Mandi Gerth Nov 23, 2021

I recently spoke to a group of new classical teachers about how to embody classical values in their classrooms through practices and routines—habits. I quoted heavily from Something They will Not Forget by Joshua Gibbs and You are What You Love by James K.A. Smith. 

I spoke with passion. I cracked a few jokes. But they just looked scared. 

At the end, one teacher was brave enough to raise his hand. “But you couldn’t have been like this your first year,” he said. “You had to start somewhere. I mean, I’m not Joshua Gibbs.” 

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Elizabeth Vaughn Do Nov 22, 2021

“Oh, freedom!” came the chant from among the planted rows, and still it rings in divers places, “Freedom is coming, oh yes, I know.” 

But elsewhere, far across the divided house, more trenchant voices defy it. Give them liberty or give them death! What was life, asked Patrick Henry, that it should be “purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”

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Joshua Gibbs Nov 18, 2021

Ms. Morgan assigned her students a one-thousand-word essay on Frankenstein, due at the end of the semester. In her class of twelve, one student essay was quite brilliant, another essay a little less so, half a dozen were satisfactory, and four were poor. This was the typical spread, though. The four students who had written poor essays on Frankenstein had written poor essays on Jane Eyre and Oliver Twist, as well. Ms. Morgan spent around three hours of her evening grading the poor essays. Red ink covered each page. She circled misspelled words.

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Sara Osborne Nov 15, 2021

Into the Wild

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Joshua Gibbs Nov 13, 2021

Suppose you wanted to become a professional chef and so you began investigating culinary schools you might attend. You find that culinary schools are like every other sort of school, which is to say they have marketing teams, logos, taglines, advertising campaigns, and so forth. The tagline of one school is, “Good taste can be learned.” Another is, “Food is culture,” and a third claims, “From our kitchens to the finest restaurants in the world.” Because none of these taglines is particularly striking, none really registers in your memory.

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Nov 11, 2021

Today we’re reading Shakespeare aloud in class,

and I can almost hear the anti-Elizabethan English deflector shields 

rising in the hearts and minds of my beloved students,

 

the silver steel of disregard, the hearty clang of disdain,

mental gaggings, churnings of the gut,

eyes rolling so hard they almost slip from their sockets.

 

But it isn’t long before what once was a 

groaning, grimacing ripple of teenage nausea 

swells to a giddy symphony of students

 

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Matthew Bianco Nov 9, 2021

The tyrannizing image—what is it? To put it simply, the tyrannizing image is that image that points us toward what we ought to be. It may be found in another person, a character in a story, the subject of a painting, etc. It is an image that reminds us of our true nature, our true purpose, our true humanity. Christ is, of course, the ultimate Image, but we find other examples that make up the tyrannizing image in characters like Achilles, Odysseus, Aeneas, Dante, King Arthur, and even real-life heroes, like Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth, our favorite athletes or presidents.

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Mandi Gerth Nov 8, 2021

As a classical teacher, I read everything for its applicability to the classroom. In a recent graduate studies course with Dr. Hooten-Wilson, I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time in twenty years. What leapt off the page at me this time was Gandalf, the master teacher. 

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Travis Copeland Nov 5, 2021

A robust classical education demands the formation of courage. As such, we ought to attend more fully and intently to the development of courage in the classroom. Without courage, classical education is a shadow of its former self, desiring virtue but remaining unable to attain it. Of course, classical education aims for Good, but it also acknowledges that students will regularly experience the ugly reality of everyday life. They will come face-to-face with the monsters of a post-Eden world. Courage, therefore, is not only necessary or helpful but urgent.

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Joshua Gibbs Nov 5, 2021

Sorting out the wretched confusion which now surrounds questions about sex and gender requires both intellectual work and theological work. However, it also requires physical work, and I can think of none better than teaching students to dance. When I refer to “dance,” I am referring to something quite old-fashioned: square dancing, English country dances, waltzes, reels, and so forth.

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