At Work

At Sea with Scientists, I Learned What It Means to Be an Explorer

We think of explorers in terms of what they discovered—the Eureka moment, not the search. The search is imperfect and frustrating and owes you nothing.

Sep 11, 2019
Leaving the Sisterhood of Women Writers

The more I wrote about women, the more distanced I felt from the figure I saw in the mirror.

Jun 26, 2019
As a Teacher and Writer, It’s Not My Job to Manage the Feelings of Men

It’s not my job to absorb every feeling a man has. In my classroom, I am the one who decides whose feelings get airtime, and how they are shared.

How My Parents, Who Loved Grapes, Lost Their Love of Winemaking

Others began to intrude in what had once been a mom-and-pop operation. The conversion from hobby to profession had been made.

Apr 25, 2019
Honesty Is the Best Policy—Especially in Focus Groups

There will always be liars in the focus group, but Fred was never one of them.

What Happens When You’re in the Elevator with the Boss’s Son

It’s happened for the past three days now. A three-day streak definitely qualifies it as A capitalized Thing.

Feb 19, 2019
What I Learned from My Father, the Pink-Collar Worker

As a black man in the field of social work, my dad was, as a white female coworker of his once put it, “like a fly in buttermilk.”

Aug 08, 2018
When You Have to Quit Your Dream Job to Pursue Your Dream

After I left, everything became clearer, in the way that a breakup can clarify a toxic relationship; put things in sharp relief.

May 17, 2018
Stitches of Love: Photographing Deceased Neonates

“I take these photographs so she’ll be able to remember the time when she had two heartbeats. Tears bucket down her face.”

Five Rhythms: Dance Class in a Dallas Jail

Dance is about freeing ourselves, finding a secret space inside our bodies that no lock can close.

Apr 25, 2018
When Women Approach and Men Receive: Masculinity and Sexual Subjectivity in the Strip Club

When we conflate men’s sexuality with harassment and violence, we don’t ask much of them. Masculinity doesn’t have to be toxic.

Apr 11, 2018
Adventures in Coffin Making

“What leads a man to transact with death for his daily bread?”

Feb 08, 2018
The World of Transshipment, Where One Glitch Can Lead to Chaos

I couldn’t stop thinking about what I would do if something went wrong. If I made a mistake, my son and I might go back to being homeless.

Working on ‘The Post’ Helped Me Pay Tribute to My Father the Newspaperman

I wish I could tell my dad that I worked to recreate the newsroom. That people still think newspaper stories—and stories about newspapers—are worth telling.

Dec 18, 2017
Women at Work and Other Tales of Survival

“So long as men can harass women without consequences, they will continue to do so.”

Dec 13, 2017
Failing My Father and His American Dream

“All I knew was that if my Pops could work hard and pull himself up out of poverty, I could, too.”

Aug 24, 2017
When You Have a Career in the Food Industry and an Eating Disorder

“So many of us professional food people struggle with eating and body issues. We’re drawn in.”

Aug 22, 2017
Horse Experience: Notes on Recovery from the Louisiana Floods

“Some of these horses have also been rescued from floodwaters. They too are in a strange place, and deeply alone.”

Why Are Opioid Users Overdosing in Libraries, and How Should Librarians Respond?

Librarians across the country are witnessing opioid overdoses on the job. Here’s how some library systems are responding.

Jul 24, 2017
Self-Portrait as Smokey Bear

“Stripped free of technology and social contact, maybe I can finally reflect on the man I’d like to be.”

Jun 15, 2017