Janice At An Ecuadorian Orphanage Pt. 2: Wild And Sick

In 2009, American 20-something Janice Ruelo departed on a rite-of-passage for her career and life: she volunteered at an orphanage in Ecuador, South America.  In her first post in this series, Janice introduced herself and shared about her arrival to the orphanage. This time, we get to hear all about her interactions with the children.  ***…
Read More

The Sun Will Rise Tomorrow: Try Not To Fret About Today’s Election

“The change you’ve been waiting for your entire lives.”  These words were spoken by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump just two days ago (and just miles from my home) at a campaign stop in Minneapolis. Political persuasions aside, I think we can agree such claims are a bit misleading. Yet the the audience cheered Trump’s words–as…
Read More

Growing Up Poor And Black In The South: Interview With Chattanooga Ruth

They say there are two Americas today. Go back in time and we find more–but not too far back, mind you. Try 1950s Tennessee in the neighborhood Ruth Stewart grew up in. Poverty without food programs, addiction without treatment options, segregated schools: Ruth opens up about these realities just some decades ago. But she also shares…
Read More

Facing The Biggest Problem In America Today

When I was a substitute teacher in Minneapolis a handful of years ago, I was blown away by the behavior of some of the students. I expected some unruliness in the rougher schools, but I didn’t anticipate crying, screaming, and desks strewn about. For the toughest classes, stages of shock and frustration were followed by…
Read More

Janice Volunteers At An Orphanage In Ecuador

We’ve read about Ecuador before from contributors to The Periphery. This golden nugget in South America rests, as its name suggests, right on the equator. But while the mountains, beaches, and Galapagos Islands are most often the destinations of bright-eyed travelers, Janice headed down for a more intimate purpose: to spend a summer volunteering at an…
Read More

News Coverage Of My “People Of The South” Presentation: Now I Want To Come To Your City

As I drove the final stretch home on my Southern U.S. road trip–through Wisconsin to the Twin Cities–the idea struck me: I’m going to give a presentation about this whole experience. Over the previous 15 days, I had interviewed elderly Southerners, self-proclaimed “redneck” Southerners, Pentecostal Southerners, old hippie transplant Southerners, Progressive Southerners, retired hobby-farm Southerners, and…
Read More

Southern Experience #7: Stories (And Lessons) From A Memphis Retirement Home

Who better to share about the South than those who’ve been there the longest? On July 27 on my Southern Experience road trip, I arrived to Memphis, Tennessee.  The next day I visited a retirement home, where I met Barry, Frank, and Margaret.  They opened up to me about growing up in the South, about what it…
Read More

Breaking The Taboo Of Mental Illness

Dear Brandon, I live with mental illness; specifically, bipolar disorder. I am a member of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and my chapter is NAMI Dakota county.   Dad and I share caregiving duties for my mom. She was diagnosed in 2011 with Alzheimer’s. I attend a support group for Caregivers of Loved Ones…
Read More

Ayla: The Finale – The 13 Lessons She Learned Traveling The World

After Cuba, Ayla’s next destination was her starting point–her home Norway. In this, Ayla’s final post, she looks back on her three-month, three-continent, ten-country journey to look at the highlights, offers advice to those who wish to travel, and answers questions I ask below. Enjoy Ayla’s finale. She’s enjoyed sharing her global experiences and adventures…
Read More

ON MENTAL ILLNESS

This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week Our modern world has seen the eradication of many diseases. We have the ability to stay connected with billions across the globe with computers that fit into our pockets. Creature comfort luxuries are limited only by our imagination. Yet for all the developments in the US and other wealthy nations,…
Read More