Joy Brown Oiler BlogI’m a full-time public relations professional, single mom, graduate student and occasionally irreverent opinionator. Follow me as I continue to tackle UF’s Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing Program.


Digital Death, or Lack Thereof

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16th February

In a 2013 New York Times feature on Billy Crystal and the actor’s memoir, “Still Foolin’ Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?,” reporter Dave Itzkoff details an awkward, but poignant moment during a public book reading. While relaying a passage from the chapter, “Buying the Plot,” which addresses mortality, Crystal made eye contact with his wife in the audience, got choked up and dropped the iPad he was reading from.

One need not have been present at Crystal’s book reading to at least be marginally impacted. Itzkoff’s sentimental prose captured the scene well, and served as a reminder of death’s inevitability.

Death, as it turns out, is not only one of the most compelling topics in any respect, but also happens to occupy an important space in rhetorical studies. Standing alongside ancient Greece’s original … Read More »



Unvirtuous Findlay: How My Unlikely Master’s Thesis Topic Found Me

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4th January

“Who wants to learn about prostitutes?” That’s the question I enthusiastically ask at the beginning of my presentation on the topic. From their reactions, I can immediately tell which audience members are likely to be interested in what I have to say. Regardless of whether they consider the theme distasteful, I at least have their attention.

Let’s get right to it: along with presenting to groups ranging from senior citizens to Hancock Leadership candidates, I’m writing about Findlay prostitutes for my master’s thesis, which I’ve tentatively titled “Unvirtuous Findlay.” Some rhetorical scholars write about pedagogical practices, some about government surveillance, some about methods of memorializing, and so on. I, for one, am researching a contingent of 19th century women who chose the sex trade as their profession.

You may be wondering why, and if so, I completely understand your confusion. When I … Read More »



Going Nuclear: Why I Never Really Never Left Las Vegas

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14th November

In 2006, I got married on a broiling hot 104-degree day in Las Vegas, Nevada. A year later, I went back to learn about thermonuclear explosions. The National Atomic Testing Museum (NATM) is crammed with artifacts related to the atomic bomb. Chronologically arranged, it takes visitors through a bunker-style room with a walkway that meanders past items such as old Geiger counters, gas masks, toys and Civil Defense pamphlets. There are also 1950s-era photos of showgirls in mushroom cloud costumes. During that decade (prior to the government taking matters underground) when the U.S. conducted frequent nuclear weapons tests at the formerly named Nevada Test Site, guests staying in the top rooms of hotels could witness atmospheric explosions conducted up to 100 miles away, and everyone in the city could feel the seismic activity the blasts caused, no matter if they … Read More »



A Day in the Life

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18th October

During a session I attended a few years ago that offered pointers regarding how to navigate graduate school, one University of Findlay professor said she ran marathons while earning her advanced degrees – impressive athletic accomplishments sans studying. But for many, including me, grad school itself, balanced with the rest of life’s challenges, is the race.

Part of my day job includes editing other blogs from UF undergraduate students, so I can’t help but compare and contrast their experiences with my own, including my Miami University undergraduate years. The task can be both an eye opener and a nostalgic romp through memories both kind and cringe-worthy.

For me, Monday, Oct. 9, represented a typical race day that necessitates careful planning, pacing and flexibility to make both work and class possible. Here’s how it progressed, and how it compared to days gone by:

6 … Read More »



Pipe Dreams and Racist Rhetoric

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27th September

I know the distinctive sound of my gurgling pipes, and I dread it. My plumbing stopped working several times until I finally spent thousands to remedy the problem. I realized I had been taking first world, water-related tasks for granted, such as showering and brushing my teeth anytime I felt like it.

It was therefore a relief to get back to my former rhetorically provoking self this summer without having to worry so much about things like whether my toilet would flush. In August I wrote a letter to the editor, published in the local newspaper, that labeled as racists those who fly the Confederate flag and venerate Confederate war “hero” monuments. The Charlotteseville debacle disgusted me, and I felt compelled to speak out. One of the expected responses was a defensive letter about “heritage.”

“I have to ask Ms. Brown, has … Read More »






From the Blog

Wondering what it's really like to be at The University of Findlay? Follow our bloggers and read—and sometimes listen and watch—their experiences. Real Oilers. Real stories. Real life.

Digital Death, or Lack Thereof

In a 2013 New York Times feature on Billy Crystal and the actor’s memoir, “Still Foolin’ Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and...

We always start as strangers!

We often say, “Don’t talk to strangers.” We grow up fearing strangers. We fear even more when that person is from a different country...

Five Ways to Start Fresh in 2018

I cannot believe that I have already made it through my first semester here at Findlay and am diving right into my second! Although...

Tackling a Long Distance Relationship

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard” -A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

When you move away for college, everyone tells you...

From Idiot Sandwich to Food Aficionado

Trying to balance school, work, career development and wedding planning can at times be overwhelming, but luckily my favorite hobby is also one of...

Unvirtuous Findlay: How My Unlikely Master’s Thesis Topic Found Me

“Who wants to learn about prostitutes?” That’s the question I enthusiastically ask at the beginning of my presentation on the topic. From their reactions,...

Almost Like Home for the Holidays

A few weeks ago, I was walking on campus with a friend of mine from the pre-vet program, and we were talking about Thanksgiving...

Never Too Old to Learn

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a saying that many people are familiar with, and even live by. However, I’m not...

Dear Incoming Freshman: A Reflection Letter

Since the beginning of this semester, a lot of things have changed. I would be lying if I said that one of those things...

My Journey in the Dawg Pound

If someone asked, “What does Delaney Haas love?,” the Cleveland Browns would be one of the first things mentioned.  I adore the (currently) winless...

Why Findlay is my perfect fit, and may be yours!

For me, choosing which college to attend was an easy decision. I have known since the seventh grade that I wanted to go to...

40K – FTK and for Kalie

This past Saturday, November the 11th, was University of Findlay Miracle Network Dance Marathon’s big event, OilerTHON. Sponsored by Circle K International, this ten-hour...

The Senioritis Struggle: Part 1

From when I first walked through the Griffith Memorial Arch as a freshman, I dreamed about walking the opposite way at graduation, kissing away...

Going Nuclear: Why I Never Really Never Left Las Vegas

In 2006, I got married on a broiling hot 104-degree day in Las Vegas, Nevada. A year later, I went back to learn about...

Curtains Up!

During my very first week here at the University of Findlay, freshmen had the opportunity to attend a session where representatives from more than...