The On Being Project

Teaching Saves My Life Every Single Day

by Christina Torres

To teach is to foster a kinship — to love and be loved in return. For Christina Torres, her work as a teacher has helped her manage her anxiety and depression.

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Teaching Saves My Life Every Single Day
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On The Blog

Sitting Alongside Suffering

by Courtney E. Martin

Suffering is universal. It’s time I grew wiser about how to sit alongside it.

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Sitting Alongside Suffering

The Monks of St. John’s File in for Prayer: A Poem

by Kilian McDonnell

On the quiet and animated joys of a life in prayer and community.

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The Monks of St. John’s File in for Prayer: A Poem

We Are All Part of Prince’s America

by Kristin Lin

In his dynamic six-part tribute to Prince, Anil Dash makes the case for how the High Priest of Pop encapsulates the beautiful and complicated story of the American project.

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We Are All Part of Prince’s America

It’s Going to Be Okay, and It’s Not Going to Be Okay

by Elena Zhang

What does it mean to embrace grief when it feels boundless? Elena Zhang finds answers in her writing — and in watching HBO’s The Leftovers.

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It’s Going to Be Okay, and It’s Not Going to Be Okay

My Feelings Are Not My Enemies

by Miguel Clark Mallet

The power of honoring our emotions as truth is to allow them to complicate — and enhance — how we understand the world and each other.

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My Feelings Are Not My Enemies

Stop Asking And Answering Other People’s Questions

by Courtney E. Martin

Courtney Martin considers the ethical questions parents face when trying to decide where their kids should go to school — and calls us to ask ourselves if the questions we ask match our values.

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Stop Asking And Answering Other People’s Questions

Life Is a Found Poem

by Parker J. Palmer

Life is complexity and mystery; so is the poetry and beauty we find in it.

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Life Is a Found Poem

Words That Matter: A Poem

by Marilyn Nelson

A poet on the times when the act of communicating matters more than the words themselves.

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Words That Matter: A Poem

The Inner Conflict of Watching Black Panther as an African and African American

by Jeffrey Bissoy

In Black Panther, the struggle between hero and villain is not simply a fight between good and evil, but rather the difficult reconciliation between African and African American identity. Jeffrey Bissoy writes about the questions Marvel falls short of exploring.

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The Inner Conflict of Watching Black Panther as an African and African American

The Right to Be Forgotten

by Talha Jalal

Given that most information on the internet can remain there forever, to what extent should we be able to exercise the “right to be forgotten,” to disassociate ourselves with information about our past?

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The Right to Be Forgotten
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","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":1332707,"slug":"elena-zhang-its-going-to-be-okay-and-its-not-going-to-be-okay","title":"It's Going to Be Okay, and It's Not Going to Be Okay","date":"2018-04-20 16:00:39","path":"/blog/elena-zhang-its-going-to-be-okay-and-its-not-going-to-be-okay/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/elena-zhang-its-going-to-be-okay-and-its-not-going-to-be-okay/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/GettyImages-696166323.jpg","author":{"id":1142,"slug":"ezhang","description":"\

is a freelance writer based in Chicago. Her writing can be found in Hazlitt, Catapult, The Rumpus, Paste Magazine, Racked, Food52, and The Establishment, among other publications. Follow her on Twitter: \@EZhang77\.\

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is a freelance writer based in Chicago. Her writing can be found in Hazlitt, Catapult, The Rumpus, Paste Magazine, Racked, Food52, and The Establishment, among other publications. Follow her on Twitter: \@EZhang77\.\

\n","name":"Elena Zhang","avatar":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/pic-e1524063233177.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/ezhang/","positionTitle":"Guest Contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"EZhang77","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":38044,"slug":"kilian-mcdonnell-the-monks-of-st-johns-file-in-for-prayer-a-poem","title":"The Monks of St. John’s File in for Prayer: A Poem","date":"2018-04-22 16:00:28","path":"/blog/kilian-mcdonnell-the-monks-of-st-johns-file-in-for-prayer-a-poem/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/kilian-mcdonnell-the-monks-of-st-johns-file-in-for-prayer-a-poem/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/GettyImages-481469916.jpg","author":{"id":1023,"slug":"kilian_mcdonnell","description":"\
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is a monk and theologian of Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. His books of poetry include \Swift, Lord, You Are Not\, Yahweh's Other Shoe, and \God Drops and Loses Things\.\
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Celebrations of Prince's life accompany praise for standing up together, in support of our strengths and growth from moments of weakness.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Prince-memorial-first-ave.jpg?fit=1200%2C900&ssl=1&resize=350%2C200","width":350,"height":200},"classes":[]},{"id":18666,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/the-myth-and-possibility-of-american-greatness/","urlMeta":{"origin":1332723,"position":1},"title":"The Myth and Possibility of American Greatness","date":"November 3, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"Accepting dark realities and difficult truths doesn’t negate love for our country. 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I listened to the recent \\On Being\ episode on depression\ while cleaning my kitchen. When Parker Palmer told this story, I stopped moving, the water running over a dish that had long been thoroughly rinsed:\

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\

\“I had folks coming to me, of course, who wanted to be helpful; and sadly, many of them weren’t. These were the people who would say, “Gosh, Parker, why are you sitting in here being depressed? It’s a beautiful day outside. Go feel the sunshine and smell the flowers.” And that, of course, leaves a depressed person even more depressed, because while you know, intellectually, that it’s sunny out and that the flowers are lovely and fragrant, you can’t really feel any of that in your body, which is dead in a sensory way. And so you’re left more depressed by this “good advice” to get out and enjoy the day…\\

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\“There was this one friend who came to me, after asking permission to do so, every afternoon about 4:00, sat me down in a chair in the living room, took off my shoes and socks, and massaged my feet. He hardly ever said anything — he was a Quaker elder — and yet, out of his intuitive sense, from time to time would say a very brief word, like: “I can feel your struggle today,” or, farther down the road, “I feel that you’re a little stronger at this moment, and I’m glad for that.” But beyond that, he would say hardly anything. He would give no advice. He would simply report, from time to time, what he was intuiting about my condition. Somehow, he found the one place in my body, namely, the soles of my feet, where I could experience some sort of connection to another human being. And the act of massaging just — in a way that I really don’t have words for — kept me connected with the human race.”\\

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I recognized myself. Not in the person suffering with depression. Not in the person washing the feet of the person suffering with depression. But in the person saying, “Go feel the sunshine and smell the flowers.”\

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And I don’t want to be that person. I want to be the one with the spiritual intelligence and \steadfastness of the foot-washer\.\

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Some people very close to me have suffered from both physical and mental distress lately. I’ve rushed in. I’ve tried to architect fixes. I’ve offered money, plane flights, pep talks, Buddhist books. I’ve basically bludgeoned them with the bright side. \But we’re so lucky compared to so many people. But our loved ones are safe. But the sun is shining.\\

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The more my heart breaks from witness, it seems, the less wise I get about how to be a source of solace. When I feel crushing empathy, a frenzy of reframing follows. I know it’s not loving to deny the reality of someone’s suffering; but I don’t quite know how to acknowledge that reality without pushing back against it. Is there anything more painful than watching someone you love suffer and feeling powerless?\

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I remember, after \giving birth\, truly believing that my family had endured the harder experience. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to watch the person I love most deeply in profound physical agony and have no way to help beyond offering encouraging words and a wet washcloth to the forehead.\

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Lately, it occurs to me that while I have never had the terrifying gift of witnessing someone I love give birth, I have been enduring a slower-moving version of this. I am watching people I love dearly struggle to birth a new version of themselves, aching into a new season of life. Their pain is less evident than a woman screaming obscenities in a hospital gown, but it is no less real. And I am no more powerful than my partner was as he desperately asked the midwife if it was too late for the drugs. It was. The baby’s head was practically crowning. Despite my state, I remember the wild animal look in his eye — desperate to stop my pain, totally out of touch with the reality of where we were in the process.\

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I feel that desperate when it comes to the people I love. I want to deliver some kind of relief, press fast forward, say magical words. When none of that proves possible, I flail. It’s what Parker characterized in the interview as being “invasive of suffering.”\

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I brought this up with a friend recently, and she said: “Maybe we can’t wash the feet of those we love the most. We’re too invested in their recovery.”\

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It was another stilling moment for me. She has been attending \Al-Anon meetings\. Her mom has been sober for eight hard-fought months. She’s been thinking a lot about not being “invasive of suffering.” How had I not noticed that the man who washed Parker’s feet each day was not a son or a brother, not a best friend or a wife? It was simply a friend.\

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This is not to let myself off the hook. I do want to learn how to wash the feet of those I love the most, or whatever the equivalent is for my people in my way, but perhaps it’s an approach best practiced with people we actually have a bit of distance from. It’s also a beautiful reminder of how important the loose ties of life really can be; the village may be better positioned to nurse us than our own flesh and blood at crucial moments.\

\n\

It’s inevitable that we become attached to the recovery of people whose suffering directly affects us. No doubt the most evolved among us learn how to compartmentalize our own desires while sitting at the feet of those we love. I aspire to that. In the meantime, I’m going to be listening to life for the moments where I might “wash the feet” of people who are dear to me, but not of me. Where I might serve as a loving, non-attached source of comfort and unconditional love — the doula at the birth, not the partner.\

\n\

Suffering is universal. It’s time I grew wiser about how to sit alongside it.\

\n\

\\

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Suffering is universal. It’s time I grew wiser about how to sit alongside it.\

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is a monk and theologian of Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. His books of poetry include \Swift, Lord, You Are Not\, Yahweh's Other Shoe, and \God Drops and Loses Things\.\
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is a teacher, writer, and runner based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Torres received her B.A. in English and Theatre from the University of Southern California. After joining Teach For America, she received a Masters in Education from Loyola Marymount University and followed her passion for education all the way to O‘ahu, where she now teaches at Punahou School. When she's not teaching kids, she's writing, running marathons, and searching for the best cheeseburger. Find more about her at \www.christinatorres.org\.\

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is a teacher, writer, and runner based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Torres received her B.A. in English and Theatre from the University of Southern California. After joining Teach For America, she received a Masters in Education from Loyola Marymount University and followed her passion for education all the way to O‘ahu, where she now teaches at Punahou School. When she's not teaching kids, she's writing, running marathons, and searching for the best cheeseburger. Find more about her at \www.christinatorres.org\.\

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When I wake up, my arms are wound around me — tight— protecting me from something I can’t name. My heart is racing, and I slowly take deep breaths to try and calm myself.\

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I never know how a morning is going to hit. Most days, I awake feeling excited and eager to hop on my bike for the five minute commute to the beautiful school in Honolulu, Hawaii where I teach middle school English. I am very, very lucky.\

\n\

Some mornings, though, I am fighting my way out of a deep, dark hole.\

\n\

I’ve been managing anxiety (and, at times, its cousin, \depression\) since I was a kid. Like others, I’ve been down as many roads as you can think of trying to “defeat” panic attacks. Some have been less than effective (cutting out gluten and caffeine just made me cranky), and others — therapy, \running\, prayer — continue to help me get out of bed every day.\

\n\

Yet, to my surprise, I’ve found one of the most effective remedies in the very place the darkness tries to coax me away from some mornings: at school, with the 96 kids I see at work each day.\
\n_____\

\n\

Every part of me \hurts\.\

\n\

I am trapped right where I am. The darkness of \my anxiety grabs onto me\ and whispers in my ear, \“\\Just where do you think you’re going? You’re an idiot if you think you can do anything today.”\\

\n\

The first step is getting out of bed. I place my hands on the mattress to push up and —\

\n\

\“Why bother? You can’t do this. You’re not going to be able to handle what’s out there.”\ The “what” is never clear — it’s everything. It’s light and sound; other people and life itself.\

\n\

\“Besides, no one’s gonna put up with you like this anyway.”\\
\n_____\

\n\

Normally, the traits you associate with “introvert” and “anxiety” don’t overlap with “middle school English teacher.” Still, for most of my adult life, that’s the paradox I live. Every day, I see anywhere from 48 to 96 eighth graders, inviting them to write, read, think, and laugh with me. My work allows me to question, engage, and love small humans. They fill me with amusement, encouragement, and awe.\

\n\

It’s incredibly rewarding, but immensely tiring. The double-edged sword of teaching is the continued (and, often, draining) presence of people throughout your workday. Some of us aptly describe it as having to be “on” — teaching requires a tremendous sense of presence, all while knowing each interaction with a kid can change the culture of your classroom for a day — or more. The stakes are high.\

\n\

When I first started teaching, the pressure of being “on,” of having to “perform” was tiring. I would end each day emotionally exhausted, barely able to comprehend doing this for the rest of the week, much less year.\

\n\

After a few years, though, I realized teaching isn’t a performance at all — it’s a relationship. My kids didn’t need me to entertain them. They needed me to \enter into kinship with them\, to care about them and, at the same time, allow them to care about me.\

\n\

And in this way, teaching saves my life every single day.\
\n__________\

\n\

I walk to my front door and place my hand on the handle. The idea of leaving my apartment and seeing actual people feels overwhelming. “\You’re just going to screw it all up as soon as you walk out the door.”\\

\n\

Yes, it is tempting to stay. I could lie in bed, wrap myself in a blanket and let myself sink into the darkness. Even after years of \trying to manage my anxiety\, those days still happen. My body will curl tightly into the fetal position like a rolled up flag trying to survive the storm, and all I can do is cry and cry and cry as I try to claw my way out of the darkness. A death knell, the wail of my voice will try to call me back home to my body.\
\n_______\

\n\

When I feel anxious or depressed, it’s hard to be around anyone. The darkness whispers that it will be exhausting, that I should just give up and spare everyone around me from my unlovable self.\

\n\

This is the darkness my students are able to fight with their existence alone. Most kids just want to \be loved and love in return\. I have yet to find a group of kids who didn’t want to, in some way, have a good time, care about, and enjoy the company of their teachers and peers. Even when, for whatever reason, it is hard for them to trust and express that, showing a student that I care about them has always gained the care and companionship of that kid.\

\n\

In this way, my students remind me that the voice that says I am unworthy of love or that life is not worthwhile is lying.\

\n\

Of course, I am blessed to also have family and friends who would \remind me of this\ if I needed it, but the power of doing work that is truly based on \creating kinship\ has a magic of its own.\

\n\

Teaching is not for everyone, but seeking love and joy is. If giving love is seeing and seeking the best in someone, being loved is allowing those things to happen for ourselves. In entering into kinship with my students, I don’t just see the best and seek the best for them; I let them show me the best of myself too.\

\n\

The more I teach, the more I realize it’s one of the best expressions of love I could ask for — the hope, joy, and magic of kids calls me back from the darkness. My students approach life with a zeal and delight that never fails to spark those things inside me too. Whether it’s a joyful bombardment of gecko-based questions or gardenias from a student’s garden “just because,” I am gifted their sense of wonder every day.\

\n\

Even when life feels hopeless, there is so much \unfailing light\ in the world — especially in children.\

\n\

And that light is often at the end of the dark tunnel of my own mind, guiding me back home to myself.\
\n_______\

\n\

I quietly slink into my classroom and have a seat at my desk. How am I going to teach today? \“There’s no way I can do this.”\\

\n\

The door opens. I can’t see my student over the chairs stacked on tables, but I see her small footsteps as they dance through the room.\

\n\

“Hi, Ms. Torres!” she shouts, smiling as she tosses her bag onto the table.\

\n\

“Hi honey,” I say, as I take a breath to stable myself. “How are you?”\

\n\

“I’m good,” she calls over to me as she takes a chair down. “I got a new book last night. You wanna see?” She looks up — no expectations, simply wanting to share something nice with me.\

\n\

Her joy is contagious, and even when I think it’s impossible, I feel a small crack in the dark cast over my heart. I resettle into my desk, pat the table in front of me. “Of course. Tell me all about it.”\

\n\

She smiles at me, and I can’t help but smile back — I can see the light guiding me back home.\

\n\
\n\

\Editor’s note: We’re curating a series of essays on mental health. If you have a story to share or an idea to pitch, email us at \[email protected]\\\

\n","excerpt":"\

To teach is to foster a kinship — to love and be loved in return. For Christina Torres, her work as a teacher has helped her manage her anxiety and depression. \

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is a columnist for \On Being\. Her newest book, \\The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream\\, explores how people are redefining the American dream (think more fulfillment, community, and fun, less debt, status, and stuff). Courtney is the co-founder of the \Solutions Journalism Network\ and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is also co-founder and partner at Valenti Martin Media and FRESH Speakers Bureau, and editor emeritus at Feministing.com.\

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Courtney has authored/edited five books, including \\Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists\\, and \\Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women\\. Her work appears frequently in \The New York Times\ and \The Washington Post\. Courtney has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor, and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics and a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre. She lives with her partner in life and work, John Cary, in Oakland, and their daughters Maya and Stella. Read more about her work at \www.courtneyemartin.com\.\

\n","slug":"courtneymartin","name":"Courtney E. Martin","profileImage":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/CourtneyMartin.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1","positionTitle":"columnist","guestDescription":"\

\is the co-founder of the \\Solutions Journalism Network\\ and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is the author of six books including \\\Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists\\\ and, most recently, \\\The New Better Off\\\.\\

\n","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","twitterHandle":"courtwrites","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"","avatarMap":{}},"4":{"id":4,"description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the \Center for Courage & Renewal\. His books include \\A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life\\, and \\Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation\\. His book \\On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old\\ will be published in June.\

\n","slug":"parker-j-palmer","name":"Parker J. Palmer","profileImage":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/•Parker-J.-Palmer-Photo—Sept.-2017.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1","positionTitle":"columnist","guestDescription":"\

\is founder and senior partner of the \\Center for Courage & Renewal\\. His books include \\\Healing the Heart of Democracy\\\, \\\Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation\, \\\and the forthcoming, \On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, Getting Old\.\

\n","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","twitterHandle":"ParkerJPalmer","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"","avatarMap":{}},"152":{"id":152,"description":"\

is a writer and humanitarian. He is the author of \\Memoirs of the Badshahi Mosque\ \(Oxford University Press, 2013).\

\n","slug":"talha-jalal","name":"Talha Jalal","profileImage":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Talha-Photo-e1523568590187.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1","positionTitle":"Guest Contributor","guestDescription":"\

is a writer and humanitarian. He is the author of \\Memoirs of the Badshahi Mosque\ \(Oxford University Press, 2013).\

\n","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","twitterHandle":"RTJalal","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"","avatarMap":{}},"207":{"id":207,"description":"\

is a teacher, writer, and runner based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Torres received her B.A. in English and Theatre from the University of Southern California. After joining Teach For America, she received a Masters in Education from Loyola Marymount University and followed her passion for education all the way to O‘ahu, where she now teaches at Punahou School. When she's not teaching kids, she's writing, running marathons, and searching for the best cheeseburger. Find more about her at \www.christinatorres.org\.\

\n","slug":"christina-torres","name":"Christina Torres","profileImage":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Ms.Torres.20180108-6848.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1","positionTitle":"Contributing Editor","guestDescription":"\

is a teacher, writer, and runner based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Torres received her B.A. in English and Theatre from the University of Southern California. After joining Teach For America, she received a Masters in Education from Loyola Marymount University and followed her passion for education all the way to O‘ahu, where she now teaches at Punahou School. When she's not teaching kids, she's writing, running marathons, and searching for the best cheeseburger. Find more about her at \www.christinatorres.org\.\

\n","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","twitterHandle":"biblio_phile","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"","avatarMap":{}},"950":{"id":950,"description":"\

is a professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut and a chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. She was awarded the 2012 Frost Medal, the Poetry Society of America's most prestigious award, for \"distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.\" Her books include \The Fields of Praise\, \Faster Than Light\, and \How I Discovered Poetry\.\

\n","slug":"marilyn-nelson","name":"Marilyn Nelson","profileImage":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Marilyn-Nelson-bio-3.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1","positionTitle":"Special Contributor","guestDescription":"\
is a professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut and a chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. She was awarded the 2012 Frost Medal, the Poetry Society of America's most prestigious award, for \"distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.\" Her books include \The Fields of Praise\, \Faster Than Light\, and \How I Discovered Poetry\.\
\n","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","twitterHandle":"","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"","avatarMap":{}},"1023":{"id":1023,"description":"\
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is a monk and theologian of Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. His books of poetry include \Swift, Lord, You Are Not\, Yahweh's Other Shoe, and \God Drops and Loses Things\.\
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\n","slug":"kilian_mcdonnell","name":"Kilian McDonnell","profileImage":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Fr.Kilian.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1","positionTitle":"special contributor","guestDescription":"","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","twitterHandle":"","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"","avatarMap":{}},"1038":{"id":1038,"description":"\

Born in Germany during the same year that construction began on the Berlin Wall, Miguel Clark Mallet grew up as an Army brat on military bases across the United States and in Latin America. Early in life, he became fascinated with both spirituality and language, a connection fed by his years as an altar boy, and cemented by the nun in his 8th grade year of Catholic school who taught both his English and religion classes. Mallet originally studied journalism in college (he particularly enjoyed copy editing), eventually earning a bachelor's degree in English and then an MFA in fiction.\

\n\

He spent the bulk of the next 20 years as a college-level writing teacher and writing program administrator in North Carolina, Iowa, and Arizona, where he earned a Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition; he also had a short stint as a technical editor. Mallet's current interests center on the intersection of the personal, the social (especially involving race), and the spiritual, and on writing — its ambiguity and fluidity — as a means to explore that intersection. He believes in writing as a tool for both reflection, disruption, and transformation. Currently at work on both a speculative fiction novel and a long work blending verse, memoir, polemic, and fiction, he writes, runs, and lives in the Twin Cities.\

\n","slug":"miguelclarkmallet","name":"Miguel Clark Mallet","profileImage":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Miguel-Clark-Mallet-bio.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1","positionTitle":"Columnist","guestDescription":"","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","twitterHandle":"Mar_de_Palabras","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"","avatarMap":{}},"1100":{"id":1100,"description":"\

\Growing up in a Buddhist, Taiwanese household in Texas, Kristin was always fascinated by the power of conversation to connect the many contrasting microcosms around her. She carried her curiosity for human experience to Chicago, where she studied political science at the University of Chicago and edited the campus's long-form investigative journal. It was during her runs along Lake Michigan that she started tuning into podcasts; she has been an avid fan of \On Being \ever since she listened to her first episode, featuring Yo-Yo Ma.\\

\n\

\Kristin has worked at UC Berkeley and \The Wall Street Journal\, where she helped produce, write, and report for diverse sets of audiences. She feels lucky to contribute to a program that has so deeply and joyfully enriched her understanding of humanity.\\

\n\

\When she's not listening to podcasts or reading, Kristin enjoys cooking for crowds, penning her advice column, and chasing wonder in nature. She is still trying to decide her favorite installment of Richard Linklater’s \Before\ trilogy.\\

\n","slug":"klin","name":"Kristin Lin","profileImage":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Kristin.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1","positionTitle":"Editor, On Being Studios","guestDescription":"\

\Growing up in a Buddhist, Taiwanese household in Texas, Kristin was always fascinated by the power of conversation to connect the many contrasting microcosms around her. She carried her curiosity for human experience to Chicago, where she studied political science at the University of Chicago and edited the campus's long-form investigative journal. It was during her runs along Lake Michigan that she started tuning into podcasts; she has been an avid fan of \On Being \ever since she listened to her first episode, featuring Yo-Yo Ma.\\

\n\

\Kristin has worked at UC Berkeley and \The Wall Street Journal\, where she helped produce, write, and report for diverse sets of audiences. She feels lucky to contribute to a program that has so deeply and joyfully enriched her understanding of humanity.\\

\n\

\When she's not listening to podcasts or reading, Kristin enjoys cooking for crowds, penning her advice column, and chasing wonder in nature. She is still trying to decide her favorite installment of Richard Linklater’s \Before\ trilogy.\\

\n","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","twitterHandle":"","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"","avatarMap":{}},"1124":{"id":1124,"description":"\

is a 2016 graduate of Carleton College, where he received his B.A. in American Studies with a concentration in French and Francophone studies. Fun fact: he wrote his senior thesis on \The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.\ Jeffrey joins \On Being\ after a year of researching and producing for \APM Reports\ and \MPR News with Kerri Miller\.\

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Born in Yaoundé, Cameroon and raised in The Cities, Jeffrey has developed a passion for the African diaspora and pan-Africanism, immigration and social issues, identity politics, and the impact of sports in society.\

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Jeffrey is the host of two podcasts — \\Maintainin’ & The Come-Up\\ — the former examines and brings light to the millennial experience, and the latter stays current with the weekly drama of the NBA. He’s also a contributor for \The Current\, where he writes about Hip-Hop, the arts, and current events. When he’s not podcasting or writing, you can find him perfecting his Spanish and Salsa steps.\

\n","slug":"jbissoymattis","name":"Jeffrey Bissoy","profileImage":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/1200x1200_Jeffrey.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1","positionTitle":"Intern","guestDescription":"\

is a 2016 graduate of Carleton College, where he received his B.A. in American Studies with a concentration in French and Francophone studies. Fun fact: he wrote his senior thesis on \The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.\ Jeffrey joins \On Being\ after a year of researching and producing for \APM Reports\ and \MPR News with Kerri Miller\.\

\n\

Born in Yaoundé, Cameroon and raised in The Cities, Jeffrey has developed a passion for the African diaspora and pan-Africanism, immigration and social issues, identity politics, and the impact of sports in society.\

\n\

Jeffrey is the host of two podcasts — \\Maintainin’ & The Come-Up\\ — the former examines and brings light to the millennial experience, and the latter stays current with the weekly drama of the NBA. He’s also a contributor for \The Current\, where he writes about Hip-Hop, the arts, and current events. When he’s not podcasting or writing, you can find him perfecting his Spanish and Salsa steps.\

\n","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","twitterHandle":"","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"","avatarMap":{}},"1142":{"id":1142,"description":"\

is a freelance writer based in Chicago. Her writing can be found in Hazlitt, Catapult, The Rumpus, Paste Magazine, Racked, Food52, and The Establishment, among other publications. Follow her on Twitter: \@EZhang77\.\

\n","slug":"ezhang","name":"Elena Zhang","profileImage":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/pic-e1524063233177.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1","positionTitle":"Guest Contributor","guestDescription":"\

is a freelance writer based in Chicago. Her writing can be found in Hazlitt, Catapult, The Rumpus, Paste Magazine, Racked, Food52, and The Establishment, among other publications. Follow her on Twitter: \@EZhang77\.\

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