Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs teaches online classes at He is the author of How To Be UnluckySomething They Will Not Forget, and Blasphemers. His wife is generous and his children are funny.

Joshua Gibbs May 12, 2014

From time to time, I ask my students what words and expressions I use too often. I am not so much asking for their opinions as I am having them point out my own blindness. Yesterday, I asked and one student said, “You always say, ‘I’m going to,’ but you say it fast, so it comes out, ‘Ommina.’ And you say ‘go ahead’ all the time. Sometimes you say them together. You say ‘Ommina go ahead and cancel that quiz.’ You do that a lot.” I had no idea. Or rather, I knew there were things about myself I didn’t know, especially about the way I talk.

Joshua Gibbs May 3, 2014

Over the years, I've seen and heard plenty of people police the word awesome in a rather bizarre manner. Parents are particularly prone to fence their teenager's use of the word. "That movie was awesome," say teens, and pious parents say, "Only God is awesome."

This is curious, though, given that Christ doesn't police the word awesome, although He does police the word 'good.' 

"Why do you call Me 'good'? None is good but God," claims Christ to an interlocutor, without denying that He is God, but merely stating a fact. 

Joshua Gibbs Apr 26, 2014

The Church calendar no longer sets the rhythm of our lives, sadly. I suspect my life revolves around the school calendar. The Church calendar commends two long periods of introspection to Christians, Lent and Nativity, as well as a handful of self-reflective, ascetic fasts in between. Festal periods immediately follow. The Church year is dappled, pied, shimmering. The school calendar, not so much. Nine and a half months of the Apollonian are followed by ten weeks of the Dionysian.

Joshua Gibbs Apr 25, 2014

While no longer in fashion, during the 1960s and 1970s, many films concluded with a still frame as opposed to a moving image which faded to black. The expression “moving picture” (from which we get the term “movie ) is something of a misnomer, though, because the “moving” nature of “movies” might be understood as pure illusion.

Joshua Gibbs Apr 22, 2014

Is Hell locked from the inside? Dante seems to think so. Few residents of the Inferno object. From time to time they pitch a sob story, but none of them has a sense of the infinite, and so they don’t know how to long for something better. For the last several weeks, my Medieval history class has bantered back and forth various arguments in favor of Hell being locked from the inside or from the out. It is easy to take simple comfort in the notion that Hell is locked from the inside; in such a scenario, the only persons who go to Hell are those who truly prefer Hell to Heaven.

Joshua Gibbs Apr 11, 2014

With Holy Week now upon us, I suspect at least a few theology teachers across the country are taking a break from their regular schedules for an investigation of the Gospel’s account of those days leading up to the Crucifixion. 

Joshua Gibbs Apr 4, 2014

As a teacher of teenagers, and a former teenager myself, I have often heard about the ability to “handle this movie.” We speak less frequently of a teenager’s ability to “handle this music,” and little at all of the ability to “handle this book.” The ability to “handle a movie” is typically staked in the intellectual and spiritual maturity of the would-be handler; a student with greater spiritual maturity is better able to “deal with” a movie or record which liberally trades in the obscene.

Joshua Gibbs Apr 1, 2014

From the editor: Please note that Film Fisher is not a CiRCE program, although we like it. Also note that this post is not an advertisement. Mr. Gibbs is the editor of that site and it's a program of Classical Academic Press, who we support wholeheartedly. Anyway, read on.  

Joshua Gibbs Mar 24, 2014

Most schools across the country are about to begin the fourth quarter, the final grading period of the year. Around this time, I find two temptations often beset students; they either begin caring maniacally about grades and work feverishly, or else they care little about grades, or school, or anything, and coast through classes into the summer. In either case, very little learning is done.

Joshua Gibbs Mar 17, 2014

If you teach at an ecumenical school, you’re a real character. You’re a fiction, and no less a fiction than Tom Sawyer or Wendy Darling. There is no other way. It is for the best.