A few winters ago, a nasty bug went through our entire family. And while no one likes to be sick, it was much worse to have a sick toddler. While our son was recovering, I was faced with many tough moments. Besides the standard clearing of the eye gook (that’s the technical, medical term) there was a lot of nose wiping and medicine taking. And while all of these actions were met with his frail pleas of, nothing got him upset quite like the eye drops.
Only the Gospel of John records Jesus’ meeting with the woman at the well. Only John records Jesus’ declaration of Himself as “the living water.” Only John tells of the miracle at Cana – the turning of water into wine, an echo of baptism and the communion feast. Only John mentions Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, in which He says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” And John’s is the only Gospel to record this detail of Christ’s crucifixion.
In Matthew 5:6, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” In the previous Beatitudes, Jesus spoke of those who are “poor in spirit” (verse 3), those who “mourn” (verse 4), and those who are “meek” (verse 5), those who are "hungry and thirsty" (verse 6); none of which carry the appearance of righteousness or strength. Those who are blessed by God are those who are needy and know it.
I am still here. Even though my son Alex is in public school, I am still here. I am still looking at life through the lens of classical education.
Things have been going pretty well for Alex at school. I like his teachers and his classes and I have been pleasantly surprised at how much they care. Most of them really do care.
I put Alex in honors classes because I heard through the mom grapevine that the honors classes are not disrupted as much. Plus Alex is a bright kid in need of a challenge.
Teenagers believe that adults are good. This belief wreaks havoc on the teacher who is trying to instill a desire for virtue in his students.
Teenagers have believed this lie of the Devil: When I am older, I will read my Bible a whole lot more than I do now, and I will pray far more than I do now, as well.
Last night I watched The Dead Poets Society, and I thought about how every teacher longs to have his John Keating moments. These abound in this story of an unorthodox English teacher’s misadventures at a stodgy 1959 boys’ school: whistling his way around (or on top of) desks and administrators, physically spinning metaphors out of the quietest students, igniting in grade-obsessed high-schoolers a love for poetry that sends them out of their beds at night, and lining them up to whack at a ball while yawping grand dictums to Beethoven’s swelling brass.
I am a Challenge III Director for Classical Conversations. My class of eight and I spend one day together per week going through all six academic subjects. Yesterday in Chemistry, we performed Experiment 3.2 from our textbook which uses a white sheet of paper and a red magic marker to experience the effects of rod and cone activity in the human eye.
I have always loved solving problems. My solutions are not always innovative or even effective, but I relish the process and the "Aha!" moments it brings.
One particular example is quite humorous.
Three small marks, a blend of dirt and water, pocked the middle of the back patio. The small paw prints with elongated fingers, slightly larger than a quarter, did not appear before or after the three. My oldest three children, who always enjoyed following deer tracks in the backyard, saw me looking down at the prints and gathered around me. They are nosey that way.