Several students recently approached me about starting a morning Bible study once a week before school. Having been rather open in the past about my lack of enthusiasm for what typically passes as a Bible study these days, especially a student-led Bible study, I was happily surprised they asked me to help them establish the parameters of the study. While the inclination to read the Scriptures is good, a great many student-led Bible studies involve very little Bible and even less study.
“Now both sexes have melodies and rhythms which of necessity belong to them; and those of women are clearly enough indicated by their natural difference. The grand, and that which tends to courage, may be fairly called manly; but that which inclines to moderation and temperance, may be declared both in law and in ordinary speech to be the more womanly quality.” - Plato, Laws (Book VII)
To recreate is a harder task than to create.
Our middle school students are memorizing Poe’s “The Raven,” one of the most well-known American poems, wherein the author grieves over his lost love, Lenore. I shared with my students an interesting facet of the poem: Poe’s refusal and dismissal of the supernatural. As Poe grieves for Lenore, he receives a visit from the spirit world in the form of a raven. Before acknowledging the raven’s identity, the poet reasons through a series of denials.
Throughout Western history, the ancient Greeks have been praised for their intellectual, artistic, and political achievements. But compliment the Greeks today, and you’ll likely hear one of the following objections: “But the Greeks owned slaves who did all their work for them while they philosophized and sculpted marble.” Or, “But there are plenty of ancient cultures just as amazing—Chinese, African, Meso-American—if Westerners would only stop being partial to their own culture.”
I have been involved in hundreds of parent-teacher conferences, some of which have been genuinely productive. However, in a fifteen-minute parent-teacher conference, both sides have a strong tendency to generalize. I would wager that more than half of my conferences over the years have gone something like this:
Parent: So, how is my son doing?
Gibbs: He’s doing fine.
Parent: He likes your class a lot. He likes soccer more, but he does really enjoy your class.
Recently, on Twitter and Facebook, I promised to write an 800 word essay on any subject for readers willing to write a 100 word review of my book How To Be Unlucky on Amazon. The first person to capitalize on this promise was Greg Wilbur, who asked for an essay on harmony in the classroom.
You are not a visual learner. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." All men were made to see.
You are not an auditory learner. "How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?" All men were made to hear.
You are not a tactile learner. "Taste and see that the Lord is good... Touch me, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye behold Me having." All men were made to taste, to hold, to touch.
If you asked Edgar Allan Poe this question, he would give you a definitive “no.” Remember that classic daguerreotype of Poe? The one where he looks like he just spent the night harassed by a legion of bed bugs? Picture that humorless face, and then read this: