I had just closed the bedroom door when I saw el dueño de la casa staring down at me with suspicion, “¿Ya pagaste?”. Did you pay already? He knew what sneaking out looked like.

“!Sí, sí! Es sobre la mesa justo dentro.” It’s on top of the table just inside.

Our eyes locked as he made a move towards the bedroom door.

“¡No, no, por favor espera! Estoy tratando de salir sin él.” No, no, please wait! I am trying to leave without him.

There was a pause. “Ahhh,” he nodded his head downward, then his chin swept slightly upwards…


Recently, I read Nothing Ever Dies by Viet Thanh Nguyen, a book that traces the philosophical and historical roots of the inhumane actions of the Vietnam (or American) War. In this reading, I was brought back to the knee-jerk reactions and impassioned days of my youth, brought back to a person that lives within me today, though my relationship with her has changed. As Fred Hampton, chairman of the Chicago’s Black Panther Party, once chanted, “I…


Last month’s post about Rho’s experience as an Asian American struck a chord with Cait Ennis. Born in Philadelphia to a Chinese mother and a White American father, Cait struggled to find herself within these two identities.

“I feel like I do not know my culture fully, and people ask me sometimes what I am, and I know the answer to that question, and I don’t know the answer,” Cait begins. Growing up, Cait felt an inner divide between her Chinese and American heritage. “The quest for my self-identity has been challenging because of this.”

two people in hippie outfits
two people in hippie outfits
Cait’s parents

Cait’s Childhood as a Chinese American

In Philadelphia, Cait was immersed…


I first met Ryan Stelzer over Zoom- he was giving a workshop on how the apply the humanities lens to the business world. His perspective struck me because he possessed a clear passion and understanding of humanities studies.

A graduate of the University of Chicago’s Divinity School, this is no surprise. What is surprising, however, is the breadth of Ryan’s application of his humanities degree. From working in government to starting his own philosophy consulting firm and now coauthoring a book, Ryan sees and uses this knowledge as an asset in his work. …


I am happy to introduce my interviewee, Kevin Jordan. Kevin is a career consultant who helps individuals navigate career pivots, develop themselves professionally, and refine their leadership skills.

Influence

A West Coast native, Kevin possesses a natural cadence to his tone. As we introduce ourselves, I take note of his ability to navigate through the conversation. Genuinely, his way of speaking puts me at ease. Yet this is no easy feat; to convey tranquility and presence over the phone, you must possess an attunement to your emotional state and a high degree of self-awareness. As we talk, I come to infer…


Before coming to Divinity School at the University of Chicago, Charlotte spent eight years as an actress and quasi-youth minister, exploring social outreach while slowly building an interest in theological questions. I say quasi-youth minister because, as Charlotte puts it, she actively avoided the label as she worked part-time in a local Episcopal church. Performing was her true work, a stance she made clear to the church as she reinforced part-time hours while building her understanding of both worlds.

“And halfway into the near-decade that I was there, I became a puppeteer,” Charlotte tells me.

The Traveling Show

Charlotte stumbled upon Manuel Cinema…


‘Where are you from?’ is a question I hear and ask often, but for an Asian-American, this question carries a very different meaning.

Today’s interview focuses on this question as we see through the eyes of Rho, an Asian-American born and raised in the South of the United States.

Where are your parents from?

“People ask Asians and Pacific Islanders ‘Where are you from?’ because they do not believe that we are from here [the United States,]” Rho begins.

What they want to know, Rho has realized, is what her ethnicity is. So ‘Where are you from?’ turns into, ‘Where are you really from?’ …


Isn’t it odd that the way someone looks leads us to make so many assumptions about who they are and how their life is?

There is an assumption that beautiful women must have it easy. Because of their beauty, things come naturally to them. Problems are solved for them.

I do think good looks can open doors, but which doors are opened because of looks? And which doors are closed?

a girl with short hair smiling
a girl with short hair smiling

Facts:

Hyper-focusing on beauty leads to high levels of insecurity within a person, no matter how ‘beautiful’ someone may be.

Beautiful women are commonly type-casted as stupid or vain.

Women are…


In June, a friend invited me to a San Diego protest supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. With only a 24 hour notice, I made the split decision to go, which meant waking up at a crisp 7 am and driving downtown to the San Diego Country Administration Building to join the protestors.

The prior week, a San Diego protest had resulted in tear gas and outrage. But as I walked along San Diego’s Waterfront and towards the protest’s congregation point, the protest held no sentiments of violence or disarray. Instead, there was a sea of colors: Pride flags; Mexican…


It was the 2nd week of August in Chicago, just after a nasty round of looting had destroyed the Magnificent Mile, a popular shopping street in downtown Chicago. The city government, in response, enforced a 9 pm city-wide curfew, even drawing-up the bridges into the city as a way to discourage further vandalism. This looting was tied to the Black Lives Matter movement, and similar looting episodes are one of the more unsavory aspects of the movement. …

Sydney Greer Callaway

I write to build understanding and create conversations — and I seek to expose the inner beauty within these processes.

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