Andrew Kern Oct 2, 2007
Alan Warhaftig has found 474 run on sentences in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. Given that the book fills about 750 pages, we cannot help but be astonished by such editorial carelessness.  I'm guessing this news will find a mixed reaction. The sentimentalists will complain that Mr. Warhaftig is trying to ruin a good thing: that Rowling has children reading and is providing legitimate pleasure so Mr. Warhaftig (who probably got his name from Rowling anyway) should stop being so anal retentive and leave her alone.
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Andrew Kern Oct 1, 2007
"The relationship between a liberal education and freedom is good sound American doctrine. ... I regret that during the last several decades we have had a tendency to overlook this important American fact. And I think we are paying the penalty for our shortsightedness in unexpected ways." Thus Wendell Wilkie, in a 1943 speech at Duke University. What would he say today? I can't help but wonder. To read the entire January 25, 1943 Time article from which this quotation is drawn, click HERE.
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Andrew Kern Sep 29, 2007
The word has changed over time. Here's an article that sweeps the centuries for ideas about essay writing that will provoke responses in teachers of writing. A good read, and one worth discussing.
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Andrew Kern Sep 28, 2007
There's even a poster to prove it!  Unfortunately, they might not be able to watch it in our prisons because CS Lewis is among the banned authors listed by the federal Bureau of Prisons.
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Andrew Kern Sep 28, 2007
No matter how many programs come out that describe fun ways to teach grammar and tell kids and parents how easy it is, the fact is, grammar ain't easy. You can't make it easy. Grammar is analytical and it is abstract. That makes it hard. It also makes it a subject (really an "art" or "skill" more than a subject) that requires practice, which isn't always fun no matter how you try to make it so. Young children need to learn early that learning is a challenge and that it will require effort from them. Why should they be surprised later, when they are less willing to be challenged?
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Andrew Kern Sep 25, 2007
A while ago I posted on an article from Wendell Berry in which he presented a model of thinking that seems to me to be essential to understanding and living with reality. It's an ancient way of thinking, rooted in accepting our limits and loving wisdom; and it's a way of thinking that seems to have been set aside by neglect. We simply don't apply this common sense to our thoughts any more.
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Andrew Kern Sep 24, 2007
Brett Favre tied the all time record for career touchdown passes yesterday and said he didn't care. He wanted to win.  He must have been a terrible student in school, where all anybody cares about is records. More importantly, he demonstrates one of life's great principles: Care about what matters most and things that matter less follow in their wake. Seek first the kingdom of God and the rest will be added to you.
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Andrew Kern Sep 24, 2007
This is the basic dilemma Christians have with the series. Both classical mythology and the Bible provide plenty of reasons to be concerned. The great witch of classical mythology is Medea, and it would be hard to find a less desirable character in life or myth. She devotes her life to avenging herself on Jason for abandoning her for another woman, which he did partly because she didn't fit his plans and partly because she was, well, she was a witch, and not only literally.
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Andrew Kern Sep 24, 2007
Perhaps the two leading debaters in the education world these days are ED Hirsch of Cultural Literacy fame and Howard Gardner, best known for his theory of multiple intelligences. I have been turning back to one book by each of them lately (The Disciplined Mind, by Howard Gardner and The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them, by E.D. Hirsch), and will be posting responses in the coming days. I do want to recommend both books as two of the most thoughtful representations of the two leading views on conventional education.
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Andrew Kern Sep 21, 2007
I just finished The Deathly Hallows again, this time taking the time to read more closely than during my first rush through it. Some initial reflections:
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