A great many ancient fables and tales about genies reveal the ambiguity and slipperiness of language. You know the deal. A man finds a magic lamp, releases a genie, and asks for a million dollars, but then receives a million dollars in Monopoly money because he did not specify he wanted legal US tender. On his second wish he asks for a million dollars in legal US tender, then gets legal US tender from the future which cannot be spent for a hundred years.
A reality show wherein perfect strangers with similar interests are paired up for two hours to do some activity both enjoy. Applicants for the show would provide a detailed summary of all their interests, preferences, collections, hobbies, beliefs, and so forth, and would be paired according to compatibility. For instance, two men who were both craft beer enthusiasts might be given several bottles of hard-to-find beer, a place to drink it, and producers would tell them, “Just talk beer. We’ll keep the camera rolling. Try to keep it on topic.
In my early days as a teacher, I gave quizzes and tests in class, and when students finished early, I said, “Read a book. Or do work from other classes. Be productive. Make a good use of your time.” I no longer give tests in class, and the only quizzes I distribute are reading quizzes that take sixty seconds to complete, so it is rare that I offer instruction to students on what they should do with their extra time at school. However, on the rare occasion I find students with spare minutes on their hands, I no longer tell them to get busy.
Don't miss a chance to cast your vote in round two of our Leading Ladies of Literature Bracket!
(Voting in rounds 2 begins at 11pm EST on 3/14)
In the current American scene, references to “culture” have become as ubiquitous as references to freedom, diversity, and acceptance. While many Christians are leery of what the secular world thinks those latter three words mean, we are quite ready to accept contemporary definitions of “culture.” For most people, culture is “books and movies and things,” although if you ask a thoughtful person to elaborate on what he meant by “things,” he might say, “Well, magazines and the internet, and news, and fashion, maybe even the kind of artwork Starbucks puts on their cups at Christmas.
My view of classical education is far more concerned with the real thing than with the word "classical." So drawing from the very long Chrisitan classical tradition, I would include Charlotte Mason in that tradition every bit as much as any body else because she:
1. Was a metaphysical realist (which post Dewey progressives are not, and this is crucial).
Have you ever read “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” William Wordsworth’s famous 1807 poem about the daffodils? It is worth quoting in full, and for a reason that you may not have considered:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
In the last five weeks, I have read Hamlet out loud four times, and watched most of Branagh's version four times, as well. While Hamlet is a great many things, during these readings, the play more and more struck me as a story about a series of very terrible plans. I am willing to credit Fortinbras and the Devil for fitting, cunning plans. Everyone else, however, is quite lost. Here are the dumb plans of Hamlet, ranked.
To all parents and teachers who have ever attempted a lesson in literature and composition: Does the following teaching strategy sound familiar to you?
For those who have given themselves to creating homes of beauty, there sounds a complementary call to hospitality.
Were we to give ourselves solely to the creation of homes, without also giving ourselves and our homes to hospitality, then there might be some weight behind the charge we may hear from those who do not value the home, or even from our own restless hearts—the charge that to pour so much into a home is isolationist, reactionary, selfish, and that it over-values what is earthly and transient.