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A Stepping Stone in Rwanda

By Kelly FosterJuly 15, 2011

The first night I was in Rwanda, I was asked to facilitate group discussion among the thirteen students and five faculty members who were about to spend our ten days there. So I did what I usually do when I am asked to teach. I came up with fourteen questions that dealt with various abstract…

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Broken, Yet Brave

By Kelly FosterJune 27, 2011

My father’s had one of those years—the ones people frequently compare metaphorically with the suffering of Job—one series of extraordinary hardships after the other—major career changes, my mother’s devastating illness, a new two-hour-per-day commute, a complete upheaval in all that was settled and familiar, even the recent death of our beloved 16-year old cat—all this…

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At the Grave We Make our Song

By Kelly FosterJune 2, 2011

I have had three or four truly excellent teachers in my life—teachers who not only made lights come on for me, but who challenged and pushed me so far beyond boundaries that were previously comfortable that I was never able to return. David Miller of Mississippi College was one of those teachers for me. When…

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Jumping Off Ledges

By Kelly FosterMarch 1, 2011

My boyfriend can do almost anything. Forgive the love-besotted hyperbole, but hear me out. He can mend a ceiling, rewire a wall, re-tile a roof, carve a chess-set, play about twelve instruments, build a bench, remodel a house, replace plumbing, landscape a yard, make a perfect fire. He plays baseball, tennis, basketball, ice hockey, soccer,…

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No God Without Thunder

By Kelly FosterDecember 6, 2010

Religion enlarges the God and limits man, telling the believer incessantly to remember his limits. —John Crowe Ransom, God Without Thunder I must confess something. I don’t know enough about Calvinism to decide if the fact that I am utterly shaped by it—through my lifelong exposure to Presbyterianism, through my Southernness, through my Scotch-Irish Protestant…

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Miracle, Legend, Whatever You Want

By Kelly FosterOctober 26, 2010

You can call it a miracle or a legend or whatever you want to. I just know that on that day, Brett Favre was larger than life. —Coach Gene Stallings, on the 1990 comeback victory of Southern Mississippi over Alabama America, I have two words to say to you about Mississippi: Brett Favre. Brett Favre,…

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That Other Loud and Accidental point of Time

By Kelly FosterJune 8, 2010

My favorite new word came inadvertently and secondhand through my boyfriend’s father earlier this year. Speaking to his brother at their father’s funeral, he asked, “Do you have a tic-tac or something? Cause your breath’s just kind of medium.” The first time Ben relayed this story to me, I laughed so hard the soymilk I…

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To Feel the West In You

By Kelly FosterMarch 23, 2010

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough, A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness— O, Wilderness were Paradise enow! —from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, trans. Edward Fitzgerald I sat on the floor of my boyfriend’s apartment in Chicago this morning listening to the Dixie Chicks sing…

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Suffering and Voyeurism

By Kelly FosterMarch 3, 2010

I locked myself in my dorm room one weekend my sophomore year of college. I had a double minor in European History and German. In one of my Twentieth Century Europe classes, we’d spent our Friday class watching a documentary about the Holocaust. Though it didn’t contain any “new” information, I was struck as if…

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Narratives of our Exiles

By Kelly FosterSeptember 23, 2009

My father is a therapist. This has made for an (how should I say this?), ummm, interesting life. Yes, that’s it. The word I want here is interesting. When my father wanted to provoke me growing up, he would say things like, “I’m sensing some hostility from you. Let’s explore that” or “Kelly, how does…

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