Soft Skills Aren’t “Sexy”: Whom We Befriend and Make Our Allies Matters.


At sixteen and seventeen, I took 200- and 300-level college history courses in East Asian and Russian History. I chose those classes because my high school’s treatment of world history was severely lacking. Our history teacher kept getting shipped out to Afghanistan for combat, so my sophomore year had been spent oscillating between him and a bunch of random substitute teachers who seldom knew the material well.

Rural Missouri used the Texas-approved schoolbooks that taught Old Testament history as if it were true while at the same time teaching us disparaging and often incorrect things about African, Asian, South Asian, and American indigenous practices/history. As the sole non-Christian in the class, I didn’t know the Old Testament, so I actually had to learn the names of people and memorize things for the test.

I spent a fair bit of time reading Gnostic gospels and their commentaries, occult and esoteric texts…

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