Opinion

Crazy Middle-Class Naughtons

Living in a small community in mid-Missouri, my Chinese-born children Truman and Tiana have grown accustomed to seeing mostly white faces wherever they go. Though our beloved hometown of Ashland is slowly but surely becoming more ethnically diverse than it was when Bethany and I first moved here nearly 20 years ago, our kids see

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Hope, Heart, and Greatness

When Parker Boyce, Will Duncan, Colby Phillips, Brett Price, Brett Stanfield, and Sam Stichnote started playing tackle football as third-graders, I knew they were destined for greatness. The boys, including my son Alex, were teamed up with Southern Boone’s fourth-grade boys their first year. The combined roster featured future high school standouts such as Seth

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Happy Fall, Y’all

The combination of freezing temperatures and strong winds that recently visited mid-Missouri caused virtually all of the deciduous trees on our heavily-wooded property to drop their leaves in unison, with the exception of the pin oaks that will stubbornly cling to their shriveled foliage until Spring. Every square foot of our two and a half

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National Adoption Awareness Month

On this day ten years ago, Bethany and I were in Nanning, China trying to convince a two-year-old boy named Jiang Yi Jian that we were his new mama and baba (mom and dad). He wasn’t buying it. Five days earlier, “Jian Jian” (his Cantonese nickname) had been handed to us by an elderly woman

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An Open Letter to White People

Dear White Folks, Time and again, I keep hearing that it is “time to take back America.” This mantra is often repeated by the same people—conservative Whites—who are also fond of the all-too familiar slogan, “Make America Great Again.” According to recent statistics, non-Hispanic Whites make up 61.3% of the population in the United States,

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The Future of Journalism

While I was subbing in a second grade classroom last week, a parent of one of my students informed me that her daughter had read my most recent column. Of course, I was flattered that the child had wanted to read the musings of her substitute teacher, but I was also seriously impressed that a

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Methane, Memories, and Melancholy

With the possibility of overnight frost in the forecast, I decided to winterize our camping trailer last weekend. I thought it might be a good idea to avoid having to buy a third RV toilet in as many years, so this time around, I made a sincere effort to winterize our new camper correctly. Last

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Primary tears on any given day

There is nothing unusual about there being a few tears shed within the confines of a primary school building on any given day. Southern Boone’s primary school is no exception. Scraped knees, hurt feelings, and academic frustration all cause the pitiful displays of waterworks common to kids in kindergarten, first, and second grades. There is

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GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!

When our daughter Tiana started playing soccer six years ago, Bethany and I weren’t sure what to expect. Watching Tiana play basketball had already taught us that our daughter, who was born with cerebral palsy, would not let the muscle spasticity and motor planning deficiencies associated with her condition stop her from participating in any

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Respect Her Decision, Respect Her

A few years ago, a young lady very dear to me confided that she was repeatedly raped by a close member of her family beginning when she was just seven years old. An innocent child. She was thirteen when she was assaulted for the final time, and by then her attacker was a legal adult.

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