Know thyself? Late last year, NPR ran a story about online dating sites adding new gender options for user profiles. A professor from Cornell’s Sex and Gender Lab described a workshop he ran for high school students wherein all participants were asked what gender they were and one young woman said, “Squiggly.” When asked what she meant, she replied, “Well, I feel like that’s what I am in terms of my gender and sexuality. I’m squiggly.”
As best as I can tell, the longest chapter in Augustine’s City of God is the eighth chapter of Book XXII, which is about miracles Augustine either saw personally or heard about from reliable sources. After the hardships of Books XIX, XX and XXI, which largely deal with hell and judgment and what an awful place the Earth is, Book XXII delivers us through the pearly gates and into the beatific vision.
Let me go out on a limb: your school has some dress code issues. It might be too strict, or it might be too loose, or it might be that only two teachers in the whole school actually enforce it and they’re tired of playing bad cop. Maybe the dress code is worded in such a way as to create an endless possibility for loopholes, and students regularly appeal to the letter of the law. Maybe the dress code is so specific you need doctorates in fashion, costume history, and mathematics to determine if a student is actually violating it. Is that sweater Majorelle or Iris?
Last Summer, my six year old daughter's profound love of Peter Pan prompted her to write a letter to him. I suggested she put the letter under her Gigi the Snail night light, and when she slept, I collected her letter and wrote her back as Peter Pan. I discussed Neverland, Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, and asked her about her life. I signed it "Your friend, Peter Pan." In the morning she excitedly showed me the letter, and then she asked, "Did you write this?
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.
While Cicero’s Rhetorica ad Herennium commends a six-part structure for an argument, there is an elegance to the way each part gives way to the next which is worthy of imitation in non-argumentative essays, as well.
When God tests us, He teaches us. God's tests are not merely sporadic divine inquiries about whether we've been paying attention in Church. When God tests us, we become strong like Job or weak like Judas. When God tests us, He does not merely draw out what is already present. He forms us. God's tests are never boring. There's even something interesting about a long, boring weekend when it is acknowledged to be a trial.
Whenever a discussion of time arises in the classroom, I often show students Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son and say, “This is time.”
Saturn was the Roman name of Cronus, the Titan who personified time and, fearing one of his children would destroy him, consumed them directly after they were born.
As a former malcontent who graduated from a classical Christian school, many of my favorite students to teach have also been malcontents. When I was a junior in high school, I scorned study, loathed reading, preferred violent films, mocked diligence and would regularly sneak off at lunch to smoke cigarettes with friends who shared the same prejudices. I wouldn’t swear I was cool in high school, but I was desperate to deal in the currency of cool most commonly accepted by classical Christian students: friendship with the world.
When I first began discussing the question of eschatology with friends ten years ago, a particular passage of Scripture arose numerous times which more or less foiled every side of every argument:
The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.