Once upon a time, when I was a little girl taking piano lessons, I noticed it was “cool” for the older students, after delivering an impressive performance of a Beethoven sonata or Rachmaninoff concerto, to rise with an air of lazy nonchalance, saunter back to their seats, and casually mutter, “Only got to practice two hours this whole week.”
You know that thing when you can’t get a song out of your head? A friend sent me this lyric from a band called Dumpster Divers and though I still have not listened to the song, the words themselves echo as I mull them over.
Come now and join the feast,
Right here in the belly of the beast
I too was a bad student. I was not the sort of bad student that would have gotten along with Josh Gibbs in high school, though. I was the sort of student who would have inwardly groaned if we had been placed together in a group for a project. I would have been shocked and disdained by his lack of concern over his schoolwork. I would have been so concerned with our grade that I would have done all of the work to prevent his slacking from affecting me.
In a previous post on the foundations of music appreciation, I began to consider the idea that music goes beyond our sense of preference and actually is indicative of the created order. This implies several significant points that should be listed and/or repeated:
“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.”
Over the many years of my education, I have found that the most exciting, interesting, and helpful things that I have learned is simply what words mean. We intuit the meaning of many words through context and common usage and avid readers will have a whole storehouse of words in their imagination from a young age whose meaning they can sort of explain based on the context of the book or sentence it came from, but when asked to actually explain the word they will be hard pressed to give a solid, satisfactory definition.
I was a bad student. Starting my freshman year, I attended a classical Christian school. By senior year, I was sneaking down to the local pizza parlor during lunch to smoke cigarettes and watch music videos. I never aimed to do well, only to pass. If my Biology grade was running a 77, that meant I had 7 points to spend on slacking off before the semester ended. I was a teenage sloth.
Last week, we ended with the Greek world and the pride of this ancient people. As always I demand you take notes, as the whole premise of sprite school is to learn from the triumphs of our Father, improve your tactics against the Enemy, and win more patients for our cause, coffers, and confines. Our lesson tonight focuses on the willingness of patients to help us, as demonstrated in the most cherished of Greek institutions, the Delphic Oracle.
For some years now I have been preoccupied with the temple and its many iterations and echoes throughout the Bible.
This preoccupation has only grown through the realization of what most people who read the Bible have known since early childhood: