, feathery leaves and smooth, compact trunk seemed out of place among the rough, sprawling trunks and sturdy, angular leaves of Kansas’ cottonwoods. Moreover, something about the tree’s color...
Through a Glass, Darkly

Through a Glass, Darkly

In 1993, on a journey to Moscow, Russia, I encountered iconography in a spectacular way.  Icons seemed to be everywhere. To my 19-year-old eyes, this ubiquitous spiritual art, like everything else in the former (but only just former) Soviet Union seemed mysterious,...
The Person Who Loves, No Matter What

The Person Who Loves, No Matter What

Occasionally, one of my students would accidentally call me “Mom.”  This would not have been unusual, if I’d taught Kindergarten or first or second grade.  But I did not teach at an elementary school.  I taught at a university.  Inevitably, the student who had...