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The Materialistic Pathway Prevents Some from Believing the American Dream

How do we imagine the American Dream?

Every semester I ask my students to define the American Dream. In classroom discussion I ask them to name multiple characteristics of the American Dream. Next I push them to come to a consensus about 3-4 core characteristics that define this concept. Some of the most common characteristics named are social mobility, financial security, . . .

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December 29, 2016

Why It is Easy to Be Impersonal to the Grocery Store Cashier

On Thinking of Yourself as a Servant

My interactions with the cashier at the grocery store can be awkward. When I use the word awkward I mean "socially uncomfortable and possibly confusing." When I walk up to the cashier's desk at the grocery store, I am normally excited about whatever food I am buying before hearing a perfunctory greeting by the cashier. At this . . .

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November 06, 2015

5 Quotes for September 18th

David Foster Wallace

I saw David Foster Wallace's famous "This is Water" speech about 3-4 years ago. Ever since I saw that speech I've been watching and listening to the interviews he gave while he was alive. He's is an excellent conversationalist and critical thinker. And when he talks, he does not sound jaded, he sounds sincere. I've . . .

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September 18, 2015

Two Questions: Consumerism/Citizenship and Reading the Gospel of Matthew

Below are two questions that I'd like some input on. If you have any answers to either these questions, please type a response in the comment section. Or feel free to email me at Nathancharlesbranson@gmail.com with your thoughts. I am looking to start a conversation about these things, whether online, via email or in person.

Question 1: . . .

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August 20, 2015

Thoreau's 1854 View of America and America's 2015 Anxieties

On The First Two Chapters of Walden

The best thing about a carefully crafted mix CD is that it often contains your friend's favorite songs or a band's best songs. The mix CD cuts out the process of having to work hard to find the good songs and just allows you to hear what is worth your time. If I were to make a mix CD from Henry David Thoreau's "Walden," . . .

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July 28, 2015

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