We have a complicated relationship with technology. As I type this I'm surrounded by three computers, an iPad (mini), an iPhone, two printers, a CD/DVD duplicator, a broken fax machine, multiple external hard drives, and a couple of wireless gadgets. As a small business that operates largely through the internet we rely heavily on these technological tools and will, of course, continue to do so increasingly as we move forward. And, full disclosure, we like our gadgets as much as the next person. I mean, just look at all those apps!
Recently, my twelfth grade students have been reading, discussing, and writing about Steinbeck’s classic novella, Of Mice and Men, a dramatic little tale about friendship and the American dream and what it means to keep a promise. We’ve been focusing on what I believe to be the central question of the book – the question upon which all else turns.
[INSERT SPOLIER ALERT: IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK, STOP READING THIS, FIND A COPY, AND READ IT. IT’S NOT LONG, IT’S AN EASY READ, AND IT’S WORTHY OF SOME CONTEMPLATION]
Probably the biggest obstacle to the growth of classical education is the panic that arises when we lack confidence in its power. Sadly, this panic often comes from the parents through the leadership into the school.
I named my blog Ordo Amoris. My husband tells me it is a bit ridiculous and sometimes when I find myself repeating the title to a stranger I see what he means. But I love the name anyway. Those two little words represent everything I believe about education and even when I am talking to a stranger it doesn’t take me too long to explain.
Ordo sounds like ‘order’ and Amoris comes from the Latin word for love therefore Ordo Amoris is the ordering of the loves or affections. But you already knew that.
There are, we generally believe, “math people” and “non-math people” – or to put a finer point on it, there are math people and there are “humanities people”. The math people enjoy equations, technology, pocket protectors, and comic book conventions. The humanities people attend Renaissance festivals, enjoy Shakespearean insults, despise popular books, and often lurk in coffeehouses. At least, those are a few of the stereotypes.
The only thing that can tempt us from God is a gift He has given us. Eve was tempted by a good fruit that God had made and took the fruit over the eternal giver of gifts. After that it became difficult to distinguish the gift from the temptation because our eyes were blinded.
THIS IS A GUEST POST BY BRIAN SIMPERS
The problem, you see, is that we do it in school. That warps our thinking. Socrates used to do it in the Agora, the market place, or, perhaps better, the public gathering place. Granted the Greeks had gymnasia, but that was only a portion. The ancient Hebrews did it on the way, in the temple, in their homes. The Romans might have had something approximating a school, but it would have been small.
With the rise of the 20th century factory school, our norms and expectations were severed from reality.