Throughout my 3+ years at George Fox University, I have had to complete coursework on a wide range of the literary spectrum, from essays delving into my personal life to academic papers discussing the deep philosophical questions of life.

The first block quote is from a personal essay I completed during a creative nonfiction course under Prof. Melanie Mock. The full document can be found here.

Summer 2003: I’m four when I first see the ocean. Family still lives in New Mexico, going to California. I don’t remember much about the rest of the summer, or the actual trip for that matter. I do remember the Grand Canyon, and how scared I was of the ocean. My grandparents hold me all the time they sit on the sand, while I turn away in my orange blanket, trying my best to crawl out of their arms and run from the white-capped waves. I was so convinced that I would be washed away.

The second quote is from a thesis-driven paper I completed at the end of my sophomore year in the William Penn Honors Program. The full document can be found here.

Niccolò Machiavelli, in The Prince, defines the role of authority as primarily obtaining and keeping power. In his epic Paradise Lost, John Milton defines the role of authority as preserving what is right. However, a common ground can be found between their political views. Machiavelli and Milton both define the role of authority as preserving what is right through any means necessary. The “right” that is preserved is not merely malice under a new definition, but a kind of virtue that coincides with Christianity (i.e. not Christianity itself but containing goals that Christianity also has). It is the means by which this virtue is preserved that may stray into moral ambiguity.

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