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Posts tagged "Identity"

Misunderstanding, Misunderstood: The Sylvia Plath Who Wrote For Children

Misunderstanding, Misunderstood: The Sylvia Plath Who Wrote For Children

At 17, I read The Bell Jar. After grimacing through the suicide attempts, the shock therapy sessions, the nervous breakdowns, and the general darkness, I closed the book, appreciated the work, and then thought, “Damn. This woman was crazy.”

At 21, I thought my life had become The Bell Jar. I felt the same suffocating dread Plath expressed in her characters’ fears of “settling.” I wallowed in my failures, was crippled by indecision, felt misunderstood, tired, and nervous. About everything. Plath was my female masthead, unapologetically vocalizing every one of my rite-of-passage fears with poetic authenticity.

Then, just last week, my English major survey…

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The Primary Definition of an Evangelical

The Primary Definition of an Evangelical

This election cycle, Donald Trump’s ascendancy to front-runner status has given religion beat writers a whole new angle of thinkpiece to write: what exactly is an Evangelical, and why are they voting for Trump. At least a half-dozen of them are produced daily, it seems, from major publications like The Washington Post and the New York Times to your friendly neighborhood religious blog. Evangelical bastions like Christianity Today magazine and Liberty University are weighing in on the discussion, and even smaller Evangelical outlets like Relevant Magazine are trying to parse the Trump phenomenon. Flummoxed political insiders aren’t the only ones left…

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The Graduates (Almost): Thoughts on College, Leisure, and Uncertainty for 'Millennials'

The Graduates (Almost): Thoughts on College, Leisure, and Uncertainty for ‘Millennials’

This is Part 1 of a multi-part series about college, faith, and the expectations of millennials from the perspective of two near-graduates: David and Lizzie, Mockingbird’s finest interns.

Emily Dickinson once wrote, “I have perfect confidence in God and his promises & yet I know not why, I feel the world holds a predominant place in my heart.” As students, David and I have often felt this same conflict; we have confidence in God—or, at least, confidence that we’ll eventually find [unwavering] confidence in God—and yet, uncertainty, a paralytic indecision that creeps in as we begin to consider “What’s next?” “What…

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Long Days and the In-Between Times

Long Days and the In-Between Times

My husband and I decided to take advantage of the recent three-day weekend by potty training our not yet two-and-a-half-year-old son. It’s times like these when my palms begin to shake, missing late nights or showering regularly or skipping out of the house for a spontaneous dinner gathering.

Instead, I spent the weekend in my pajama pants with the Wiggles singing in the background, carefully eyeing my son to make sure he didn’t unload on our carpet.

Wild times.

Today is shaping up to be crisis-free–a real rarity in (our) married life. From the moment we said our vows, life has felt like…

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There's No Santa Claus, Charlotte, but #GodisGood- andYouCanTrustHim

There’s No Santa Claus, Charlotte, but #GodisGood- andYouCanTrustHim

In my 31 years of life, I’ve had two run-ins with the real Santa Claus. I know what you’re thinking: “Aha, she’s going somewhere funny with this. She didn’t really see Santa Claus!”

WELL I DID!

And I didn’t just “see” him. I saw him twice.

Santa Sighting #1

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m a six-year old who stays up pretty much every night sweating, concocting terrible, horrific stories in my mind (i.e. death by headless horseman, an unseasonal tornado, or undetected appendicitis). As per usual, the rest of the family is long since asleep. Suddenly, I hear a clatter on the roof. My…

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The "Trigger-Warning" Life

The “Trigger-Warning” Life

Universities have historically always been on the leading edge of American cultural change. The university has, or at least tries to be, the place where new ideas are tested, refined, and put into meaningful action. Today’s college students become tomorrow’s leaders, which is to say that the recent explosion of “trigger warning” policies are not an aberration or fad that can be ignored.

As Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt so astutely outline in their cover story for The Atlantic (see DZ’s take here), the muting of “triggers” from pedagogy is an overt form of censorship of anything that might create unwelcome,…

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Choose Your Own Narrative

Choose Your Own Narrative

I engaged in a Facebook fight recently. This hasn’t happened in a while. I try to avoid commenting on the status updates and posts that particularly (and regularly) annoy me–not so much out of a sense of honor as an awareness that my blood pressure can’t take it. But when I read a comment posted underneath a friend’s status update–a comment that appeared to defend prosperity preachers and minimize the evil of ISIS in one fell swoop–I couldn’t help myself. I loaded up my verbal ammunition and fired.

For the next several hours, I went back and forth with my virtual…

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I Am What I Drink: Identity and Craft Beer

I Am What I Drink: Identity and Craft Beer

Long time readers of the blog will know the world of alcohol is one of life’s laboratories where our favorite theological themes are examined. Lord knows we’ve written a book’s worth of material on the subject of alcoholism, addiction, and the wisdom found in the world of recovery. Along with the very real and widespread issue of dependency, the bar scene is another petri dish where some of the most widespread identity-crafting techniques are employed. Chief among the questions of identity: what should I drink, and what will my order say about me.

For craft beer fans, the question of drink and identity is a…

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A Mockingbird World Cup Review (So Far)

A Mockingbird World Cup Review (So Far)

I gave myself whiplash celebrating a USA goal. When Jermaine Jones scored in the 64th minute for the US to even the score at 1-1 with Portugal, I raised my fists and snapped my head back so rapidly as I roared that I had quite the headache, and was left massaging my neck. Yes, it was idiotic, but no, I don’t regret it.

I have fully bought into the fanaticism of the World Cup. I took a little bit too much pride in being able to recite all of the possible outcomes for the US going into the final day of…

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A Mockingbird Guide to the World Cup

A Mockingbird Guide to the World Cup

I was nine. It was the summer of 2002 in the early hours of the morning that the US shocked Mexico in the Round of 16 in the World Cup to advance to the quarterfinal. The excitement was electric. Nobody had expected it, but the cries of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” filled the room. It was the best the USA has ever done in a World Cup.

The World Cup is a sporting event like no other. It ignites more passion than any other, and it starts in less than a week. I realized that this is only the sixth World Cup I’ve…

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NYC Preview: The Passion of the Childish Gambino: Online Honesty and Instagram Authenticity

NYC Preview: The Passion of the Childish Gambino: Online Honesty and Instagram Authenticity

Mockingbird has been around since 2008, and the earliest post we have on the subject of Social Media is 2009, in which we studied the phenomenon of getting busted on Facebook for real-life lies.  In the five years since that post, we certainly haven’t lost our fascination with the subject- it’s been one of our favorite hobbies to put the world’s social life under the microscope and view our favorite themes in action. Facebook users (for 10 years now!) are cultivating identities to be liked instead of being honest. Selfies are the new living room portraits, carefully framed to show the…

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Moral Failures, Half-Way Love, and the Wonder of Imputation

Moral Failures, Half-Way Love, and the Wonder of Imputation

Heidelberg Catechism (1563) Question 60:

How are you righteous before God?

Only by true faith in Jesus Christ: that is, although my conscience accuses me, that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have never kept any of them, and am still prone always to all evil; yet God, without any merit of mine, of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never committed nor had any sins, and had myself accomplished all the obedience which Christ has fulfilled for me;

While professional athletes have undeniable talent,…

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