Last month, I attended a local rally in support of refugees and immigrants. The rally was partly in response to the first version of Trump's executive order, which banned immigrants from seven predominately Muslim countries, and was later struck down in court. One of the speakers at the rally was a local pastor. As part of her address, she wanted to sing. She asked those of that recognized the song to join in: We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord We are one in the Spirit, we [ continue reading ... ]

When I got married last May, I chose to take my husband's last name. I want to explain that decision. But most of all, I want to affirm that choosing how to deal with the tradition of a woman taking her husband's last name is, in fact, a decision. A woman does not have to take her husband's last name any more than he has to take hers. At the same time, all of the alternatives have their own disadvantages and complications. I am all for people who choose to take on those complications in the [ continue reading ... ]

In my post describing my decision to march in the Women's March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, I emphasized that I could only tell you my story. While that is still true, it is also true that my story is largely one of being amazed at the movement created when hundreds of thousands of individuals made the choice to stand up for themselves and for each other. I was and am overcome at having been a part of that. Here's the rest of that story. The night before the march (which was also [ continue reading ... ]

Last Saturday, January 21, 2017, I participated in the historic Women's March on Washington. Over the past few days, I have struggled with how to respond--if at all--to those who criticize or belittle the march. It's hard to know when others are truly willing to engage and try to understand and when they're simply looking for more opportunities to make their own points. For now, I've decided to start with telling my story. I can't tell you anyone else's story or perspective, but I can tell [ continue reading ... ]

My "I Voted" sticker fell off the wall the other day. I'd stuck it there on Election Day, intending to save it. I expected to have helped elect the first female president. Falling off now, it's as if the sticker senses what instead approaches. If you're looking for something new in this post, I don't exactly have anything new to say. This is me trying to process something that doesn't make intellectual or moral sense. The other night, a fellow blogger retweeted one of Donald Trump's older tweets: Sadly, [ continue reading ... ]

2016 was rough. It seems weird to say that about the year I got married. It's especially weird to say that since when people ask me how our "married life" is going, I can honestly say being married to Tom is the best part of my life right now. Sure, it's been an adjustment--and I've had my own personal struggles with change and identity--but our transition together has thus far been remarkably smooth. I mostly chalk that smooth transition up to two things: one, he is incredibly gracious and patient, [ continue reading ... ]

There are a wide variety of reactions to our recent presidential election, and they vary even within people who voted the same way (or didn't vote at all). However, there seems to be a cross-section of people across voting decisions that urge: "Let's talk about this. Let's listen to each other. Then let's move past it." I'm all about having authentic relationships with people and trying to understand others' perspectives and experiences. But I don't have to be ready to talk right now. In no [ continue reading ... ]

On election night, I found myself reflecting on the historic nature of the day. Nearly 100 years after the woman's right to vote was recognized, we were going to have our first female president. I was excited, but I also felt in hushed awe of the moment. I saved my "I Voted" sticker in case one day I have a daughter to show it to. I thought about people anticipating other moments in history and wondered what it felt like for them. I was amused by the contrast of this landmark in time with what [ continue reading ... ]

The English language is missing some words. For instance, there are gender-neutral terms for a grandmother or grandfather (grandparent) and for a brother or sister (sibling) but no categorical term for aunt and uncle or niece and nephew. At the same time, there's no gender-specific term for cousin (while other languages do have a term). This has always bothered me. Recently, I realized another word that's missing. The other day, I was trying to explain and how I'm trying to figure out how [ continue reading ... ]

I'm always ambitious about my plans for the summer. Since I'm a teacher, summer is the time to catch up on everything I've put on hold during the hectic schedule of the school year. It's also when I tackle big projects, both personal and career-related. My list usually involves a lot of "house" goals (cleaning, organizing), teaching goals (research, organizing), and writing goals (blog posts, writing for other publications, my book project). This summer, making my house more fit for two, there's [ continue reading ... ]