Joshua Gibbs May 22, 2018

Student: I wanted to talk with you about how I could raise my grade in this class.

Teacher: You could always get higher scores on your quizzes and tests.

Student: Very funny. How can I get higher scores on my quizzes and tests?

Teacher: A couple things come to mind. You could always cheat on your tests and quizzes, or you could get your parents to offer me a bribe.

Student: Are you serious?

Teacher: Are cheating and bribery not classic, tried-and-true ways of getting high grades?

Student: Sure, but I don’t want to cheat.

Joshua Gibbs May 18, 2018

I have seen simple students and foolish students begin to mend their ways. I have seen students headed for destruction turn back and live. I have also seen reasonable students lose their reason. I have seen prudent students tire of prudence and begin living exciting, unstable lives. In observing changes towards foolishness and away from foolishness, I have reached a rather simple conclusion about change: bad influence rubs off, good influence does not.

Renee Mathis May 16, 2018

It finally happened. I forgot. Sitting down to lead my last webinar of the year with my first class of graduating apprentices, I realized I was unprepared. Too many commitments, too many things on my schedule, and too much reliance upon my insufficient memory meant that not only had I forgotten to pack the text into my bag, but I had forgotten to check the syllabus and even read the text to be discussed. 

Andrew Kern May 15, 2018

I suppose it must be theoretically possible to create an ethic without God or a god, but historically in the west it’s been a problem.

When Machiavelli developed the first utilitarian handbook on politics, that is to say, a book on politics that approached them without religion (except considered as a tool), he laid the foundations for Thomas Hobbes to develop his Social Contract.

Heidi White May 15, 2018

Recently, under pressure from budget shortfalls, a University of Wisconsin campus approved a plan to cut thirteen academic majors, including English Literature, Philosophy, and History in favor of programs with “high-demand career paths.” Funds will be redirected to “career-ready” programs such as business, chemical engineering, computer information systems, law enforcement, fire science, and graphic design. The plan was proposed after a Republican legislature voted to eliminate tenure in 2015, thus leaving degree programs vulnerable to cuts.

Andrew Kern May 10, 2018

I want to make an appeal for conversation, for its extension and for thoughtful commitment to its practice. I am pleased to make this appeal now because I believe conversation has not died and that many people I know and love participate in conversations now and even more want to. 

Nathan Johnson May 10, 2018

I teach rhetoric to 11th graders, and it has become apparent that some of my students believe that we should not spend so much time studying rhetorical devices and tropes. Either it’s a waste of time or, worse, it’s a form of manipulation and deceit. I'm not surprised that some students don’t get jazzed about exploring the beauty and depth of language, much less how to give a persuasive speech in front of one’s peers.

Joshua Gibbs May 10, 2018

Last month was Carter’s 16th birthday, so I took him to Best Buy like I promised and bought him an invisibility cloak. We picked it out together. It was $700, which is quite a bit for our family, but we agreed that it would be a birthday and Christmas present combined. For the whole last year, he had been dying to get one.

Andrew Kern May 7, 2018

Laurus/Arseny/Ustin/Amvrosy was born on May 8 in 1440. I post this review today in honor of his birthday and in honor of St. Arsenius, from whom he derived his name.

Russia is to me a foreign country and the Middle Ages are an alien time. Consequently, to read a novel by a Russian author about medieval Russia pretty well guarantees that my understanding will be stretched. 

Greg Wilbur Apr 30, 2018

At the 2015 CiRCE summer conference in Charleston, Andrew Kern very helpfully talked about the difference between the purpose of education and the blessing of education—and our confusion between the two. The purposes of education are manifold: to know God and His creation; to respond in wonder to the things God has made; to develop the gifts He has given us in service to others; because it is part of the creation mandate from Genesis 1, etc.