Since publishing Something They Will Not Forget, I have heard numerous stories from across the country of teachers instituting curriculum-based catechisms in their classrooms. Most of the teachers I have heard from are humanities teachers; however, from time to time, a math or science teacher asks for help putting together a catechism. While I can suggest a few passages from Scripture and classic literature that I would use if I were a math or science teacher, I simply have not read enough to construct a seven-minute-long biology or geometry recitation.
We travel along old roads. They are pathways purposefully cut out and trodden down for us by those who came before. Just like us, these individuals had places to go, things to do, and people to see. Often, in the heat of our current activities we forget that for millennia our ancestors lived surprisingly similar lives to ours in terms of aspirations and desired destinations. They paved our ways before us.
Thirty miles from the Grand Canyon, travelling at around sixty miles an hour, I hit a deer with my Subaru Forester. I did not graze the deer, nor did I nick him, brush him, or scrape him. I hit the deer in exactly the way you would want to hit a deer if you wanted to total your car. With no warning, the deer leapt in front of my car, and I hit it directly, squarely between the headlights. Every airbag in the car exploded into place, a powdery haze filled the cabin, as did the aroma of gunpowder, and then I began shouting, “Is everyone okay?”
“Any school, we might conclude, with more than four or five subjects doesn’t know what it wants to be.”
Those words were written by Tracy Lee Simmons in Climbing Parnassus – but our Lord himself said that a man cannot serve two masters. Likewise, a school cannot be committed to half a dozen subjects or more. If it tries to be, it will be devoted to none of them but will despise them all. Commitment is the key to accomplishing anything great, and commitment in education, as in marriage, is necessarily exclusive. Simmons goes on to say:
Dear Mrs. Norris,
My son is driving me crazy. He won’t do his school work. He talks back and tells me to leave him alone, but when I do leave him alone, nothing gets done, nothing gets turned in, and somehow he’s still mad at me. As his mom, I just want to help him. Is there anything to do?
Dear Crazy Concerned,
Have you ever wished to get into someone else’s head? How does Tom Brady survey the football field or Elon Musk process business decisions? What was Octavian thinking after the battle of Actium? Each person has their own unique way of approaching the world, yet we may also speak of distinct “minds” of history. W. Harry Jellema identifies at least three such minds: the classical Greco-Roman, the Christian-Medieval, and the Renaissance-Enlightenment-Contemporary—each its own objective entity with its own voice. As C.S.
A good book of proverbs shifts like desert sand every time you set it down. When you return to it days or weeks later, dunes to the north have been flattened, newly emergent ridges in the south are rippled with waves, and miraculous pools of water have suddenly dried up. No genre of literature is more uncertain than proverbs—and why? Because no genre of literature is more dependent on the reader than proverbs.
“Split down the middle. One half is sister, one half is Queen. A strange, hybrid creature, like a sphinx or Gamayun, as I am Ganesha, or Minotaur. We are half people, ripped from the pages of some bizarre mythology, the two sides within us, human and Crown, engaged in a fearful civil war which never ends, and which blights our every human transaction as brother, husband, sister, wife, mother. I understand the agony you feel and I am here to tell you it will never leave you. I will always be half king. My tragedy is that…. I have no Kingdom.”
I have a confession to make. I see a therapist.
I began my therapy journey when I became a parent. For some reason, transitioning to parenthood at age twenty-six after four years of marriage rocked my world. I thought I was ready for the perfect baby boy I carried inside of me and delivered after victoriously enduring Y2K, but alas, I was not prepared for the new role as “mother.”
In 7th grade, we are working through the book The Lost Tools of Writing. If you haven't heard of this book before I highly recommend it. The book instructs students on how to write a persuasive essay. As the year progresses, they learn new concepts that help with invention, arrangement, and elocution.