• Religion for the Agnostic

    There’s something that must be said in the beginning: I am not religious. As I am a Religious Studies major, this tends to surprise people to hear. Just yesterday, while sitting quietly in Alston to finish yet another paper, I was approached by two women. When asked about my religion, I told them the truth; I am not ashamed of who I am, precisely because being agnostic was not a decision that I took lightly. Regardless, they wanted to know if I had heard of “God the Mother,” in contrast to the more popular idea of “God the Father.” Naturally, I told them I was familiar with the concept; as…

  • Double Time

    In retrospect, I should have known before I ever began working a full-time job and going to school full time that it would be a difficult experience. Still, I somehow never imagined the emotional, mental, and physical drain that would occur in such an experience. Movies make the experience seem almost glamorous—the image of a determined go-getter waking up early in the morning with birds chirping, splashing their face with water, and taking time to get ready for the brave new day ahead of them. The reality is far from this. Striving to be a successful, academically focused college student full-time while somehow finding the time to work as many…

  • Into the Great Unknown

    “Where in the hell am I going with this?” In May of my Freshman year of college, I began another blog post with such a phrase. To the best of my knowledge, the assignment that I was replying to was “What did you learn over the course of your Global Studies 102 class?” While my previous answer to that question holds true to this day, I wish I could go back to tell my younger self just what that first taste of being abroad, of being away from my home country, would allow me to understand about who I am as a person and as a citizen of this world.

  • Rumi and the Problem of Evil

    In Rumi’s [1] work, there is an attempt to solve the problem of evil [2] that is present for religions with an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God [3]. However, it is not clear that two of his solutions, namely the solution that evil is the logical opposite of good therefore evil is a logical necessity [4] and the solution that evil is only properly understood as ‘evil’ relative to humanity, can properly coexist with each other and the idea of a monotheistic God. In what follows, Rumi’s relevant accounts of the problem of evil will be defined to help develop an understanding of how the contradiction [5] that follows can affect…

  • Perks of Being a Global Student

    “Where in the hell am I going with this?” I’ve asked this question so many times throughout the semester, throughout my life, that it’s become almost as comforting as it is terrifying.

  • An Unforeseen Journey

    “What were your classes this semester like?” “What was your Global course about?” “What did you do this year?” The questions echo in my head. Everyone wants to know, wants to understand, but I don’t have the words to tell them. What did I learn in a class that not only took me to Toronto but reminded me what home was, what it felt to live, what it felt to adventure to new places and be silly with new people? I guess you could say I learned everything and nothing at all. I didn’t learn anything that was spectacularly new to me. There was no information that blew apart all of my…

  • A Blurred View

    When I was young, my mother would take me to church. I didn’t understand why I was there, but I knew that I wasn’t sure that I could agree with the things the looming, starch-pressed man behind the creaking podium was saying. But he told me that being gay was a sin, and I didn’t understand what that meant, the implications behind it, so I agreed. He told me that anyone who wasn’t Christian, and a Baptist at that, was going to hell, and I didn’t understand, so I couldn’t help but agree. And he told me my father, my loving, Catholic father, was going to hell, and so was my…

  • Eyes Wide Open

    Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I’m a million miles away. Suddenly I’m in Paris, Berlin, Quebec, Vienna. My mind wanders off to places I’ve never been, sights I’ve never seen, situations I’ve never experienced. I travel where I never have before, and I think thoughts that could inspire the world with their elegance, their brilliance.

  • Reaching Upward, Reaching Forward

    I remember walking on the winding trail. The trees are massive, reaching up to touch the sky in ways I can only yearn for. They are hundreds of years old, meant to last. They’re the kind of things that grow through concrete, soar through open skies, learn how to bow to the wind without breaking. These trees do whatever they must to get to where they want to be, to reach up, up, up to the stars smiling down on them.

  • The Snow

    It’s not quite true what they say; “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” Perhaps it would be a bit more accurate to say something like, “you appreciate something more when it’s in danger.” It would begin to capture the panic you feel as you see something beautiful disappear, and the hole left behind when there’s nothing beautiful left. This week, it’s been a little bit different; I knew exactly what I had. And I knew how desperately I would miss it as I was losing it.