When we think of a typical high school football player, most of us imagine a sweaty, muscled teenage boy in a uniform. One of our guests this week is K-Lani Nava, the first female football player to play, score and win in a Texas high school state championship game. She, along with Dr. Christia Spears Brown, both discuss the importance of breaking gender stereotypes to play the sport you love.
The year 2018 gave us a lot to love at the movies. Some of the absolute highlights for me were Eighth Grade, Roma, A Quiet Place, and Blindspotting. Each of those thrilled me, entertained me, and moved me. But for me, the best film of the year was Bing Liu’s incredibly personal documentary, Minding the Gap. It’s a film I saw back in August but has stuck with me more than anything I’ve seen in a long time.
Minding the Gap tells the story of Liu himself, and of his closest friends from his childhood in Rockford, Illinois. Each came from something of a broken home, and turned to each other, and to skateboarding for an escape from their personal demons. What begins as a movie about kids skateboarding and hanging out becomes a searing look at childhood trauma, the bonds of friendship, and what effects our families can have on us as we age into adulthood.
Sarah Ruhl is a MacArthur Fellowship recipient and a famed playwright. As a professor, she met Max Ritvo, who went on to become a published poet. She recounts the story of their friendship and how they used letters to make a connection and comfort one another while Ritvo faced the end of his life.