All Posts By

Debra Rienstra

Essay

House Blessing

My guess: 1971, when people placed family members in glaring sunlight to take a picture, resulting in a shadow of the photographer in the lower right..This week we had good news: a buyer for my parents’ home, after only thirty…
Calvin University
Essay

Pious Petunia Solves Your Holiday Dilemmas

Today I’d like to introduce a guest blogger: advice columnist Pious Petunia. Miss Petunia has been receiving numerous letters of late concerning today’s most puzzling holiday problems. She will be responding here to a few recent letters with her trademark…
Calvin University
Essay

Stars of Wonder

I would like to be writing a review of the new movie The Hobbit, but I haven’t seen it yet. (My daughter went to a midnight showing, and her report is: “epic-ly awesome!”) Instead, I will reflect on G. K.…
Calvin University
Essay

Got A Book Idea? Good Luck With That

At the end of the semester in our creative writing classes at my college, we talk about the publication process and encourage our students to try it. “Seek a wider audience!” we urge them. “Send your stuff out!” Some of…
Calvin University
Essay

Slouching Toward Diligence Day

I’m just now turning my thoughts to the Thanksgiving Day menu. My parents and brothers and their families will be coming here, since the days of going to my parents’ house are now over for good. So Ron and I…
Calvin University
Essay

A Week of Saints

Last night St. Hildegard of Bingen visited Calvin College. She sang, accompanied by a plucked psaltery, or by a handheld harp, or by a fancy wooden box that she cranked to create an otherworldly drone. She told us that she…
Calvin University
Essay

Introvert, Be Free!

In order to prevent us nice Christian teenagers from indulging in let-loose drinking and debauchery on graduation night, a group of parents devised a nefarious plan: an all-night party at an undisclosed location. My graduating class in 1983 was among…
Calvin University
Essay

Get Off My Lawn, Thou Knave

By an odd coincidence, the late William Hazlitt has been haunting my steps this week. The old gent showed up by previous arrangement in my creative nonfiction class, as the syllabus called for my students to read his essay titled…
Calvin University
Essay

Cruise Ship College

I have a high school senior in my house these days, so I’ve been trying to get a head start on next fall by imagining what it will be like to send my boy off to college. Fortunately, I have…
Calvin University
Essay

Woo Me with Facts

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the cause of good rhetoric: two national conventions with a wearying parade of over-fluffed speeches, the ensuing frenzy of talking-head analysis and petty push-back between the parties on every little point, and…
Calvin University