Buck Holler

Buck Holler is a former horse trainer and rodeo cowboy from Red Bluff, CA. After receiving more injuries than winnings he retired from the rodeo circuit to study theology and languages at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Leaving the beautiful New England campus he jumped back into the arena of secondary education as a teacher. Buck first joined The CiRCE Institute as an apprentice in 2007. In 2009, he moved to NC with his wife and three daughters, teaching, farming, and raising animals. He leads an East Coast Apprenticeship with The CiRCE Institute as a head mentor, and, mirabile dictu, leads CiRCE's first Latin Apprenticeship aimed to promote and support the study of Latin in Latin.

Buck Holler Apr 16, 2020

“Do you ask me what you should regard as especially to be avoided? I say, crowds.”

Being the introvert I am, this answer from Seneca (letter 7) received from me a warm welcome and strong affirmation.  However, I quickly learned that his reasoning was not formed from a fear of crowds or a feeling of discomfort one might experience in a room full of people. Instead, Seneca issued his warning against the crowd for the harm it imposes upon one’s soul.

Buck Holler Feb 11, 2020

Probatos itaque semper lege, et si quando ad alios deverti libuerit, ad priores redi.

One should always read sound literature, Seneca advises, and when one begins feeling the urge to pass on to new reading material, return to the books or authors already read.

Buck Holler Jan 31, 2020

Ex iis quae mihi scribis et ex iis quae audio bonam spem de te concipio: non discurris nec locorum mutationibus inquietaris. Aegri animi ista iactatio est: primum argumentum compositae mentis existimo posse consistere et secum morari.

This is the opening of Seneca’s second letter to Lucilius, and it moves quickly to an argument for the selective reading of a few books over a less attentive gloss of several authors.

Buck Holler Oct 23, 2014

How ought reading be taught? Notice that the question asks “how ought” not “how can”. The question bears a subsequent inquiry: what should my students read? One technique I have grown increasing aware of is children sitting in small groups reading little paperback pamphlets about animals, the seasons, plants, and daily life bearing lots of pictures and few words. Another characteristic of these pamphlets is that they are “graded”. That is, they are leveled from easy to hard by use of a number or alphabetic code. 

Buck Holler Nov 2, 2011
Here are 5 basic resources on Mimetic Instruction. 1. Read anything by Plato. 2. There was an essay written in 1880 by Charles Alexander McMurry called How to Conduct the Recitation which covers the basic concepts of Mimetic Instruction. I have a copy of this essay in a book by J. Wesley Null and Diane Ravitch titled Forgotten Heroes of American Education. I am not sure if you can find a copy online or not, but it is worth a try.
Buck Holler Aug 8, 2011

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Buck Holler May 28, 2011
Oversimplification signifies a separation from one's place. By place, I am referring to the physical-geographical locale of one's habitation. The place where I live.
Buck Holler May 7, 2011
During the past decade or so, educational policy and practice appear to have focused more and more upon developing the worker at the expense of developing the citizen. Charles N. Quigley
Buck Holler Apr 27, 2011
The reason for teaching classically is that it attends to the nature of the child and the nature of learning. When we teach this way we appropriately honor both the child and the subject. Classical instruction accomplishes this by making use of two modes of instruction: Socratic, and what is called Mimetic, which I will touch on briefly below.
Buck Holler Apr 10, 2011
The common approach to literature in many classrooms is to give the child a worksheet with a number of questions about the text. But, whose questions are they? Giving a child a set of questions that he did not ask, nor was even thinking about sets an unnecessarily arduous task before him, and actually leads him away from contemplative reading toward cold analysis.