Journeying to Adulthood with South Park

Forthcoming Winter 2017

Real Teacher, Fake Dinosaur Quarry

Forthcoming December 2017 in Ravishly's Long Reads

GOOD magazine

This Curriculum Could Help Students Compete In A Global World. So Why Aren’t More Schools Adopting It?

Still, with the resurgence of sentiments like “America first,” teaching a global perspective in schools is crucial for American students entering an increasingly connected world. Educators at every level are responsible for preparing students for the world that is and the world that will be, and the idea that restricting national borders, the right to protest, or decreasing global humanitarian involvement will somehow “Make America Great Again” is flawed logic that erases the infinite ways the U.S. has benefitted from serving as the melting pot for ideas, cultures, and people from all over the planet.

The Beats And Rhymes Of Hip-Hop Are Changing How We Design Our Cities

From Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five rapping in their 1982 classic “New York New York” about “Staring at a skyscraper reaching into heaven / When over in the ghetto I’m livin’ in hell,” to Jay Z rhyming on 2017’s “Marcy Me” that “I’m from Marcy Houses, where the boys die by the thousand,” hip-hop has always had an intimate relationship with the architecture of cities. But what if the low-income youth of color who live in the ghettos and housing projects of Gotham — or Los Angeles or Detroit — had the technical know-how to redesign their hometowns and create buildings that serve their communities?

Adventure Time Islands explores gnarly concepts

With the show’s scheduled 2018 departure, I knew Adventure Time: Islands would have to provide some of the biggest answers the show had concealed for years. Adventure Time, a postapocalyptic, surrealist Cartoon Network series, follows the adventures of Finn, a teenage boy who for most of the show believes he’s the last human on Earth, and his brother Jake, a talking dog who can stretch into any shape he wants... 

Engineers may earn fat paychecks– but not every kid is meant to be one

You may have heard about how, year after year, engineering majors lay claim to the highest average starting salaries for recent college graduates. But as a former assistant director of admissions at an elite university, and as a former first year English instructor at a state university, I can tell you that doesn’t mean every teenager should be pushed into the field. 

Creative Teachers Help Teens Thrive, But We Keep Cutting Arts Classes Anyway

Funding for arts education is once again on the chopping block, but that doesn’t mean teachers have stopped encouraging students to develop their creativity. Some of the most expressive work produced this school year by the nation’s middle and high school students was recently recognized at the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards—the nation's longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. The awards ceremony and accompanying gallery reveals inspiring and inventive arts education from around the country and the importance of arts educators in the lives of students... 

Starting Your U.S. University Adventure

Most of your college search factors can be placed into one of three categories: academic, practical, and social. Your success in your time as an undergraduate hinges on your knowledge that your university of choice is going to fulfill your expectations, from majors to student life. One of the biggest benefits of studying at a U.S. university is the variety of things to study... Read more

Not a poem, not a story

If I am being honest, I wasn’t even sure I knew what a lyric essay was. To me, it looked like an essay open to emotional tangents with a loose interpretation of sentence structure. The lyric essays I stumbled upon in online literary journals seemed to borrow from poetry, following rhythm and aiming for a feeling rather than a clear narrative...  Read more

Distractions in satire

In October 2016, after finishing a string of documentaries on cults, I imagined a world of Trump TV. I don’t know how much credit should go to the documentaries– I have always had a weird fascination with cults and insulated lifestyles. Maybe it was the huge uptick in the political commentary I’d been watching... Read more

Navigating the first summer of my MFA

This past May marked the end of my first year in Boise State’s MFA program. In a whirlwind of moving twice, losing a relationship, cautiously starting another, searching for my voice as a writer, and of course, figuring out the best place to buy groceries, the summer loomed ahead of me. In the past few years, summer hadn’t meant much with full-time jobs and responsibilities... Read more