why i’m moving to Budapest

I In a few weeks, I will be packing two suitcases, boarding a plane, and moving to Budapest. Here's why: I want to be able to speak to my grandfather. He's 92 years old, and I've never learned enough Hungarian to hold a real conversation with him. So, I'll be enrolled in a one-year intensive …

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“objects have lives. they are witness to things.”

There's an episode of This American Life that I've listened to three times now. It originally aired in 2001, but the first time I heard it was as I was driving to meet friends for dinner, probably in 2012. I was so engrossed by the story that I sat in my car in the restaurant's …

rambling from my journal in hungary: les jours tristes/szomorú nap/smutne dni

Art museums are some of my favorite places. I like staring at pieces of art that tell a story about a certain time and place in history, and I like filling in the blanks with my own ideas. In Kansas City, I'm always within twenty minutes of  the Nelson-Atkins. That museum's gallery of American paintings is something …

vote baby vote!

In journalism school, we like to talk a lot about reporters' role in a democracy. Inform the public of affairs! Power to the people! Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable! Too bad there's a lot of pre-election reporting that falls into the so-called Horse Race; rather than covering the issues, journalists pick up on the …

thoughts on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the invasion of poland

September 1, 1939: Seventy-five years ago today, when my grandparents were twelve years old, Adolf Hitler invaded their country. My grandparents lived in a village near Lwow in the eastern part of Poland.  Dziadziu (my grandpa) had been in love with Babcia (my grandma) since kindergarden, and, according to stories from my mother, his preferred courting …