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Grieving in Public

It’s been a couple weeks and the news cycle has moved on, but I can’t get Ghazala Khan’s face out of my mind. Her mouth is a shimmering perfection, neither smiling nor frowning. Her frameless glasses magnify her eyes, and her dark eyebrows float above them. Her pink cheeks have no sharp angles. Her blue…


Testing Eugenics

I’m a carrier for Maple Syrup Urine Disease, which, despite its rather charming name, has some serious implications for people with two copies of the genetic mutation. Someone with MSUD can’t digest any protein without suffering from debilitating seizures that lead to brain damage and eventually death. In order to live with MSUD, people need…


Writing Blocked

A dear friend of mine swears by her “units.”  She organizes her thinking/writing/teaching life into a series of 45-minute units that collectively add up to something like a productive day.  I marvel at her steadfast commitment to her system and ability to balance the aforementioned demands under which we both labor and commiserate.  For the…