Just Answer the Question

Just Answer the Question

A thinking podcast with Alice Dreger


November 12, 2022 78 mins

Should I use my second eyeball?

When I first thought about doing a series of audio essays centered around gently nagging questions, this was one of the first questions I wrote down: Should I use my second eyeball?

It wasn’t just about me wondering if I should try – as my brother Chris has long suggested – to get my brain to recognize the information coming from my left eye. This question has always been for me on...

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We weren’t sure when we set out to do this episode what would happen if we tried to ask one question – “Why run?” – with two entirely different meanings: Why run physically? And why run for political office?

But as it turned out, these conversations all came together as one big story about willed perseverance, tricky relationships, and pushing yourself publicly even when you know you might very well lose . . . because mayb...

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September 4, 2022 50 mins

How could you love a rat?

That’s a question I’ve gotten from people who discover that I have spent two days weeping over a pet rat dying. I get it; I never would have thought I would have it in me to love a small rodent that has – let’s face it – been an enemy of humanity for time immemorial.

But this episode isn’t just about my furry little friends! Sure, we start off with an interview with my now-22-year-old son...

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June 24, 2022 65 mins

As you’ll hear in this episode, Mike and I met about seven years ago when we were each out walking our sons. I was surprised to meet a man who had done what I did – subsume a hard-won professional career to primary caregiving for a child. But the more we talked, the more we realized the complex emotions we were feeling about our decisions to be very present parents weren’t about gender. At least not exactly. At least not all the ti...

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June 24, 2022 58 mins

Two of my books have been turned into audiobooks. Both of those books – Galileo’s Middle Finger and The Talk – are first-person works, which means that I’ve twice been played by professional actors. I conceived this episode as being a chance for me to find out what it’s like to play me, but it turned into something more interesting: an exploration of the relationship between what’s on the page and what we give to the world.

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June 23, 2022 70 mins

If you’ve led a pretty raucous and complicated life, as I have – or even if you’ve led what looks like a pretty simple life – it can be hard to answer the question, “What have I done?” Are you the sum of your acts in your life, or exemplified by your life’s highs and lows? Does your life make narrative sense – and should it? Should we maybe think of our lives as episodes, or even as just amalgams of moments, rather than as cohesive...

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