The Grammar of Learning

“I am learning Russian . . . Я учусь русскому.” Though this simple sentence encapsulates nearly all the mental and emotional activity I exerted during my nine-week stint in the Provo Missionary Training Center, I struggled, ironically, to both understand and execute the correct grammar construction of the sentence itself. Part of my struggle lay …

Poetry & Physical Science: Becoming a Renaissance Man

During this semester, my last as an undergraduate at BYU, I’ve been furiously finishing up my Honors thesis, working towards writing a capstone English paper, and preparing for life after graduation. I’ve also been reading pages of physical science and attending Zoom lectures with a bunch of wide-eyed, mostly freshman, students. Although the lectures are …

My American Caesura

I’ve been thinking a lot about America lately. Obviously, this line of contemplation may not strike anyone as particularly surprising given the many instances of national upheaval (is that too mild a word?) we’ve all been living through. Events such as the siege on the Capitol, a historically contentious election, economic distress, the global plague, …

From Wax Cylinders to WeChat: The Strange and Circuitous Journey of Berthold Laufer’s Chinese Recordings

By the early years of the twentieth century, China had suffered unduly at the hands of European, American, and Japanese colonialism. The Chinese citizenry had been deeply dissatisfied with the way the Qing dynasty—itself a foreign dynasty ruled by Manchus—had failed to protect China from the encroachment of increasing numbers of foreign powers. By the …

Should You Listen to the “Experts”? One Philosopher’s Quick-Guide

“You have to do your own research instead of believing everything they tell you.” Have you ever heard this online? Do you get tired of hearing this online? I sure have. Whether it’s about vaccines, election results, global warming, or just that one high school acquaintance selling weight loss products, everyone online seems to be …