FIRESTARTER Category

I'm starting to become somewhat unhappy with a current trend I'm seeing on-line: increasingly indignant or strident calls for women to "step up" and start more enthusiastically participating in STEM (or the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)… purportedly so as to give women more of a voice in society, so as to change […]

I've had some fascinating discussions recently with a few friends about things like privilege and trigger warnings and such. I'm writing my thoughts down because not only was it really interesting seeing someone else's perspective on this, but I also want to be sure I've thought this through as best I can… and writing stuff […]

Butter chicken for dinner tonight — yum! It's in the crockpot and starting to make the house smell delicious. Combined with the fact that it's summer and my proposal deadlines are all stalled until my adviser returns from her (well-deserved) vacation, that means I find myself with a bit of writing time on my hands, […]

There is a French term I love: esprit de l'escalier. It translates literally as "wit of the stairs," and means roughly "the concise and clever retort that occurs to you too late, as you are on the stairs and leaving the scene." I was sad to hear it is rarely used any more in French, […]

Some years ago I had a friend with whom I lunched on a weekly basis. At that time he was on a job team that had something particularly difficult and complex to accomplish. This wouldn't have been such a big deal except that, frankly speaking, the manager was terrible. He wished to hear only that […]

As some who read my blog may know already, I'm currently struggling with the process of writing my dissertation proposal. Despite writing being one of the things I do best and most easily, and for various reasons that aren't important right now, I've had some nervous procrastination issues with writing this proposal. Thus my adviser […]

Happy New Year!! :-D Now that this irritatingly wince-inducing semester of comps is over, I've been very much getting into relaxing. As a consequence I've also had a few interesting experiences and idle thoughts which I thought I'd write down here. For example, I had two weirdly amusing things happen to me the other day. […]

I've been thinking about it, and I have so very much to be thankful for this year! I'm truly fortunate to be a successful doctoral student who is currently ABD (All But Dissertation). This year is the one where I finish both comprehensive essays (I have two weeks left on the second one), which I […]

A common assumption I've frequently read is that the "worst discovery" made by humankind was agriculture, in that it taught men (not humans) the concept of property. The rather androcentric theorizing seems to be that once men conceptualize food as property which can be hoarded away despite the needs of others, it's invariably a short […]

This has been a very strange semester so far, and I'm less than a week in. Amongst other things, my Women & World Religions comps essay prof did another review of my bibliography, and suggested some changes. I found this odd for two reasons: 1) I thought we'd agreed on the official booklist at the […]

Bestiaries depict mythical, moralizing animals, but are also potential allegorical sparks that can bloom into brilliant mental bonfires. My bestiary is this mythologizing animal's fascinated exploration of beauty & meaning in the wonder of existence -- in the hopes of inspiring yet more joyous flares of intellectual passion.

Enjoy!

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