Andrew Kern Oct 10, 2007
"Most fiction nowadays appears to be written for dirty-minded and naive adolescents, although perhaps most of it is read by middle-aged housewives."  Russell Kirk, The Perversity of Recent Fiction: Reflections on the Moral Imagination in Redeeming the Time. If you have a stake in the future of American politics, literature, education, child-rearing, justice, or freedom -READ THIS BOOK!
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Andrew Kern Oct 10, 2007
Islam, The Greeks, and the Scientific Revolution Fascinating read by a "Norwegian conservative" describing why the Islamic world, in spite of its ideal location on the trade and information routes, never achieved a sustained scientific revolution. Published in Assyrian International News Agency.
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Andrew Kern Oct 10, 2007
A little over a month ago, my back went out on me. For four days I lay in bed with a continual supply of ice and Advil, virtually unable to move. Finally, after no improvement, I went to my doctor, a kinesiologist. He told me that I did something to my disk while swimming the butterfly and that I should never do that again. He also told me to get myself a back brace and to wear it most of the time for a while and then whenever I'm doing anything approaching heavy lifting or bending (like, say, getting off the couch after watching a football game).
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Andrew Kern Oct 9, 2007
Picking up on this earlier post, and this one too, here is the first of Berry's principles for a good solution:
A good solution accepts given limits, using so far as is possible what is at hand. The farther fetched the solution, the less it should be trusted.... Enlarging scale is a deceptive solution; it solves one problem by acquiring another, or several others.
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Andrew Kern Oct 9, 2007
"It is surely the duty of the older generation to be embarrassingly old-fashioned, for the claims of the "newness" of any younger generation are mostly frivolous." Wendell Berry, Family Work from The Gift of Good Land
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Andrew Kern Oct 8, 2007
Marvin Olasky creates an "interview" with Flannery O'Connor by asking her, the author, questions, and finding answers from her book Mystery and Manners.  Great reading for potential Christian authors.
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Andrew Kern Oct 7, 2007
Camille, one of the apprentices, sent me this today. She said I could post it so I am: I just got back from North Carolina, another apprenticeship retreat, and I think I can safely say we all had a blast. Our gang has more fun than anyone else. Some think of teacher training as boring, unproductive, time-wasting, or irrelevant. The CiRCE brand of teacher training is none of those things. We have our souls refreshed, our bodies feasted, our minds filled with new ideas, new humor, and new memories of fellowship, fun, and refreshment.
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Andrew Kern Oct 6, 2007
When I was a boy I fancied myself a fair baseball player. I was the only 5th grader to make the first summer softball team at Lowell P. Goodrich Elementary School in Milwaukee where I played shortstop and scratched my ankle up sliding into second base on an asphalt baseball diamond. But, while I played every chance I got at school and home (and I made sure there were lots of chances), I never played little league because I went to camp every summer (where I played every chance I got). I was a pretty good player, but I was never coached.
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Andrew Kern Oct 6, 2007
There are two common reasons for testing. First, the static fashion of determining roughly (and often rather arbitrarily) what students have learned and can repeat from the curriculum. Second, the dynamic fashion of assessing what has been learned so the teacher can adjust to the realities of the students’ experience. A third reason is, of course, to assess students for college admissions or their status as compared to other students, but this standardized mode of testing is so pedagogically problematic and even vulgar that I find it hard to mention it.
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Andrew Kern Oct 6, 2007
Here is a grammar teacher, let us call her Mrs. Malaprop. And here is a grammar student, let us call him Billy Blood. Mrs. Malaprop has been trained in the conventions of the contemporary University and has come to believe that correct grammar is determined entirely by the usage of the community and has no authority or necessity outside the community that determines the correctness. She leaves all the implied questions unasked, and out of deference to her I will do the same.
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