In mythology and the epics we encounter three different female characters: the Muse, the Siren, and the Echo. But these three women are more than just characters; they are three distinct Voices, each singing a different song—some to destruction and some to life.
Have you ever googled “quotes on writing?” If so, you probably came away from your search wondering why anyone would choose to be a writer. Consider what Hemingway said: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Or Robert Frost: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” Or Thomas Mann: “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
Reading is a complicated activity. Sometimes we do it for edification, other times for pleasure, sometimes simply to fulfill an assignment. Sometimes a combination of all three. Some of us mark up our books; others long for the pristine unmarked pages of a brand new edition. Some of us take pride in our personal libraries and are perpetual collectors, while others among us haunt public libraries until the locals know us by name. Some of us read quickly and move from book to book rapidly, while others go slow and steady.
Earlier this month we shared some reflections from teachers we trust on the habits that every great teacher displays. Now we want to flip that around, so we asked around to find out about the habits that every great student displays. Here's what we found out.
As the new school year encroaches upon the last, lingering days of summer, it's easy to be overwhelmed at the prospect of new lesson plans and new students, at long days and assessments galore. It's easy to get bogged down in the minutia of planning to teach, thus losing sight of the big picture. So to help us focus, I asked some of our expert-teacher friends what habits all great teachers display. Here's what they said:
I'd like to broach the topic at hand by pointing to a poem that articulates the deep sorrow and ache of the Modern Man: William Wordsworth's critique of the world caused by the Scientific Revolution, "The World is Too Much With Us.”
Amidst the whirling weeks of the year, Good Friday dawns and demands attention. Christ’s words—“do this in remembrance of Me”—ring still in our ears from their reading Maundy Thursday, and we feel the struggle of slowing to remember anything when days are packed so full and pass so swiftly; even the long discipline of Lent may not have fully quieted our hearts. We want to remember, we long to grieve so that we may rejoice come Sunday—but how?
For part one of this dialogue please click here. This is part two. It’s been edited slightly for clarity and length.
According to Rod Dreher an end is nigh. A flood is coming in the form of a new secular Dark Age, “There are people alive today,” he writes in his new book, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, “who may live to see the effective death of Christianity within our civilization.”
Editor's Note: Created and written by Peter Morgan (the award-winning screenwriter of The Queen), The Crown, an original drama from Netflix about the life and times of Queen Elisabeth II, has become something of a smash-hit, a success with critics and viewers alike. Rich with resplendent detail, magnificent performances, and the pathos offered by real-life, it's a moving tribute to one of the seminal figures of our times. It's respectful but avoids pandering, honest without being indulgent, and dramatic while avoiding undue embellishment.