Something to Write Home About
Heather Grennan Gary

We are wrapping up this issue after the end of the semester. Campus is quiet; some students are in far-flung locations for work or travel, but most are back home for the summer, navigating familiar environments with new perspective.

The experience of home is different after a significant time away, as college students can surely attest. For some summer reading that gets at the crux of that dynamic, students especially may enjoy Jennifer L. Miller’s essay, in which she compares and contrasts how Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and Eleven from Stranger Things—two beloved characters separated by eight decades—think about home following their life-changing departures from it. “For Eleven,” Miller writes, “running away is much more in line with Joseph Campbell’s idea of the hero’s journey, or the German bildungsroman, where leaving home leads to maturation and growth, and ultimately enables the hero to return home and effect change.”

Speaking of home, it would behoove all parents and those who love them to read Agnes R. Howard’s deep dive into contemporary parenting—motherhood in particular. Howard examines the hard, weird, over-the-top aspects of the job and provides historical insights while suggesting some potential solutions to the thorniest problems. It takes a village, as the saying goes, but perhaps not in the ways one might expect. 

The theme of home continues throughout this issue, from Joel Kurz’s centennial commemoration of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio to Kelsey Lahr's big picture take on Earth as home to Rebekah Curtis’s meditation on card games.

The Valpo campus will be buzzing again in a few weeks. Students will move back into residence halls, hauling supplies and belongings with them. (Perhaps Matthew Landrum’s poem, “On Being Asked What Would Jesus Do in IKEA,” can inspire their back-to-school shopping.) These college years are fleeting, much like the sand mandala that Thomas C. Willadsen writes about. At the same time, as George C. Heider notes in his column, the relationships, lessons, and experiences during these years can have an impact long after graduation—extending, perhaps, all the way home.


Congratulations to Our Award-Winning Writers

In April, the Associated Church Press recognized seven of our contributors with “Best of the Church Press” Awards:

Stephanie Paulsell, Award of Excellence for Theological or Scholarly Article and Award of Excellence for Professional Resource: “The Unknowable More: Contemplation, Creativity, and Education” (Easter 2018).

Debra Dean Murphy, Award of Excellence for Critical Review: “Our Sentimental Poet? Mary Oliver in an Age of Excess” (Lent 2018).

Ashleigh Elser, Award of Merit for Biblical Interpretation: “Deuteronomy 22: A Tale of Two Cities” (Advent-Christmas 2018).

David Heddendorf, Award of Merit for Theological or Scholarly Article: “Joyce Carol Oates and the Springs of Belief” (Trinity 2018).

John Ruff, Award of Merit for Critical Review: “Two Old Friends Hanging Together Again: The Rediscovery of Takuichi Fujii’s Art” (Trinity 2018).

Tania Runyan, Award of Merit for Poetry: “Let Go and Let God” (Easter 2018).

Caroline J. Simon, Honorable Mention for Theological or Scholarly Article: “‘Can Two Walk Together Unless They Be Agreed?’ Traditions, Vocations, and Christian Universities in the Twenty-First Century” (Michaelmas 2018).

The Cresset also received an Honorable Mention in the “Best in Class” category for journals. You can read all of these award-winning pieces on our website, thecresset.org.

Copyright © 2019 | Valparaiso University | Privacy Policy