Pop philosopher. Pesudo-intellectual. Professional Pet Watcher. I read a lot of books. I’ve worked for a bit in a library. I’ve worked a bit longer in University Development (reading Alumni files and why they did or did not donate to your school is more amusing than you’d think it would be). And I’ve worked for a really long time (four years) at a suicide, rape, and crisis hotline. I’ve been a Fraternity’s Resident Assistant. I’ve served servers by running their food to tables. I’ve barista’d corporate coffee. And somehow I’ve ended up managing a craft bar in downtown Columbus.
My Central Ohio hometown was a 40k city located on a highway used for meth and human trafficking because it’s on the way to Toledo and Detroit. The city-town didn’t have much to do other than what you’d expect from a place that’s 90% white and surrounded by corn and soybeans: High school football, a theater with a mediocre art scene, and a lot of bars. Lots of people still living there are pretty conservative, but almost 42% voted for Barack Obama in 2008. That’s large enough to shock me. My younger brother still lives there working in the only factory that didn’t abandon us for Mexico (thanks Clinton-NAFTA). Both sets of my grandparents moved there from Elsewhere, Ohio in order to farm before they decided to pop out my parents. I only go back to sometimes visit my mom, who resides in a nursing home that cares for her early-onset Alzheimer’s.
My family is whiter than lily-white. We’re a mix of German, Welsh, and Anglo-Norman. Five generations back the Germans migrated here. I grew up with Edelweiss and saying Gezundheit. Supposedly my distant cousins were on the Nazi side of the Second World War. My mom had an obsession with the Amish. But that’s as far as the German-part runs. I lived below the poverty line for the first 18 years of my life before college aid introduced me to the aesthetics of shopping at strip malls and the differences between chain-coffees. And I converted to the Baha’i Faith in late high school despite most of my relatives adhering to various conservative Protestantisms.
I decided to enroll in a liberal arts college at the suggestion of my high school English teacher. Ohio Wesleyan gave me slightly less aid than Ohio State but it was worth the additional cost. I majored in English and Religion, almost completed a third major in Philosophy, and almost completed a minor in Sociology. I started Classical Greek and picked up German. I won university cash to go do field research in West Virginia and Chicago. I became pretty enamored with learning and decided to double-up on honors projects my senior year; but if I start listing honors the list gets pretty tedious (which, besides revealing my arrogance, also reveals how simple it is to beef up academic CV’s). I decided to matriculate to the University of Chicago over Yale and Wake Forest for my MA where I filled in the gaps from my undergrad: I picked up Arabic, focused more on Anthropology, History, and Political theory, and spent a large amount of my time in archives. I’m currently attending another Master’s program at Ohio University — this time in Political Science. Hopefully I’ll be able to revise this paragraph and claim to be working toward my Ph.D. (To see my professional academic background, go check out my Academia.edu profile).
This website is mostly for my own thinking-out-loud. It’s a way to keep writing, reflecting, and reading while not in the regimented setting of a graduate classroom. Obviously nothing here is nuanced enough to warrant publishing widely; but I’d hope it’s interesting enough to be worth reading to at least a person other than myself.