Mohammad was the first to leave. He got the call a week before his eighteenth birthday. “Na’am,” he said, “I will be there.” I heard him say it confidently over the phone when the military recruitment officer called that evening. “October 21st,” he repeated. That night, he said goodbye and boarded a bus to Turkey. It was before the Bab […]

She always flew Southwest because it was cheap—well, that and you can pick your seat. On a tiny flight like this one—which wouldn’t be full—she knew that if she sat in the very back of the plane say—seat 23b—the chances of having a seatmate were practically zero. She was just settling in, tucking her tote […]

He would crouch down on the floor beside me, pinching the plastic four-inch grandpa doll between his thumb and forefinger. They resembled one another—the doll and the man—both clad in a powdery blue button down shirts and kakis, both gray-crowned and gangly. The doll, however, had a mustache. My grandpa did not. “Goodbye, see you […]

I sit across from you on the chancel pew and tug at the hem of my alb, carefully straightening the long white tunic. I look up and our eyes meet—you gazing out at me from your textile window: quiet, serene. To your right, Fr. Martin stands before the congregation, nimbly weaving together the strands of […]

My mom gave me a book for my eleventh birthday. If I close my eyes, I can still see the three figures standing stalwart on the cover. It was a hefty novel, but I wasn’t intimidated. I sped across the pages, following the fantastic journey of a close knit group of characters. And then, in a […]

In one week, I’ll pack up the little basement suite that I’ve called home for the summer. I’ll move 20 minutes down the road to a college apartment. I’ll print out a class schedule and wait to buy the most expensive books till after I’ve looked over my syllabi on the first day of class. I have 74 […]

I love Disney’s latest rendition of Cinderella. Ella is a kind, imaginative young woman. Though she experiences trauma and even abuse, she learns to be strong without becoming hardened. She does the right thing and it pays off in the end when she marries Kit. I want to be Ella. It’s stories like hers that […]

Three weeks ago, Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in a county jail for rape. The judge didn’t want his punishment to have a severe impact on him. Two weeks ago, an ’08 Wheaton alumnus murdered his pregnant wife. He stabbed her to death with a knife, killing his baby as well. Last week, an […]

While I’m sympathetic to the confusion and discrimination experienced by the transgender community, I’m not convinced that the current bathroom solution is a good one. I think this policy will have a disproportionately negative effect on women and children. Here are my biggest concerns: Women are already at high risk for sexual assault. Read the […]

A Disconcerting Experience A few weeks ago, I had a weird experience. I was out all day—at work, at dinner, at coffee with a friend—and when I finally got home I could tell I was off. Really off. My mind was spinning and I couldn’t calm down. I felt disoriented. After I gave up trying […]