Lindsey Brigham Knott Oct 20, 2017

Probably, when your little child catches the flu and lies in bed, shivering and miserable, and asks you why she hurts so, you tell her that she caught a playmate’s germs, and they made her sick. Probably, this answer does not do much to console or to satisfy either of you, though you both accept it as truth.

Probably, it does not cross your mind to tell your little child that bad, mean fairies made her sick. Probably, if that answer did escape your lips, she would be intrigued. You, on the other hand, would feel the discomfort of telling an untruth. But would you be?

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Joshua Gibbs Oct 16, 2017

In The Federalist No. 51, James Madison famously states that, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” For reasons unknown to myself, Christians of our own day yet repeat this proverb in discussions of statecraft and human nature as though it were obviously true. While I have respect for the aphorism, and I appreciate a counterintuitive maxim, the saying in question is laughably unacquainted with Scripture.

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Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash
Matt Bianco Oct 16, 2017

Dear A—,

I hope all is well! As promised, I am writing to offer you any advice I can as you start out your journey with your new family and teaching. This is the first letter, but I hope our correspondence will continue for as long as it proves to be helpful.

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Eliot Grasso Oct 12, 2017

In his 1987 essay “Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer,” Wendell Berry offers a rationale for his reluctance to make the transition from pen and paper to mouse and keyboard. Berry was only interested in technological change if it was as affordable, as compact, or as useful as his current technology. If new technology offers no clear advantages over traditional methods, why upgrade? He concludes his essay with a list of justifications for upgrading technology, and his final criterion is germane to education, especially in a civilization saturated with technologies of various stripes.

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Joshua Gibbs Oct 12, 2017

In my first year as a teacher, I desperately needed my literature students to talk, however, I asked a lot of banal questions, which made it difficult for them to have anything interesting to say. Their silence spoke to my incompetence, and I believed that discussion and conversation would cover over the fact I did not really know what to say or how to say it.

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Kate Deddens Oct 11, 2017

Once upon a time, there were two sisters.

No, not the two step-sisters from Cinderella, although I can guess that for some of you, that’s who came to mind. Or, perhaps, if you’re like me, you thought of Austen’s Lizzy and Jane. Those sisters would be a most amiable topic to dwell on for a while.

However, the story of the two sisters I’m thinking of is told in the Bible. One sister, perhaps the elder, was Martha. The other was Mary. With their famous brother, Lazarus, these two sisters have joined the ranks of the Bible’s most well-known people.

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Andrew Kern Oct 9, 2017

Everybody loves math when they know it. When they don't, they think they hate math. What they really hate is not knowing it. 

Everybody loves Bach's Mass in B Minor if they can hear it. When they can't, they think they hate Bach's Mass in B Minor. What they really hate is not being able to hear it. 

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Joshua Gibbs Oct 6, 2017

A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.

-Proverbs 29:11

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Oct 4, 2017

Leopards break into a temple and drink to the dregs what is in the sacrificial pitchers; this is repeated over and over again; finally it can be calculated in advance, and it becomes a part of the ceremony.

Who are the leopards? What is the temple? Is it a true tale? Does it represent the taming of chance, or the domestication of danger, or the nature of ritual? 

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Joshua Gibbs Oct 4, 2017

In the many debates currently raging over race in this country, one often hears the claim that the historic, centuries-old wrongs enacted by whites against African Americans still matter. We may not pretend as though slavery did not happen, or that slavery is sufficiently far in the past that we can forget about it. Time does not heal all wounds. Rather, past wrongs ferment like wine and become more potent the longer they sit in the dark.

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