Film Fisher, my favorite site for movie reviews, runs a regular segment called “Undefended” in which they list the “best” of a category without defense or explanation. Simple and direct, it serves as a great debate-starter. Another site I frequent is hosted by Dr. George Grant –Eleventary. On it, he lists, not ten or twelve, but eleven of something – Chesterton quotes, must-eat-at restaurants in London, favorite books by dead authors, whatever.
What should you do when you find a book hard to finish? Novelist Nick Hornby argues that you should just put it down. According to a recent Telegraph article, Hornby said that no one, including children, should read a book they do not want to read.
The Cardinal Newman Society recently reported an encouraging trend among Catholic schools:
“Nationwide, classical schools, both diocesan and independent, are springing up and eliciting interest from other schools and groups. Efforts to revitalize classical Catholic education have garnered interest from parents, teachers, and many others who want to copy the model, according to the National Catholic Register.”
Author of Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child, Cheryl Swope is an advocate of classical Christian education for special-needs and struggling students. The love of history, music, literature, and Latin instilled in her own children has created in Cheryl the desire to share the message that classical education offers benefits to any child.
Exhausted. There really was no other word for how I felt, and it was only November. Somehow, the dreary February feeling that every teacher dreads had arrived several months early. With twenty-five weekly class periods of teaching and my duties as head of the rhetoric school, bookended by “morning duty” and afternoon meetings, I was exhausted. Like Bilbo, I felt like butter spread over too much bread.
Eugene Peterson, long-time evangelical pastor, author, and professor, recently released his memoir The Pastor. Early in the work, he describes his childhood in Montana, with stories of bullies, eccentric relatives, and working in his father's butcher shop. Among his formative memories, Peterson includes his fondness for The Carnegie, the town library.
I see now why there are no adequate translations of Homer. He is baffling. Not simple, in education; not primitive, socially ... There's a queer naivety in every other line: and at our remove of thought and language we can't say if he's smiling or not ... I have tried to squeeze out all the juice in the orange; or what I thought was the juice. I tried to take liberties with the Greek: but failed. Homer compels respect.
In recent months, I have done some extensive study and teaching in the gospel of Matthew, a fascinating journey which produced a slew of articles, sermons, and posts (a couple of which are previously posted on the CiRCE blog here and here), mainly addressing the structure, types, and patterns in the gospel. Here I offer one more.
Alexander Schmemman (1921-1983), ordained to the priesthood in 1946, gradually becoming one of most influential Orthodox theologians of the 20th century. He served as a teacher and dean at St. Vladimir’s Seminary until his death, was an official Orthodox observer of the Second Vatican Council, and helped to establish the Orthodox Church in America in 1970. However, Schmemman’s influence spans far beyond the Orthodox tradition, particularly in the form of his superb work For the Life of the World.
Earlier this year, I wrote a five-part series on Dante’s Inferno entitled “Blogging through Hell”, a collection that grew out of teaching the great work this spring. Along with those articles, which served as outlets for some thoughts that incessantly swirled around my head while teaching, I want to provide a bit of practical help for any who might be teaching or reading the Inferno in days to come.