Performance, Entrapment, & Princesses in Father-Daughter Purity Balls

PPPThis image, taken by photographer David Magnusson, was captured at a father-daughter purity ball in the US. It’s beautiful photography, but the subject…well, it’s creepy, right? Makes you feel kinda uncomfortable. This image is only the half of it. Father-daughter purity balls are rife with tensions and an eeriness that is difficult to describe…

Emergence of the Father-Daughter Purity Ball

The existence of purity culture as an independent arena of ethical formation, religious teaching, and spiritual testing is nothing new to the American evangelical church. However, the shift to purity-focused events as a sight of public spiritual and behavioral commitment to abstinence occurred only a few short decades ago, in 1993, with the founding of True Love Waits, an organization promoting abstinence education and dedication. With the founding of this organization arose an entirely new method of promoting purity in the form of pledges. Continue reading “Performance, Entrapment, & Princesses in Father-Daughter Purity Balls”


Wesleyan Quadrilateral for Beginners

What sources should Christians use to construct their own ethical theories? How should those sources relate to and inform one another? One very common and even more useful tool used by many Christians to tackle complex topics is the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, named after John Wesley. The Wesleyan Quadrilateral is just one of several methods of theological analysis and reflection, and consists of four parts: Scripture, Experience, Tradition, and Logic.


Broadly speaking, Christians should first and foremost use scripture to construct their own ethical theories. Scripture is the word of God itself. However, the issue with only using scripture is that no matter how divinely-inspired it is, our interpretation of it is not always as “inspired”. Our understanding of scripture is incomplete, and will always be incomplete.
To build on scripture, commentaries are very helpful. They provide a more relatable understanding of the historical context of scripture, therefore the potential for application of it. They also often provide information on the original language used. It is by no means necessary for all Christians to understand Greek and Hebrew, but it is often very enlightening to read scripture in light of the meaning of the Greek terms used rather than according to our understanding of the English words chosen upon translation. Continue reading “Wesleyan Quadrilateral for Beginners”

Poetry Review: “The feet of Spring are on the stair” by Rosalia de Castro, 1884

Rosalia de CastroIt is better to die clinging to the hope of boundless life than to live without realizing life’s potential, or as Rosalia de Castro wrote it: “Unblest are they who dreamless draw their breath, and fortunate who in a dream find death.” This is, at the time, my favorite piece of poetry. I only hope my review can do it justice (find the full poem at the end).

In her poem “The feet of Spring are on the stair,” de Castro emphasizes this statement with rhyme and syllabic patterns, elevates the significance of this “truth” as one of superiority by juxtaposing this Romantic ideal with aspects of Victorian-era science, and concludes the concept by creating a narrative of life’s progression through the varying recurrences of heat. All of these aspects of the poem are used to support the poem’s epicenter: de Castro’s philosophical assertion regarding life, death, and dreams. Continue reading “Poetry Review: “The feet of Spring are on the stair” by Rosalia de Castro, 1884″

Self Determination Theory: Major Tenets and Practical Applications 

According to 2012 drop-out rates, 20% of high school students will drop out of school or not complete high school in the normal four-year course (Stetser & Stillwell, 2014). With drop-out rates this high, students’ intentions to persist in school are an immediately relevant area of interest. When evaluating this interest, it is important to acknowledge students’ express intentions, as this is a key predictor of behavior (Vallerand, Fortier, & Guay, 1997); students do what they say they will do. A student’s intentions to persist in school are directly related to the level of and extent to which said student’s motivation regarding education is internalized or regulated (Khalkhali, Sharifi, & Nikyar, 2013). Thus it is important for teachers and school administrators to be aware of the student’s form and source of motivation when attempting to guide the student’s intentions.

Motivation, understood as something that causes one to act specifically in regard to the expenditure of effort to accomplish results (Gillet, Berjot, Vallerand, & Amoura, 2012a), can be recognized according to certain behaviors. These include paying attention in class, beginning tasks immediately, completing tasks, volunteering answers, and the appearance of relative happiness, contentment, or eagerness in the classroom (Williams & Williams, 2011). The absence of motivation often leads to frustration or discontentment, and can encumber productivity and wellbeing (Legault, Green-Demers, & Pelletier, 2006). Motivation gradually decreases in the period beginning preschool through high school (Skinner & Belmont, 1993), reaching a steady low at the approximate age of 15. Students then gain the legal ability to choose to drop out at age 16 (Gillet, Vallerand, & Lafrenière, 2012b). This overlap is why it is so crucial to understand students’ motivation and how to influence it. Students who choose to dropout have internalized a motivational orientation that is not self-determined, according to the parameters of Self-Determination Theory (SDT, Vallerand et al., 1997). In this regard, teachers and school administrators need also be aware of whether or not their methods of influencing students’ motivation facilitates self-determined or external motivation. This is indirectly affected in all social contexts in which an individual functions through the fulfillment of certain psychological needs (Sas-Nowosielskil, 2008). According to SDT, these needs are perceived competence, relatedness, and autonomy (Gillet et al., 2012a). Continue reading “Self Determination Theory: Major Tenets and Practical Applications “



This is the first blog I have ever managed, and I am so excited to begin the journey!

I’m an internal processor, but an external purger. I need to shed the weight of my thoughts and create an external storage to clear up mental and emotional space. The premise of this blog is to share with readers the questions and insights I have gained from my specific experiences, including academic, spiritual, and relational experiences. I intend to be responsible in responding to the world. This includes politics, religion, social movements, and global events. This may also include certain concepts and ideas I find interesting, problematic, or in need of intentional dialogue.

I have learned a lot and have a lot to learn. That being said, please be patient with me as I stumble through the intricacies of my personal and global experiences. As a welcome gift, please, do enjoy this picture so graciously provided by the default theme: