All Posts By

Debra Rienstra

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Does Theology Make Us Passive on Climate Change?

“Does ‘image of God’ make us lazy?” I jotted this in my notebook earlier this week, between phrases like “hinge point in history” and “geophysical tipping point.” I was listening to a lecture by Kathleen Dean Moore, a moral philosopher, nature writer, and environmental activist.…
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March 16, 2019
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Please Stop: Calvin Seniors on Vocation

Next time you encounter a college senior, you will inevitably be tempted to ask, “So what’s your major?” and “So what are you going to do with that?” Before you utter those words, please stop. Be gentle. Think of something else to ask. Why? Because…
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March 2, 2019
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Blizzard, Looking Out

Morning, west window The sky feels oddly bright, considering the snow thickly falling in clustered flakes. The wind gusts, whirling flakes into powder, snowglobing my backyard vista. For a moment, a cloud of white obscures the trees, the neighbors’ backyards, the whole world. I exist…
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February 2, 2019
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On Shaving and Shaming

Earlier this week, Gillette dropped a new advertisement called “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be.” Well, you would think they had dropped a match in a puddle of gasoline. Using all the slick production values a $17 billion corporation can muster—including a lush musical…
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January 19, 2019
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Legacy Sorting the KonMari Way

I couldn’t even watch one whole episode. The first season of the new Marie Kondo television series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, dropped on Netflix this week. Obviously, Netflix timed this premier to capitalize on our New Year’s ambitions before they fade into Februarian disappointment.…
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January 5, 2019
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Advent in the Twilight

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. -- Gen. 1:2 I’ve been enjoying darkness this year. Not minding the winter darkness is a helpful survival skill in Michigan,…
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December 22, 2018
college life

How To Achieve Syllabus Efficiency

On a typical day, I prepare to teach three different texts for the three courses I’m currently teaching: Shakespeare, Early British Literature, and introductory creative writing. This seems inefficient, don’t you think? What if I could prepare only one reading for all three courses?
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October 27, 2018