It was while he was in the midst of writing his master's thesis; he had become painfully aware of his own procrastination.  He later blamed anxiety stemming from this aspect of the writing process for much of the self-loathing he had felt about all sorts of other things at that time. This included, for example, excessive guilt he felt over his treatment of his father. His anecdote stuck with me; the moral of the story seemed to be that unresolved narratives can, when left unattended, undermine their hosts.









to forgive and forget how
i became less risk averse
the price of faded memory
i repeat the same mistake  


                                        self deception
                                        merry go round
                                        have i slipped 
                                        back where did
                                        my plans begin 


                 bald man

      trapped in a circle 
   inside a ball of black 

with a hole in the center
            that opens up    
                  for you
that you do not  


                                                         a chance




  you went     out of your way       and out of mine
  to offer up some (unsolicited) relationship advice 
  reminding me the lens from which you mine my moves
  making me feel foolish     to trust our friendship
  and sadness too  to realize how you judge me still
  from afar   and still with everything but standing
  then  i felt resentment and frustration  then pity
  toward your obstinate  sense of self-righteousness
  but most often what I feel    is guilt for feeling
  those feelings    though they come and go in waves
  like waves     they stir me up from cool stillness
  drawing my attention   away       from the present
  hopeful  consuming      full of love   and newness
  that i had not taken the time until now to express 
  overwhelming  sense this past month   is gratitude
  remember when we hid under your blanket  from troy
  guess what? i still here you say     grin and wait
  i remember times when you would  crack up  tear up 
  i still tear up       all of us are fumbling fools
  dear friend, i love you and miss us and long still
  stroll in my office uninvited just happy to see me
  for the friendship  that ignited all this nonsense




we binge and you burn bright 
and though i say i refuse to
my short fuse it follows you


                                 despite this hard phase
                                 hope we find our way to
                                 the plant you planted i
                                 still see you beside me

Source: News About Time Banking


                     no sense of the discipline
                     inside our disciple ship i
                     had left them my apple eye


This is to let you know that you are loved...
Just the way you are,
Regardless of what you do or don't do,
Past, present, and future,
No matter what mistakes you make,
On your good days-
And not-so-good days,
Whatever you choose,
With all your unique qualities,
Simply because you're you.

So Happy Birthday, Mary

                          -note from a friend


oh em geeeeeebus
 it's your birthday
 you were once a fetus
 now you're pret-tay
 old and things will start to break down
 get some booze and take this whole town

    -note from a friend, for my bey-day




                                                   binge bright!

                                            my short fuse
                                                will follow you.


                            surprised by the how
                            made in your image i

                            say i too was forced
                            my hands were tied i
                            had no choice but to
                            recycle the violence 

                            of course we wish it
                            what could have been



                            have my class and possibly you 
                            on how everything feels so new



you overwhelmed me with your prose
  that you say stay  over my over me pleas

  your glorious pin me up bright blue days
  were also my out of your sight blue days


de Beauvoir


                                            i saw his name in the trees
                                            curious to see what he sees


 signal, we feared
grips what once was
is no more, what was
ours, isn't

 paths diverge
wish you well, my love
next life calls us
Comrade Babylon
 you have heavied my heart 

 you, who had lifted me
not seldom, from despair

if they only knew
  how much they owe you
  how sincere a thank you

from day one, mike said 
we were made for each other

       and we went,  made for each other

                              we fought off hany
                              we fought over sean

through years, through tears
 you stayed alongside me

     my companion, my Bobo man
      unlike dog's best friend, you loved me

              now my spirit is broken, my eyes burned dry
               they, like i, lie
                        but you knew the truth

you kept me alive back when
remember us then

              bruised and bewildered
               blood, on my knees
                 you came to me
                 you gave to me
                 reason to stay
                 reasons to say

thank you, i love you, and i will miss you

                        my little Italian fox
                        my climate change denier
                        my beautiful, darling 

IMG_1628 (2)Profile pic 12 (2)


     have not the day nor the hour
     to train in the art of poetry
     to train in the act of losing


                                         the photo reel, a poor man's knife
                                         tried to twist it toward the ulcer
                                         eyes glossed over, stunned away by

                                                              how could you



swallow me up in your pain kill mess
i do my best in this catastrophe sea
back on the tire swing where you had

there is pain there still between us

i lost you at the staircase and when
ever you see my face i know it hurts
breaks my spirit this inadequacy sea 


                                                if i decided to stay
                                                it is because of you

                                                and that was not the
                                                plan but here we are


i see me
days and
dawns on 
me these
and what
it means


explain it to me again
let me learn this mess



                       am i honestly expected to be able to write
                            or to concentrate on anything 
                                  or on anyone else


In Professor’s Model, Diversity = Productivity


                      broken up    walks away
                      know that    trust your
                      beautiful    now own it


                                                    he need not agree with a
                                                    controversial word i say


                                in this plebeian sea of redundancy
                                 she strikes you as an anomaly
                                 so you trust her


walked into a screen
my mind caught up in
this waking up dream

                                                woke up to my scream
                                                my mind caught up in
                                                this waking up dream

walked into a stream
my mind caught up in
my drowned out dream


“The idea of “nations” that legitimates border restrictions is socially constructed or is an “imagined community” (Anderson 1991). That scholars have a hard time even defining what a nation is (Gellner 1983) makes the idea no less powerful. Nationalism and the distinct but related nation-statism retain a powerful hold on the international system—even are the system. Moreover, the idea of a nation has broad and wide popular appeal. People take it for granted that nationality is a morally legitimate criterion for differential treatment of people. But having a powerful hold on the popular imagination is not immutable—religion, race, sex, and ethnicity were considered legitimate grounds for discrimination for thousands of years.” -Lant Pritchett, Let Their People Come: Breaking the Gridlock on Global Labor Mobility, p. 82 (2006).


                                 you can’t see me now 
                                 but if you could you
                                 would see where your
                                 face found its place
                                 to squat here inside  
                                 my head awaiting for
                                 our fatal flaw but i 
                                 see you and me and i 
                                 think i do adore you




                                                        binge bright

                                                     this short fuse
                                                     will follow you



                               half expect you 
                               show sheep skin
                               in my infirmary

                               to steal a seed
                               from the garden




bought us toothbrushes 
made us pancakes makes
me wonder what he must
mistake me for worried 
why his sweet boy mind
prods at my senescence


         i miss you where
         i am not allowed 
         to i worship you



                                   crows feet you breathe old age through
                                   bed sheets spread me out thin although
                                   you know it is hard for me to seek you
                                   it is hard for me to make morning last


 Feminist Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (2015)


please understand how under siege by the periodic violent swing
 it has proved an unpleasant pact to corral the will 
 an enervating task to train the spirit when 
 not to align with the body or mind 
 but instead to discern when best 
 to accept her homelessness 




                        needles pierce blood brittle vein
                        as the hours pass by to haunt him
                        bruises remain where he loses his 
                        mane so what is left is gaunt lit
                        like the moon around the earth is 
                        i feel hopeless to have been your
                        satellite i have loved adored you
                        all while i knew you held me back


                                                   remember   us      when 
                                                   you say how you love me
                                                   say you will get better
                                                   remember   us      then


remember   us   when
we watched scarecrow
drank our white wine
remember   us   then



                                          remember us when
                                          you leaned on me
                                          & we breathed in
                                          remember us then



                 sea, i was just a little lost
                          please tell her that 
                               i swam to shore


Women in Philosophy


                                                     come part mental lies
                                                          come position me


my spirit animal in the news

Shiva’s qualities include death and destruction, 
   in order to bring about the gift of rebirth and resurrection.

A Bodhisattva’s Approach to Activism


“According to the traditional definition, the bodhisattva chooses not to enter the state of perfect peace, nirvana, but remains in samsara, cyclic existence, to help all sentient beings end their suffering and reach enlightenment. Instead of asking, “How can I get out of this situation?” the bodhisattva asks, “What can I contribute to make this situation better?” Today, more than ever, we need to understand the bodhisattva path as a spiritual archetype that offers a new vision of human possibility.”

“The equanimity of the bodhisattva-activist comes from nonattachment to the fruits of one’s action, which is not detachment from the state of the world or the fate of the earth. What is the source of this non-attachment? That question points to the fruits of the bodhisattva’s inner work. The Diamond Sutra says that we cannot lead all living beings to liberation because there are no living beings to liberate. The bodhisattva realizes shunyata, emptiness — that dimension in which there is nothing to gain or lose, no getting better or worse — but is not attached to that realization. As the Heart Sutra emphasizes, forms are empty, and emptiness is form. Emptiness is not a place to dwell that is free from form; it is experienced only in the impermanent forms it takes, the forms that constitute our lives and our world. For the Buddhist activist these are the two dimensions of practice — form and emptiness, personal transformation and social transformation, opposite sides of one coin. As Nisargadatta might put it, “Between these two the bodhisattva’s life turns.” Our world needs both.”


                                     i just want
                                     what  i had
                                     what  i had 
                                     not  wanted
                                     at the time
 in a crowd of solitude
 my mind waded through

 just like me 
back to you



        smooth bounced checks 
          on her bell breasts 
  slide her 
        body back
                  by the bowl
                   bide by her 
                  badness her
                    serial sadness     
          her lighter request



Who are you? 
Why do we come? 
What do you need? 
What do I know? 
Who am I now? 
What time are we in? 
What do I do?   
When I want you to know 
That I need you to live 
That I can’t let you go 
With what you have got to give   
And I don’t know you 
But then, yes I do 
And I’d like you to see   
The light in us rise 
To the top of the sky 
With our feet on the earth 
And our hands held up high   
For each breath 
That I breathe 
And the love 
That I feel 
And the grass 
Under me 
And the fire 
That is real 
And the water is deep 
In an ocean of peace


Benefits of Teaching Philosophy in Primary School

c a p t i v a t e d    i   h a v e    b e e n    i n 

s p i r e d   b y   y o u   a r e    a    g e m   

o f    a    p e r f o r m a n c e  

o f    a n    a r t i s t



                                                   s h e   

                                             a   r o s e  


a n d   i 
a   s u n 

                                              f l o w e r


When I heard the news, I knew I could do one of three things: 
implode, explode, or channel the frustration into a creative venture. 
I opened up the script document and began to type, furious. 

To be able to write has been a singular saving grace, 
by means of which I have managed.


    h e a d    o n    c e m e n t

b l o c k s                        

                     m y    c o m p u l s i o n    t o     c o n t r o l




               in a white globe wrestled in bruised palms

 even there you fail me

anthropo scene


 ashtray, pool table play
 you stray, so i circle you

we are dust, not art-
this is rust, Mary

or so you say

dust settles, us too-
ashes to ashes


A Dream Within A Dream

by Edgar Allan Poe
 published 1850
Take this kiss upon the brow!
 And, in parting from you now,
 Thus much let me avow --
 You are not wrong, who deem
 That my days have been a dream;
 Yet if hope has flown away
 In a night, or in a day,
 In a vision, or in none,
 Is it therefore the less gone?
 All that we see or seem
 Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
 Of a surf-tormented shore,
 And I hold within my hand
 Grains of the golden sand --
 How few! yet how they creep
 Through my fingers to the deep,
 While I weep -- while I weep!
 O God! can I not grasp
 Them with a tighter clasp?
 O God! can I not save
 One from the pitiless wave?
 Is all that we see or seem
 But a dream within a dream?

11655426_10153027646137098_1629464141_n (2)


“What I wanted to express very clearly and intensely was that the reason these people had to invent or imagine heroes and gods is pure fear. Fear of life and fear of death.” -Frida Kahlo


“I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other

consideration.”-Frida Kahlo


“I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.” -Frida Kahlo



Slide2 Slide3




                         The closer I got, the further they seemed. 
                    Lori had felt a million removed from the scene.

The pastries behind the glass turned plastic; and so had the boys.
My passion felt muted; my curiosity courteously waned.   


11692817_10153027645767098_1199758818_n (2)

Feminist Philosophers

Dr Tania Lombrozo, a philosophically-minded professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, writes in a NPR commentary that some recent major news stories reveal how public discourse would benefit from input from academic philosophers. She cites the complex moral, social, metaphysical, and epistemological issues arising in the resignation of a NAACP official who was “outed” as white; in the white supremacist murder of nine black church-goers in Charleston; and in the stance taken on climate change by Pope Francis.

Two thoughts – neither of them particularly original – meant to complement Lombrozo’s insights: First, while stories of this magnitude serve as good examples of the need for philosophical contributions to public discourse, it is probably not an effective strategy to wait for stories of this magnitude before getting involved in public philosophy. Not only is there a good chance of the more subtle voices being lost in the commentary noise anyhow…

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rainbows    flags    and     firecracker     news
where to  bash   her head   red   empty      pews


the crushing silence    with a skull
heat pulsates       behind mind eyes
the warmth of over      taking  over

                  to be a dreamer
                  and to be comfortable where one lies


I want you to know-
that it worked,  that you won.
And that I am still sorry    for what I had done.

I wanted to stay angry at him, of course, but found that I couldn’t. I pictured him getting off to some Taylor Swift song that helped him to feel as though his actions were totally vindicated, and felt myself roll my eyes. I couldn’t help but picture a child, and I just couldn’t stay angry.

Who can stay angry at a child, even after they smash a butterfly? I had to forgive him, and I had to let go.

In the case of the potential love lost, I also felt numb. The truth was, he wanted the love of a dog- unconditional, uncomplicated, unadulterated, simple to understand and easy to manage- but I could only offer him one of those. He would really have to love me for anything more to come of it. I had to forgive him, and I had to let go.

At first I was worried I held myself responsible for everything that went wrong mostly because that was the reality reflected back to me by others. Then, I was worried I was doing so mostly because I often do blame and beat myself up over things to the point of excess. Today, I feel as though I hold myself responsible because I knew more; I was aware of more variables. I was the only one with the epistemic access to appreciate  how the experiences in my past were informing and impacting my dispositions and behavior toward relationships.

My way of making amends has to be to tend to the implications of that last point. I need to understand myself- learn how to love and value myself- first. Then, I think, I will make for a good partner.


s o   l o n g     l i f e   g o e s   o n

l e s s o n s               l e a r n e d

l e s s o n s                     l i k e 

w h e n     t o         k n o w     t h e

t i m e    t o              g r o w   u p


a r e n 't   w e     t h e   s a m e
l i t t l e   w a y s    w e   a l l 
h a v e   b e e n   t h e    s a m e
w e ' v e     a l w a y s    b e e n


blood  ground  coffee

a monster   I created
the truth     finally
the bumper the hubcap

the   day    it   all

came             free

Feminist Philosophers

The Diversity Reading List  is a great new resource for introducing texts by women and non-white authors in philosophy courses. It is still very new so please contribute to help it grow.

The issue of under-representation of women and non-white persons in philosophy is now more widely known, and students are asking explicitly “why is my curriculum white?” Many faculty members are aware that one way to combat this under-representation is to include work from under-represented groups in their syllabi as it directly challenges the stereotype of the white male philosopher. However, locating a good number of suitable texts can be difficult and time consuming, and this is why we have created the Diversity Reading List which enables teachers to quickly locate high-quality texts from under-represented groups that are directly relevant to their teaching. Currently, the list focuses on ethics, but in the near future it will be…

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Feminist Philosophers

A post from The Splintered Mind 

“Nor need we think that philosophical work must consist of expository argumentation targeted toward disciplinary experts and students in the classroom. This, too, is a narrow and historically recent conception of philosophical work. Popular essays, fictions, aphorisms, dialogues, autobiographical reflections, and personal letters have historically played a central role in philosophy. We could potentially add, too, public performances, movies, video games, political activism, and interactions with the judicial system and governmental agencies.”

“If one approaches popular writing as a means of “dumbing down” pre-existing philosophical ideas for an audience of non-experts whose reactions one does not plan to take seriously, then, yes, that popular writing is not really research. But if the popular essay is itself a locus of philosophical creativity, where philosophical ideas are explored in hopes of discovering new possibilities, advancing (and not just marketing) one’s own thinking, furthering the community’s philosophical…

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Feminist Philosophers

Post by Annika Thiem at The Philosopher’s Eye

“as Linda Alcoff argued in her Presidential Address to the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in 2012, […] the problem of demography is not coincidental to the issue of bodies of knowledge, canonical archives and questions, and preferred methods of inquiry.”

“Marginalized minority voices tend to have to render proof of their academic competence and must first refute the suspicion of being “purely personally politically motivated” rather than writing “proper research.” The standard of “proper” academic writing turns out not to be as neutral and universal, as we often like to assume, but rather a male, white, European, and heteronormative “voice” of knowledge and competence.

“This is the case even though the actual bodies inhabiting that academic voice can look preciously little like a straight white European man. The point is that queerness and queer method are irreducible to individual bodies…

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Imagine Alternatives to Capitalism


Guess Who Doesn’t Fit In At Work


Why is the University Still White






11038470_10152801320652540_8492606126475390542_n (2)


w a l k    w h e r e      y o u      m i g h t    e x p e c t
m e   t o     a n d     i       h a l f           e x p e c t  
y o u      t o o     h o p e l e s s         i        h a v e 
y e t    t o      a c c e p t        i t        t h r o u g h


i     l o a t h e     t o     s e e     w h a t     w i l l     h a p p e n 

t o     m e     

                   i n     s t a g e s      o f    m e t a   a n a l y s i s

t h r o u g h    g l a z e d    o v e r     e y e s     

                                                          n o t     m i n e


i n  c a s e   y o u  c h a n c e             a  v i s i t    t o   t h i s  p l a c e
t h i s     s p a c e                              i s   s a f e   t o   e x p r e s s  

f e e l i n g                                                                f r a i l   

f o r  i  h a d  n o t  t h e          d a y  o r  h o u r              t o  t r a i n
i n  t h e  a r t  o f  p o e t r y     i n  t h e  a r t  o f   l o s i n g   y  o  u

Feminist Philosophers

Kate Manne has agreed to let me share a post from FB about her experience with a rejection of a feminist philosophy paper.

I received a rejection notice from a journal yesterday. This is a pretty routine occurrence in this game, admittedly. Acceptance rates are notoriously low in philosophy; well under five per cent in the top journals. So you have to learn to accept the rejections themselves gracefully. And much as you slightly dread reading the reports, they can be valuable, even invaluable, in making the paper better. They can help to expose unclarities in your claims, gaps in your argument, etc. But sometimes, they simply confirm that you are fighting a losing battle.

This referee report was one such. The reviewer complained about my use of feminist terms and concepts throughout the paper – e.g., “hegemonic dominance”, “messages that are not only false but oppressive,” and “hermeneutical injustice,”…

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IMG_0911 (2)

Feminist Philosophers

Andrew Janiak (Duke) and Christia Mercer (Columbia) have written a rich and insightful article in The Washington Post on Philosophy’s gender and racial troubles. They focus especially on the mishandling of the history of philosophy:

From Plato’s “Republic” through the early modern period, questions about the relation between justice and education were central to philosophy. Unsurprisingly, it is marginalized authors such as de Gournay who often treat these questions most astutely. Treatises on toleration, abolition and dignity — written by women and former slaves — are also abundant in early modern Europe, as are discussions of rights, community, self-respect and freedom among 19th century African Americans. Anna Julia Cooper’s “A Voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South,” published in 1892, is full of philosophically rich provocations. Given our students’ concerns with education, toleration, justice and dignity, it seems obvious that our courses should contain…

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Feminist Philosophers

Jacob Levy has a great post up at Bleeding Heart Libertarians – Folk ideal theory in action (with thanks to Daily Nous for bringing it to my attention) – which made me want to say something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Earlier, we posted Ta-Nehisi Coates’ piece on nonviolence as compliance; as human beings, and many of us, American citizens, the issues Coates raises are of general interest, but there are important philosophical questions, I think, we should be asking ourselves now too. I know some philosophers bristle at the thought that our academic work should be constrained by such things as goals of social justice —  but set that aside. Shouldn’t the modes of thinking we encourage at least not make things worse?

It seems to me, following Charles Mills, that ideal-theory approaches entrench substantial epistemic hindrances for theorizing justice. While we can attempt to…

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Feminist Philosophers

In the Atlantic:

Now, tonight, I turn on the news and I see politicians calling for young people in Baltimore to remain peaceful and “nonviolent.” These well-intended pleas strike me as the right answer to the wrong question. These well-intended pleas strike me as the right answer to the wrong question. To understand the question, it’s worth remembering what, specifically, happened to Freddie Gray. An officer made eye contact with Gray. Gray, for unknown reasons, ran. The officer and his colleagues then detained Gray. They found him in possession of a switchblade. They arrested him while he yelled in pain. And then, within an hour, his spine was mostly severed. A week later, he was dead. What specifically was the crime here? What particular threat did Freddie Gray pose? Why is mere eye contact and then running worthy of detention at the hands of the state? Why is Freddie…

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Feminist Philosophers

Really interesting interview with Catharine MacKinnon here. I’ll only quote a few bits (I really am leaving out interesting things though, so do take a look yourself):

MacKinnon on who is a woman:

I always thought I don’t care how someone becomes a woman or a man; it does not matter to me. It is just part of their specificity, their uniqueness, like everyone else’s. Anybody who identifies as a woman, wants to be a woman, is going around being a woman, as far as I’m concerned, is a woman.

And on ‘bathroom panic’:

Many transwomen just go around being women, who knew, and suddenly, we are supposed to care that they are using the women’s bathroom. There they are in the next stall with the door shut, and we’re supposed to feel threatened. I don’t. I don’t care. By now, I aggressively don’t care.

On misrepresentations of her…

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images (1)





m  e  r  c  y
t h e   s c a p e g o a t   p l e a
h e r   r e s p o n s e              w r i t e   b a c k   t o   r e a s o n
t h e r e    i s   n o    G o d   h e r e
d o    n o t   f e a r
y o u r     a g e n c y
w h a t    s e t s    y o u     f r e e
a n d   w h a t      h a s   l o s t   h i m
a l l    h e       w a n t e d



S h e    g a v e    m e    a  r i n g.
S h e    f  a  v  o  r  s         m e.
&  i s  m y  f a v o r i t e   t o o .




r e m e m b e r     h o w     b a d            I   j u s t
w a n t e d            j u s t    h  a  d
t o   m a k e   y o u   l a u g h
i n     c l a s s

e v e n   a t   m y   e x p e n s e
b e c a u s e      n o         e x p e n s e
w a s    t o o

 h i g h
f o r     I      w a s           t o o               h i g h

p o o r                    I
        w a s      i n
                               l   o   v   e


s  n  o  w    f  l  a  k  e s    

                       a  n  d       w  e 

   f    l   a   k   e   d 

                      a  n  d      I  
 f  a  k  e  d     f  a   l   l   i  n  g   

 a  l  l    o f    u  s     i  n  t  o
f  u   c   k   e   d
                p   a   t   t   e   r   n




 s  h  a  r  d  s       o f          g l a s s
         d r o w n      t h e     w a t e r  

 w e l l
            i n     t h e    b e l l y    

                                  s  w   e  l l

    t h e   p l e a s e    r e m e m b e r   m e
                                            p l e a   

i n   c o n s i s t e n c y
        f  i  n  a  l  l  y    

a   s o b e r    m e   
       e f f o r t    f  u  l  l          a c t

J u s t   l i k e   o u r   b e l o v e d   P a t c h e s
    P r a n c i n g   r o u n d    t h e   p o r c h     
r u n n i n g   o n   s u n    

s h i n i n g
d r o w n


― Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments With Truth

Backdrop: A cool, sunny, gorgeous day.

Brad and I decided to take Troy to visit San Luis Mission Park.

Blessed with my God-given, intuitive sense of direction, I managed to get us there using only:

1. Personal memory (I had visited there once before)

2. my phone’s G.P.S. (when the former failed),

3. Brad’s phone’s G.P.S. (when mine failed); and

4. The user-friendly step-by-step map to San Luis Mission Park handed over to me free-of-charge upon my arrival at the front desk of the nearby Mission San Luis Museum & Archaeological Site (when all else failed).

Where had I taken us, you ask?

“From 1656 to 1704, Mission San Luis served as the principal village of the Apalachees and was the Spaniards’ westernmost military, religious, and administrative capital. Mission San Luis was one of over 100 mission settlements established in Spanish Florida between the 1560s and 1690s. It was home to more than 1,400 residents, including a powerful Apalachee chief and the Spanish deputy governor.”

In other words, NOT the dog park, but it was also not a terrible detour. I think I will plan to visit their on purpose one day.

Well, as they say, all roads lead to home. And while neither Brad nor I call the lovely San Luis Mission Park home, I still feel the saying applies (i.e. I still feel the need to say the saying).

Next, we successfully arrived at our 2nd (1st) stop: San Luis Mission Park.

At this point, I would be remiss not to mention the thorn of the day (rose, forthcoming): On the short walk from the parking lot to the dog park proper I was accosted, attacked by EITHER:

(a) a deadly leaf-mimicking insect-monstrosity known to the world as the Katydid


(b) an actual tree leaf

Verdict on the matter not reached due to BOTH:

(1) I was too mortified to examine the corpse on the ground


(2) b/c Brad laughed at me for the manner by which I instinctively defended myself when the assailant first came careening into my scarf (in other words, my pride).

Needless to say, if it turned out to be a leaf, my precious pride would have taken a hit. I know what you’re thinking, “But, Mary, pride is a fool’s fortress.”

But Not-Mary, “Ignorance is bliss.”

But Mary, remember the wise words of Confucius, “Real knowledge is to know
the extent of one’s ignorance.”

But Not-Mary, remember the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

Anyways, that minor hiccup behind us, we made our way to the dog park. Troy, the smallest dog at the park, proceeded to celebrate Valentine’s Day by mounting several unsuspecting dogs all in the range of three to four times his size. I believe that you can learn a lot about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness watching dogs mount one another. Brad and I even saw a three-way mount attempted.

Nature is trying to tell me something, I thought to myself, but what? What understanding do You wish me to glean from the events unfolding here before my very eyes, Oh beautiful Earth Mother?

Here I quote my main man, Goethe, on Nature:

“She loves illusion. She shrouds man in mist, and she spurs him toward the light. Those who will not partake of her illusions she punishes as a tyrant would punish. Those who accept her illusions she presses to her heart. To love her is the only way to approach her.”

But I digress.

Next, after carefully reviewing the maps of the park trails that were posted, the three of us took to the woods. In what I had initially mistaken for Brad paying homage to my impeccable navigation skills, he insisted on asking me to first report which route I would take at every juncture where the trail diverged into two separate routes. Each time, I silently minute-meditated (its a thing, Google it*) on the relevant Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, stated my preference, then followed Brad as he 100% of the times lead us down the OPPOSITE path.

Along the trail, there were also a number of strategically placed pull-up bars (where, in my opinion, the ground would have been just as prime a real estate for the installation of pay-to-rest conveyor belt walkways). We did some chin-ups and some pull-ups (they’re different, dawg, trust me). And, with a little assistance, I am proud to report I was able to do at least one of each. No big.**

We headed back to Brad’s, where we checked out his abstract for a philosophy paper he will present at a conference in (…wait for it) Helsinki, MF’s (!)

Then, we watched an episode of The Colbert Show (RIP), then a Jon Stewart clip, then just hung out (rose), then grabbed dinner at One Fresh, and ended Valentine’s Day the way any two self-respecting Western consumer capitalists would: We stopped at our local Publix and perused their bargain aisle. Next stop, the drink aisle, where I listened to Brad as he recited what I can only describe as the best (only) one-man Ode to lemon-lime Powerade Zero I have heard to date. I then silently observed as he followed up his performance by giving one of the lemon-lime Powerade Zero bottles a single, loving tap with his index finger, as he looked back to me and whispered, “I just wanted to touch it.”

In the dairy section, Brad experienced what appeared to me to be the emotional-inner-turmoil-equivalent of my Katydid attack earlier that day (perhaps, his thorn?). It happened when I made the grave mistake of remarking on how unusually pricey milk seemed to be. You see, anyone who knows Brad, knows the man loves a bargain. But, alas, anyone that knows Brad also knows he loves milk.  And, as it were, the two don’t mix. He got the milk but refused himself the purchase of a Blue Bell Ice Cream, indicating his concession with the unsolicited announcement that this time he would “exercise discipline.”

Back to the car (which smelled like Christmas due to Brad’s new car freshener). I was introduced to some new (good) music on the ride home. And anyone who knows me knows I love the smell of Christmas. And anyone who knows me knows what a day as pleasant as yesterday meant to me.


*Not a thing

**But big



New Year


I rung in the New Year with my parents, grandmother, Sean, and Brett. We played some pretty priceless rounds of Taboo together, then checked out the downtown fireworks display from nearby Cascades Park. We enjoyed a pleasant stroll together around the park, and plenty of laughter.

On New Year’s Day, I got to see my good friend, Rob, who happened to be passing through town. Along with another friend of ours, Matthew, we discussed life, love, religion, politics, and our New Year’s resolutions, goals, hopes, ambitions. I told them my New Year’s resolution was to grow The Tallahassee Timebank into one of the largest, most successful, and resilient community timebanks in the world, then I said I’d settle for the United States, then they recommended the Southeastern region- I have been blessed with  friends that reign in my idealism to manageable parameters. I look up to the two of them very much (they are both so full of life and energy!), and felt very good to have started my year in such quality company. They both inspire me to want to be a better version of myself, and what more can you ask for in friends..

I also sent in my abstract for an upcoming conference to be hosted by Hypatia, and the American Philosophical Association Committee on the Status of Women. Its on the topic of diversity, and how to argue for it in the face of increased corporatization of university education (i.e. how to pitch arguments for the need to diversify in the language of money talks, bullshit walks, as my mother would say).

I also had the opportunity to hear an Irish folk music group play live at the Skyline Motor Lounge on Friday, which was a real treat (made me miss Ireland!) And stayed up late again in quality conversation with friends. Last night, I went to a board game night with friends, and really had a wonderful time. The semester work week starts back up tomorrow, and I promised myself to stick to a pretty structured work schedule. Today, Sunday, a number of friends will be arriving back into town, so I’m hoping to mostly just celebrate their return and enjoy my last day of break.



Loved your enthusiasm and transparency, so open with us.

Honestly the best course/class I’ve ever taken. This class made me think about life in a more critical way. I think everyone should take a class like this at some point. I loved going to class and learning in here, and actually enjoyed some of the work, such as the capstone paper. Thank you so much for being such an amazing instructor and person and making this class my absolute favorite. If you teach any other classes in the future, I definitely want to take them. Good luck with everything!

This class was easily the best class I have ever taken. It made me think critically about society and made me realize that I like philosophy more than I thought I would. The ways you guys spoke so passionately about the topics that were studied in this class made it so enjoyable and easy to absorb the information. Most of the readings were enjoyable and easy to read as well as fun to discuss in class. (I just really loved this class and would take it again if I could.)

Good class, happy I took it.

You all rock.

Great thought provoking class, opened my eyes to many issues in society.

I really enjoyed the course and the material. It opened my eyes to some thoughts I had been blind to. Thank you for a great semester!

Keep incorporating the Jon Stewart clips, funny and relatable!

The class was awesome!

This course opened my eyes to a lot of issues regarding race, class, and gender that I wasn’t aware of. Loved your energy, the in class dialogues and the additional sources that were sent via email regarding current events.

I enjoyed the class mostly due to the fact that my teacher was extremely helpful and understanding when it came to important things.

Enjoyed the class, you guys were awesome 🙂

This course changed the way I look at inequality in America and throughout the world. The information was clear and informative.

Loved learning and coming to this class. You made it very fun and interesting.

Great class, challenging but fair.

Great class overall, very interesting and eye opening. Thank you for everything 🙂

I liked how all the lectures allowed students to participate 100%. It really helped engage my attention.

Great discussions, amazing class

I adored this class. I recommended it to all my friends. This is a class that genuinely made me smarter and socially aware. Also- you are one of my favorite instructors I’ve ever had! Thank you for a wonderful semester. I’m gonna miss this class..

I really enjoyed this class!!

I found this course very interesting as well as enlightening and I found Mary, Kevin, and Jeff to be helpful and informative instructors.

This class opened my eyes up to a lot of issues that I knew existed but had never really inquired about. The class environment was so welcoming that unlike most of my classes I looked forward to coming every afternoon.

No improvements needed

Hope to have more courses with you in the future!

I am very glad I took this class. It definitely opened my eyes to many issues in society.

Professor Marcous is an extremely engaging and energetic teacher. She has an incredible tenderness towards minority groups and really helped me to develop a new enlightened understanding of differences. If I could take another one of her courses next semester I would not hesitate.

Loved this course 🙂

Loved this class! It really broadened my perspective on things.

This class was awesome!! It opened my eyes to so many issues and made me think critically about our society. I enjoyed most of the readings as well. Beyond that, the way the class was conducted was fantastic. Everyone felt comfortable talking and giving their viewpoint which I haven’t seen in many other classes. Professor Marcous made the class lively and engaging to the point where I actually enjoyed coming to class and listening to not only the professor speak, but all the students as well.

Thank you for such a fantastic semester!! Keep doing what you are doing, because it is working.

I liked the open environment and level of discussion in this class.

Mary is fantastic! Super passionate + witty + engaging

This class was truly an eye opener for me. I tend to think more about what I say to people now.

The study guides were very helpful 🙂

I thought this class was very interesting and eye opening, just personally difficult to study for.

Some of the course material is difficult to understand, but I believe through your experiences, classmates’ experiences, your slides and occasional videos (which I love), you helped the class effectively understand the material.

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Feminist Philosophers

10th Annual Philosophy Conference
2015 Call for Abstracts

The Society for Women’s Advancement in Philosophy, in collaboration with the Minorities and Philosophy Chapter and Philosophy Graduate Student Association at Florida State University, are pleased to announce the 10th Annual S.W.A.P. Graduate Student Philosophy Conference to be held on Friday, March 27th, 2015. This year we are pleased to announce Charles W. Mills (Northwestern University) as our keynote speaker.

We invite submissions from all areas of philosophy. We encourage submissions that relate to the work of Charles W. Mills, social and political philosophy, and issues in race, class, or gender. Papers should be suitable for a 20 minute presentation.

High quality abstracts of 500 to 1,000 words may be submitted to Abstracts should be prepared for anonymous review. Please include your contact information and institutional affiliation in the body of your email.

The deadline for submission is Sunday, January…

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Her  professional  advice  was  that  I  have  a  "web  presence."
"Something  that  says,  I'm  about  to  explode,"
she  exhorted  me.
Cary: I’m creeping on 25. If ya’ll wanna know what to get me it’s dat ass *points to Mary*
Cary: I’m sorry I swore I’d stop the sister love jokes but they just keep coming.
Me: My friend explained to me why you do that. Very flattering revelation; it turns out you don’t want to do me at all, you just want to be me.
Cary: I feel like your friend doesn’t get Freud.
Me: I’ll tell her your concern.
Cary: You do that. Give yourself a firm tap on the ass for me when you present her with my case too.






what are we     when we fight     alone                like chattel worn
while angered       and bewildered    by forces            we once sworn
who are we       once we shed   their lies   their dreams     their maze
that inspired us       but defined us        in relation to  their  Gaze


I remember the call, I was at home alone, downstairs, in my parent's bathroom. He said he knew I had seen this guy , that I had fucked up big time this time, and to stay put.   I felt my knees go weak, and I slid to the floor of the master bathroom- shaking, moaning aloud, sobbing, and dreading his arrival home. I felt what dread feels like pulsating in the pit of my stomach.
He had taken a gun out on me before, and had tried to run me off the road on another occasion. My fear probably disproportionately reflected his constant barrage of threats, but at the time I thought I had a reasonable grasp on what he was capable of in a fit of rage. And nothing seemed too fucked up to be ruled out.
His dominion over my space- his worldview, backed by his age, gender, power, and status as head of house- structured my waking life for a time. It wasn't all bad, but when it was bad, it was a stifling, crippling, toxic sort of terrible; a pattern of awful that, invariably, imprinted itself on my psyche.
My last couple years in high school, I remember how much I used to look forward to sleeping. The highlight of my day was the prospect of respite from his overwhelming,  enervating presence, and what felt like an insatiable, irrational desire to control every aspect of my life.
Despite the remarkable stay power of a few painful memories, as early as my early 20's, soon after ending my marriage to this other guy, I thought I had forgiven him for his faults, for whatever negative setbacks to my life I could straightforwardly trace back to his actions, that I wished him only well, and that I was ready to let go and move on.
I used to believe forgiveness was the ideal, as I still do. But I also used to believe it was a conscious choice, 100% in my control. As I get older it is that assumption that I find is increasingly called into question. I see so much of him in me. And I have to reconcile that fact with the better version of myself I fashioned in my sleep.
This Thanksgiving I am grateful for my health, for my family, my sister, my brother, my mom, and my dad, for my friends, for Sean, for my voice, freedom of mobility, freedom over my person, for my students, whom I adore, and I pray for the strength to use my voice, talent, and ability to work to promote the well being of all those in less fortunate circumstances than myself, to forge a space where I can do so optimally. I pray for wisdom, patience, understanding, and grace.


to be able to account for myself,     my motives, decisions, actions
to identify with my own voice,       its weakness, strength, content
to be able to predict my own laughter or tears,  to maintain my grip


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