Just before Christmas break, I finished teaching Till We Have Faces for the fourth time in eight years. I read the book aloud, in its entirety, to a class of just two students. Depending on my mood, when I am asked for the title of my favorite novel, I claim it is either Till We Have Faces or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Of the two, I know Orual far better than the Man or the Boy. Aside of reading Lewis’ last novel for class four times, I’ve probably read it that many times again on my own.
Since today is the feast day of St Gregory...
"...for there are certain things derived from profane educataion which should not be rejected when we propose to give birth to virtue. Indeed, moral and natural philosophy may become at certain times a comrade, friend, and companion of life to the higher way, provided that the offspring of this union introduce nothing of a foreign defilement.
On: Gregory of Nyssa; muggles actually exist; the extravagant wake of St Antony of Egypt; a short history of hermits; St Augustine on the contemplative life; misreading Dillard and Chesterton; the word “quiddity” and whether you should use it; wanting something more than Mumford and Sons.
To begin, a bold claim: So far as movies go, you’ll not find a better investigation of education than the eight films in the Harry Potter franchise.
I would really like to hear more from your son during class discussions.
“My son likes your class, but what he really loves is soccer.” From time to time I hear a parent make this remark during a parent-teacher conference, although it never comes as a surprise. Sports are on the hearts of the students. Students have taught themselves sports diligently. Students talk of sports when they sit in their houses, when they walk by the way, when the lie down and when they rise up.
I saw Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood in a theater with a friend who occasionally wrote movie reviews for Credenda/Agenda. The experience was nerve-wracking, and not for the plot of the film. At the time, I also wrote movie reviews for a blog I kept which took in around 200 hits a day. Not much, although I was proud of those 200 hits. I clung to them as proof my opinions were arguably interesting, although I wonder now if they may have all been rubberneckers. When the theater darkened, I had only one goal.
In a recent piece for First Things (“The Impossibility of Secular Society", October 2013), Remi Brague suggests that a purely democratic society is incapable of discerning between government and game. What is a purely democratic society? It is a society which conceives of itself after the fashion of Rousseau. First, there was man, and then man wanted government for the ease it might provide him, and so he created government to serve his own ends.