Lindsey Brigham Knott May 14, 2020

I read yesterday a brief review of a recently-published history of earth architecture, and it beckoned my thoughts down a number of less-traveled paths. The term “earth architecture” describes buildings made of dirt, in various forms or mixtures: adobe from Southwestern clay, for instance, or cob from mixed mud and straw in Britain, or even the “soddies” of Laura Ingalls Wilder fame.

Renee Mathis May 14, 2020

When I first began teaching other people’s children, the thought of assessing their work filled me with no small amount of dread. Even back then, when it was simply known as “grading”, I became anxious at the thought of telling others that their work had, or had not, met the standard. Why oh why hadn’t I decided to teach math? You either get it right or you don’t. Yes or no. Correct or incorrect.  Vainly I searched for encouragement from other Language Arts teachers. The advice ranged from the humorous (“Throw the papers on the stairs.

Joshua Gibbs May 13, 2020

Note: At more than 4500 words, this is the longest essay I have ever published in this column. Were my subject less worthy, I would not waste readers' time with this meticulous unpacking of a somewhat obscure 1990 film. However, I have been carrying a torch for John Patrick Shanley's masterpiece for over half my life, and am delighted to here tell you as much about it as I can.  

Brian Phillips May 12, 2020

A child’s education is about much more than what goes on in “schooling” proper. Education is not an 8am-3pm proposition. It is taking place all the time - in the culture they are being given in their home and family, in the culture they are being exposed to outside of the home (at school, in social media, technology, friends, etc.), and in what they formally learn in both school/homeschool and church.

Kate Deddens May 12, 2020

Our world is caught in a surreal stasis. A pandemic flows over us, and  while its  consequences ripple around us daily, many of us are existing in suspended animation. 

We’re living in a time when we’re asked to deny ourselves agency – to refrain from exercising control and influence. 

We’ve stepped back from daily life as we’ve come to know it. Many of us have pulled our strength, our activities, our productivity, our ability, and in short, our power, inward; we’ve retreated into the interiors of our homes, our immediate families, and ourselves. 

CiRCE Staff May 8, 2020

This week, CiRCE podcasts contemplated Schole', the real you, life and death during Queen Victoria's reign, and Graham Green’s The End of the Affair. Be sure to subscribe, rate, and review, wherever you like to listen to podcasts!

Brian Phillips May 6, 2020

When I was in EMT school, on one of the first days, our instructor was putting us through scenarios. “You are dispatched to a call for a man down. You arrive and find the patient face-down, with a weak pulse, and shallow, slow breathing. What do you do?” I’ll never forget when one of my classmates raised his hand and shouted out confidently, “Call 911!” I’m not sure I can even describe the look on our instructor’s face when he said, “YOU ARE 911!”

Andrew Kern May 5, 2020

Allow me to propose what might be the underlying moral dilemma in all our relationships, public and private:

When people gain power, they become able to do bad and inconvenient things. For example, the toddler is capable of wreaking a great deal more havoc on the house than the nursing infant.

Nonetheless, the essential duty we have to other people is to help them gain more power. Nowadays we call it empowerment. More enlightened ages called it cultivating virtue.

That is true love.

Joshua Gibbs May 4, 2020

I almost didn’t fall for Patricia Highsmith.