Nathan Branson

The Excuses That Keep Us From Telling Our Stories

A Reflection on Why You Should Speak Up at the Dinner Table

“Telling stories is not about one-upping. It is about swapping stories. To win the game you tell the right stories to get the better stories out of the other person.” ---my friend Bobby Lane

I have spent the last 2 months teaching freshman English composition classes online because of the coronavirus. The transition from teaching . . .

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May 13, 2020

How To Be Productive When Working From Home: My "One Task Per Hour" Habit

How can I get tasks accomplished when my fridge is nearby? Working from home taps into the symptoms of ADHD that I have.

I learned early on as an English teacher that grading essays in the 2nd half of the semester required a lot of focus at my kitchen table. Every Saturday in the months of April, May, October and November required . . .

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April 03, 2020

4 Reasons to Visit a L'Abri House: Summer Camp For Burnt-Out Christians

Are you in your twenties or thirties on the verge of a quarter-life crisis? Are you tired of touristy vacation experiences and looking for something different? If you are a Christian (or interested in Christianity)-----a place called L'Abri might be for you.

I want to give you 4 reasons why you should consider visiting a L’Abri . . .

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January 06, 2020

Reading "Every Moment Holy": A Step Towards Seeing Monday to Friday as Sacred

Liturgy for Busy 21st Century Americans

When the topic of “reading liturgy” comes up among Christians it is often associated with corporate worship (“Does that church read liturgy during the service?”) rather than personal reading (“Do you read liturgy?”) I haven’t attended a church that regularly reads liturgy since I was 15 years old. I spend my early years in a Methodist church . . .

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October 30, 2019

How Facebook Makes Sense of Fragmented Communities for Transient People

Three years ago, I introduced two of my best friends who both work for the city of Charlotte. My friend from UNCW undergrad, Seth Ervin currently leads tech projects for the libraries in Charlotte. Phil Freeman, my room-mate from grad school, helps with city planning projects for the city. Last week Phil texted me to say the two of them got . . .

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August 31, 2019

What Sparks the Daydreams that Happen in Your Head?

Reflecting on My High School Self on the Appalachian Trail

Two weeks ago, my cousin Becca Jones and I hiked four days on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont. Becca planned our four days in the woods as hiking 9 miles, 9 miles, 8 miles and then 12.5 miles respectively for the four days. She was in charge of trail logistics in how long we would hike, where we would camp and the pace we were hiking at. . . .

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August 03, 2019

Why Keeping Your Audience in Mind Matters

On the Small Flaw that Can Bore, Confuse and Lose Your Reader (And How to Avoid It)

I am a part of a writing group that meets twice a month. When we meet, each member is asked to read 5 pages of something they’ve written. You’d be surprised at how effective reading 5 pages of a first draft out loud to other writers is for finding how weak your writing is. I typically end up slightly embarrassed about simple mistakes that I . . .

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July 01, 2019