Josh Mayo May 29, 2019

It’s May, and the world is finally awake. The campus of EDUCRAT STATE hums like a hive. Outside the dormitory, the day is all daffodils and spring zephyrs, but inside 303 WEST HALL a storm-cloud of academic fear brews. Dreading an impending final in literature, sophomore Joe Schmo peruses a SparkNotes article on Herman Melville’s classic whaling adventure. Travelling through time to rescue Joe from this perilous, ethical fog, Socrates materializes on the couch—quite unexpectedly.

SOCRATES: Hey, Joe. What are you up to?

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Adam Andrews Feb 8, 2018

By my latest count, I have heard the following dictum at least a dozen times in the last month: “literary analysis destroys the love of reading.”

Parents and teachers who say this often assert that reading, especially among the very young, is primarily an experience of the heart and soul, to be shared between parents and children, and that too strong an emphasis on mental exercise prevents them from using story time to build deep relationships.

Brian Phillips Apr 5, 2017

“Friendship is a necessity.”

So opens Book VIII of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Friendship, he says, “is a kind of virtue, or implies virtue, and it is also most necessary for living. Nobody would choose to live without friends even if he had all the other good things.”

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Matthew Bianco Mar 14, 2017

Seek ye first the walk and all these things will be added unto you.

Why walk? When I was a child, people would walk a path around the mall. They started early on Saturday mornings and would have already walked many laps before I arrived, pocket full of quarters, to challenge the arcade. Walkers still walk today, although I suspect fewer of them are in the even fewer malls while many of them are marching through neighborhoods, armed with Fitbits.

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Brian Phillips Feb 13, 2017

In What Are People For?, Wendell Berry wrote that a poem “may remind poet and reader alike of what is remembered or ought to be remembered – as in elegies, poems of history, love poems, celebrations of nature, poems of praise or worship, or poems as prayers. One of the functions of the music or formality of poetry is to make memorable…”

We are all forgetful people and we live in a land of forgetful people, daily being called to forget all the more. We need poetry.    

With that in mind, here are 11 poems every young woman should know.

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Cindy Rollins Oct 7, 2016

One of the hardest things about getting older is the decreasing time ahead of you to catch up on reading. Even reading one hundred books a year for the next twenty years is not going to do it. I feel about my To-Be-Read pile as my husband does about the salaries of major league baseball players. He would have to work for one hundred and fifty  years or more to make what some of those guys make in one year. It is not a hopeful thought.

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Andrew Kern Jul 15, 2015

At the very first conference, in July 2002, Dr. Charles Reed presented a wonderful talk that he called "Reading as if for life," a title drawn from Dickens' David Copperfield. 

Today, July 15, 2015, Rod Dreher showed us what it means to read as if for life. He reflected through the day on the meaning of the title of his recent book How Dante Can Save Your Life. 

If you weren't here, I'm sorry you missed it. I'll write one or two things that impressed me, then ask others to add their insights. First, this:

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Louis Markos Apr 2, 2015

In the first chapter of his first published work of literary criticism, The Allegory of Love (1936), Lewis, while attempting to unpack for the modern reader Chrétien de Troyes’s allegorical treatment of Love and Hate, offers this sage advice: “We have to worm our way very cautiously into the minds of these old writers: an a priori assumption as to what can, and what can not, be the expression of real imaginative experiences is the worst possible guide.” As we saw earlier, Lewis advocated, and carried out in his own work, a kind of genial criticism that respects the beliefs of the a

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Buck Holler Oct 23, 2014

How ought reading be taught? Notice that the question asks “how ought” not “how can”. The question bears a subsequent inquiry: what should my students read? One technique I have grown increasing aware of is children sitting in small groups reading little paperback pamphlets about animals, the seasons, plants, and daily life bearing lots of pictures and few words. Another characteristic of these pamphlets is that they are “graded”. That is, they are leveled from easy to hard by use of a number or alphabetic code. 

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Josh Mayo Oct 20, 2014

There comes a point when walks do more good than books. You know the feeling: the page grows opaque; the same sentence spins like a pinwheel three or four times across the eyes; and your thoughts, like snow geese, join in sudden migratory flight. At times like this, the best thing isn’t reading. It’s walking: donning your fleece, rounding the block, and listening once more to the wild poetry of the poplars—not so you can stop thinking, but so you can truly start again.

Wordsworth knew the good of outdoor learning and wrote some lines about it:

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