Author

Kate Deddens

Kate Deddens attended International Baccalaureate schools in Iran, India, and East Africa, and received a BA in the Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland and a MA in Mental Health therapy from Western Kentucky University. She married her college sweetheart and fellow St. John’s graduate, Ted, and for nearly three decades they have nurtured each other, a family, a home school, and a home-based business. They have four children and have home educated classically for over twenty years. Working as a tutor and facilitator, Kate is active in homeschooling communities and has also worked with Classical Conversations as a director and tutor, in program training and development, and as co-author of several CCMM publications such as the Classical Acts and Facts History cards. Her articles have sporadically appeared at The Imaginative Conservative, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Teach Them Diligently, and Classical Conversations Writers Circle.

Kate Deddens Jan 29, 2019

Most teachers would probably agree with this truth: “Interest and attention characterize the mental state of a true learner and constitute the essential basis on which the process of learning rests” (John Milton Gregory, The Seven Laws of Teaching). We want the attention of our students—their eyes focused, their ears tuned in, their minds alert. Of course, the student must be attentive. But what must the teacher be?

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Kate Deddens Jan 14, 2019

“If we will make our seasons welcome here, asking not too much of earth or heaven, then a long time after we are dead the lives our lives prepare will live here, their houses strongly placed,” writes Wendell Berry in his poem “The Vision.” These past months, seasons have been welcomed and then bidden farewell. Just recently, we greeted yet another. Thanksgiving morphed into frenetic shopping, culminating in catharsis at gift giving, then hailing in a new year with a nod of recognition at the past and a toast to the future.

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Kate Deddens Dec 17, 2018

Shortly after I ventured into social media many years ago, I discovered this poem by Emily Dickinson:

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! They’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

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Kate Deddens Jul 11, 2018

Allow me to tell you The Fable of the Fearsome √2, a proud irrational number with an unsettlingly sinister story behind it.

Feel free to share this story with the little children whom you tuck in. Please note that this is, like any respectable fairytale, the stuff of legend. Furthermore, as is a storyteller’s prerogative, I’ve taken a few minor liberties—mostly with respect to vocabulary—in retelling the legend.

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Kate Deddens Apr 6, 2018

In my last article, “Can Mathematics be Parables?” I considered the fantastical realm of “imaginary” numbers. Now, wander with me across a terrain of numbers even more dazzlingly head-spinning . . . and even more hazardous, perhaps, to encounter.

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Kate Deddens Feb 6, 2018

Are stories and parables told only through words?

Perhaps some might grant that parable-like tales are also told through visual art and music. I’d like to suggest, in addition, that there are many math – and, by logical extension, science – “parables” most of us have never heard. And even if we’ve heard them, many of us have likely overlooked the radically fantastic domain they represent and reflect.

The primary reason for this, sadly, is that few of us were told them as bedtime stories (though somewhat tongue in cheek, I’m actually quite serious about this).

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Kate Deddens Dec 28, 2017

In the first portion of our excursion through the sticky saying that we discover in Homer’s Achilles I explored the idea that we’re not as different from Achilles as we think. Hearkening back to Bespaloff (On the Iliad), we might at this point be able to recognize that while in spirit we admire Hektor, more often than not in action we emulate Achilles. For confirmation, we only need to survey our society in which appearances, wealth, fame, brash self-assertion, and power are our golden calves.

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Kate Deddens Nov 28, 2017

Many literary images have taken up residence in my life: laughing Lucy tossed into the air, safely caught by Aslan’s velvety paws; a gaunt Hamlet confronting a weird, haunting specter; the lovely Scheherazade, spinning a thousand tales for the Persian Šāhe Šāhān (King of Kings); a slave boy, answering questions posed by a curious man drawing figures in the sand; Margaret’s tears gently falling upon a golden carpet of leaves . . .

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Kate Deddens Oct 23, 2017

A young woman sits at the feet of Jesus. She is transfixed by his presence, hanging on his every word. Can you glimpse the delicate smile that hovers about her lips as she contemplates him? Her eyes are bright, captivated. She is Mary. See the somewhat older woman walking across the room deliberately towards Jesus? Her eyes are warm and straightforward, but her brow is furrowed and her expression troubled. Here is Martha.

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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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