All Posts By

Debra Rienstra

Essay

Refugia

When Mount Saint Helens erupted in May of 1980, it lost 1,300 feet of elevation and gained a new mile-wide crater. The debris avalanche and ashfall from the volcanic blast devastated the mountain and its surroundings, crushing, burning, killing, and…
Calvin College
Essay

Disappointed in a Disappointed Jesus

Dear Luke, Thank you for sending me your manuscript. I’ll try to respond honestly, as you requested. Those lyrical opening chapters: fantastic. Beautifully paced, full of poetry. Along with Zechariah and Mary and Simeon, I was dazzled by angels visitant…
Calvin College
Essay

Psychoterratica: New Words for a New Earth

English has always been a hungry language: it readily devours words from other languages and from inventive word-crafters, assimilating new words into its own rich, varied vocabulary. English never seems to lose its appetite for new morsels, borrowed or fresh.…
Calvin College
Essay

Please Stop: Calvin Seniors on Vocation

Next time you encounter a college senior, you will inevitably be tempted to ask, “So what’s your major?” and “So what are you going to do with that?” Before you utter those words, please stop. Be gentle. Think of something…
Calvin College
Essay

Blizzard, Looking Out

Morning, west window The sky feels oddly bright, considering the snow thickly falling in clustered flakes. The wind gusts, whirling flakes into powder, snowglobing my backyard vista. For a moment, a cloud of white obscures the trees, the neighbors’ backyards,…
Calvin College
Essay

On Shaving and Shaming

Earlier this week, Gillette dropped a new advertisement called “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be.” Well, you would think they had dropped a match in a puddle of gasoline. Using all the slick production values a $17 billion corporation…
Calvin College
Essay

Legacy Sorting the KonMari Way

I couldn’t even watch one whole episode. The first season of the new Marie Kondo television series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, dropped on Netflix this week. Obviously, Netflix timed this premier to capitalize on our New Year’s ambitions before…
Calvin College