Here’s what I’m pondering, writing, and teaching


Photo Credit: Kelly Sikkema (Unsplash)

I write about whatever I’m pondering at the moment. Topics range from politics to philosophy, connection and disconnection, and inequity in education. See below for a semi-regularly updated list of articles and opinion pieces.

My Musings, Essays, and Reported Pieces

Essays on Relationship and Connection


Is it too late to get my dad back?

Photo by Kalh on Pixabay

I am pretty sure I know who my father is going to vote for. In fact, he may have already voted early in Boston, where he lives. We don’t talk about the election. We don’t talk about the many months-long Black Lives Matter protests or the climate change causing the wildfires where I live in Portland, Oregon. We don’t talk about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death or the Supreme Court nomination of Barrett. We don’t talk about how the president was infected with Covid and was airlifted to the hospital.

Instead, we talk about the plasterer who came to patch up…

These Bay Area residents want you to think twice before you hand over money to the federal government

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

I got an email from my tax preparer this week that had good news and bad news. The bad news: I owe the feds $2,600 this year. The good news: Today would have originally been Tax Day, but since the federal government extended the filing date due to Covid-19, now I don’t have to fork over the money until July 15.

Every year, like most people, I begrudgingly dole out the money I owe the IRS without thinking about the moral obligations of paying, or withholding, tax dollars. …

The election of Donald Trump has caused many of us who did not support his candidacy to ruminate about the role of obedience, resistance, and responsibility in a time of diminished choices. Progressive activist organizations have devised game plans stuffed with action steps for opposing the Trump administration. The Democratic Party seems to be in a state of perpetual hand-wringing and paralysis over what’s next and how best countervail President Trump and a Republican majority legislature.

It seems that an unexamined x-factor in the opposition to potential Trump administration violations of civil liberties could rest with the actions (or inactions…

Less than a decade ago, I worked on a presidential campaign and doing so emboldened my faith in American democracy. I became a more empathetic, better version of myself because of presidential politics. I feel almost embarrassed by my earnestness when it comes to talking about my foray into presidential campaigning. It is nearly impossible to reconcile my work as a campaign staffer with the political sideshow that I’ve watched unfold for the past eighteen months. Yet, throughout the 2016 election, I’ve held tight to my secret weapon: I know, from first hand experience, that politics doesn’t have to be…

Mary Finn

Observer, over-thinker, reflector—and sometimes writer. Lives in Portland, Oregon. List of publications pinned in bio.

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