Kate Deddens Apr 4, 2019

Our era is dismantling millennia of incarnated memories with increasing fervor and speed—“old” books are considered irrelevant, so much so that it can be difficult to find classics in local libraries or school curricula; monuments and artistic creations, some of which have withstood the ravages of decades, if not centuries, are toppled in the name of social progress; beautifully crafted belongings, once meaningful heirlooms, are jettisoned in favor of the newest machine-made decorating fads and end up in dusty thrift shops.

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Joshua Butcher Jul 18, 2018

Last June I enjoyed the great delight of attending my first Society for Classical Learning Conference, which was held in Dallas, Texas. There were a number of excellent plenaries and presentations, some of which have continued to spark conversation. I also had the privilege of speaking on formal rhetoric curriculum. In hindsight I tried to pack far too much detail into the time, and as a result my presentation suffered from a lack of helpful, clarifying examples. (Thankfully there were fewer than ten folks in the room who had to suffer through the abstraction!)

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Nathan Johnson May 10, 2018

I teach rhetoric to 11th graders, and it has become apparent that some of my students believe that we should not spend so much time studying rhetorical devices and tropes. Either it’s a waste of time or, worse, it’s a form of manipulation and deceit. I'm not surprised that some students don’t get jazzed about exploring the beauty and depth of language, much less how to give a persuasive speech in front of one’s peers.

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Marc Hays Feb 22, 2017

It has been said, mostly in old westerns, “don’t change horses in the middle of the stream.” However, that does not rule out going all the way across and deciding you’re riding the wrong horse, or that you crossed the wrong river, or that you’re going in the wrong direction, or that something screwy is going on. Anyway, I have such a story to tell.

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Andrew Kern Dec 14, 2016

Among the most profound mistakes of our era, I am convinced we would have to list the shift from the liberal arts to subjects in our schools. 

If you teach subjects, one of the many unfortunate things that happens is that students quickly catch on that there is content (i.e. information to be remembered) in this subject. If they like it, they will pay attention, if not, you need something else to get them to do so. 

Tests will do, thank you very much. But that's only one of the myriad ways teachers are taught to manipulate the students affections and minds. 

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Dec 10, 2016

We had been practicing the common topics of rhetoric for several weeks when one of the students approached me after class, brow furrowed. “Miss Brigham,” he confided, “these things are messing with me.” 

(My teacher’s heart rejoiced within me. If “things messing with me” means assumptions and desires being displaced, upended, rearranged, then surely this is an excellent—albeit colloquial—definition of learning itself.) 

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Matthew Bianco Dec 2, 2016

What is rhetoric? You’ve probably heard or thought of rhetoric as the art of persuasion. Fans of Aristotle will probably think of it as the art of finding the available means of persuasion. If you follow in the vein of Quintilian, you will probably think of it as the art of persuasion toward truth (and goodness and beauty). For those of you who have heard Andrew Kern speak on the topic, you’ve probably picked up something along the lines of rhetoric being the art of decision-making in community. One of these is decidedly not like the others.

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Angelina Stanford Sep 16, 2016

I have a very specific process when I approach a writing project.  Using the first three canons of Classical Rhetoric, I first write down every idea I have. This is the Invention stage and includes my research stage. Anything that generates an idea—something I read, a conversation I had, a thought that I contemplate, I dream I have—gets written down however it comes to me.  I don’t worry about assessing the quality of the idea or figuring out how I will use it at that point. Often one idea leads to another, and I keep writing them down.

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Matthew Bianco May 5, 2016

Like most people, I have had a particular definition of rhetoric that has guided my understanding and application of it for a while. That definition, though, was not my original understanding of rhetoric, and it has recently been modified once again. What fascinates me about my changing understanding of rhetoric is the effect it has had on my understanding of stories where rhetoric is a key factor, especially William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

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Jennifer Dow May 15, 2015

This week I finished my first-year teaching online with the CiRCE Academy. I was privileged to teach Classical Rhetoric and Greek & Roman Epics to some amazing students. My encounter with these young men and women challenged me to think more clearly, read more deeply, teach more passionately, and to repent more often.

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