Lindsey Brigham Knott Aug 18, 2017

To practice memorization without cultivating a culture of memory is like planting a rosebush in sand. All the water in the world will not bring it to flourishing, for the soil in which it’s planted simply cannot sustain it. 

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Aug 14, 2017

“Memory is the cabinet of imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience, the counsel-chamber of thought”: these words, quoted at last month’s CiRCE conference, have continued to percolate in my reflections on what I heard there, helping to rehabilitate the very word “memory” from its eroded modern definition—the mere storing of information, accomplished as efficiently by an external hard drive as by a human mind. Running straight through the conference was the insistence that human memory is so much more. 

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Aug 2, 2017

The pictures in my mother’s scrapbook testify that, like most little girls I’ve met, my sisters and I wore dress-up clothes more often than not for our first five or so years of life. The magic of the dress-up box, and of the girlish imaginations that transformed its contents into anything from the richest regal robes to the poorest paupers’ rags, sustained our liveliest play and solemnest pretending for a long season. 

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Jun 10, 2017

Once upon a time, there was a land in of pure and perfect proportion. Unlike our cities, in which highways and buildings and rivers and trees often tumble over one another in unsightly haphazardom, this land boasted hill folding into hill, building rising from building, and streets and rivers flowing in elegant curves, wherever the eye could see. But, strangely, this graceful land lacked any trace of color, sound, or scent; no music, no laughter, no gardens, no paintings, no feasts filled its symmetric architecture. Would such a land be habitable?

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Jun 3, 2017

A poem by seventeenth-century poet Henry Vaughn begins with the line, “I saw Eternity the other night.” It’s a lovely turn of phrase for the way it marries the enduring, the universal, the ideal—“I saw Eternity”—with the passing, the particular, the earthly: “the other night.” Does this not capture a fleeting experience of epiphany that catches us all, one time or another—a sudden tearing of the curtain to glimpse the glory that was there concealed all along? 

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Lindsey Brigham Knott May 11, 2017

On our last day of school, I read the following letter aloud to my class of seniors, for whom it was written. 

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Lindsey Brigham Knott May 1, 2017

When Darcy appears, girls swoon; and when Jane Austen speaks, they listen. Countless TV adaptations and spin-offs have helped establish her as an authority on all things love and romance, even (or especially) amongst teenage females—an astonishing feat for an eighteenth-century spinster in the age of Gilmore Girls.

But, while many count Austen an authority on relationships, few view her as an apologist for classical education. Yet this she indeed is—albeit with her quintessential subtlety and wit.  

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Apr 8, 2017

Once upon a time, when I was a little girl taking piano lessons, I noticed it was “cool” for the older students, after delivering an impressive performance of a Beethoven sonata or Rachmaninoff concerto, to rise with an air of lazy nonchalance, saunter back to their seats, and casually mutter, “Only got to practice two hours this whole week.”

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Mar 17, 2017

Growing up, I’ve always lived in new-built homes. First, and foggy in my memory, was a land-hugging white wooden ranch with a red front door, and a swing-set in the backyard whose ominous height prompted its nickname “The Gallows.” Later came another white wood house, this one with two stories, green shutters, and a storybookish stone fireplace warming the center of the home. Most enduring was the Georgian red brick overhung with live oaks and gray moss, whose double doors made a little girl think she was entering church.

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Mar 6, 2017

What was the most significant thought or skill that you learned in this study?

What was the least significant thought or skill that you learned in this study?

What did I do in presenting this that furthered your learning?

What did I do in presenting this that obstructed your learning? 

What line or passage moved you the most in this reading?

What from this study do you want to remember?

What advice would you give next year’s students in studying this?

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