UR Here: Iowa City in August is a tale of two cities

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), tumbleweeds blow through our deserted streets. Those of us who are left enjoy Iowa City at its best. Those of us who are left suffer Iowa City at its worst.

Our town is at its worst at this time of year because the life has been sucked out of it. The university’s summer session is over, so even that relatively small summer population of intrepid students — the life-force of so much of Iowa City’s energy —
have headed for the beach, for home, for the mountains, wherever. Their professors have packed in their grade books and skipped town for the only two summer vacation weeks available to them. Even the university’s administrative offices are operating on skeleton crews before the onslaught of the fall semester begins. […]

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UR Here: Being present for progress

“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 an eruption of deep cultural fissures in our society and that has created perhaps the most uncertain future I have ever known, the often-asked question […]

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UR Here: Is home where the heart is?

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 — singing, drawing, writing and so forth. That leads to abandonment of natural joys that should be part of all of our lives. Something similar often happens with our relationship […]

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UR Here: Rethinking the comfort zone

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 on them for understanding and direction. A number of times recently, I have run across the old saw that we should “get out of our comfort zone,” which has […]

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