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Downtown iowa city
Posted by Thomas Dean | Sep 5, 2017

Something happened recently that hasn’t happened to me in 33 years. I began the fall semester without a class to teach. For nearly all of us, at some point in...

Posted by Thomas Dean | Aug 1, 2017

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times: the first half of August in Iowa City. For half a month twice a year (also early January),...

Posted by Thomas Dean | Jun 6, 2017

Photo by Lauren Haldeman The return is central to the relationship with home. When we fit back into the familiar, we know we are home. A good practice of home...

Posted by Thomas Dean | Apr 4, 2017

On an unusually warm but cloudy March day about two weeks before the vernal equinox, I took a group hike in the woods at Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center in Hiawatha....

Posted by Thomas Dean | Jan 31, 2017

Marchers hold up posters during the Des Moines Women's March on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. -- photo by Mei-Ling Shaw As we look ahead to a world of profound --...

Posted by Thomas Dean | Dec 6, 2016

“Now what?” asks the cover of Little Village’s last issue. The same question resounds across the country and even around the globe. In the wake of an election that was...

Posted by Thomas Dean | Oct 4, 2016

Illustration by Thomas Dean One of the failures of adults, and even schools, is quashing the creativity of children. Too often, we tell them they’re not good at something --...

Downtown iowa city
Posted by Thomas Dean | Sep 5, 2016

Photo by Jared Krauss This is the hybrid time. Changes of seasons always carry what is passing and what is emerging, but that edge between summer and fall is the...

Posted by Thomas Dean | Aug 2, 2016

Photo by Faruk Ates My maternal grandparents and other relatives immigrated to these American shores from Denmark. So I have to admit some sense of pride when the Danes show...

Posted by Thomas Dean | Jul 6, 2016

Photo by Dawn Frary As a typical middle-class grade-schooler in the ’60s, three months of freedom lay before me after the last school bell rang in June. This was a...

Photo by Tom Dean
Posted by Thomas Dean | May 5, 2016

As I was driving home recently from the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City after finishing my first-ever nature photography workshop, my camera-obsessed eye could not help but...

Posted by Thomas Dean | Apr 8, 2016

Photo by Anna Gutermuth We often live by notions and aphorisms, sometimes perhaps more than we should. The greatest danger comes when guiding concepts become clichés, yet we still depend...

Illustration by Jordan Sellergren
Posted by Thomas Dean | Mar 3, 2016

Illustration by Jordan SellergrenRecently, as I approached the University of Iowa’s Jessup Hall on my way to work one cold morning, a wide wingspan of majesty and terror flashed past...

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Posted by Thomas Dean | Oct 8, 2015

Illustration by Erin Weitzell “If you build it, they will come” is baloney. Perhaps it’s heresy to question a platitude from one of Iowa’s sacred texts. But the ghostly voice...

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Posted by Thomas Dean | Aug 11, 2015

“It’s great to be home!” A common refrain after a trip, whether returning from a vacation or a business trip, whether coming home after two days or two...

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Posted by Thomas Dean | Jul 29, 2015

We are in midsummer, and that means sweat. It’s the time of year when our body regulates its temperature through perspiration, when the heat of the season beads up and...