Felipe Vogel Dec 24, 2018

“Do we have to do Latin?” Students gloomily contemplate its grammar charts, teachers of other subjects wonder what it’s doing in the curriculum, and homeschooling parents find it a constant thorn in their sides. Do we study Latin as a mental exercise, like math? To improve our English? To get a higher SAT score? Many of us aren’t sure, and we wish we could do something useful instead of studying a dead language.

Joshua Gibbs Dec 23, 2018

Any debate about the merit of It’s A Wonderful Life is, by this point, largely superfluous. While there is no cinematic equivalent of Homer, if there were, it would be Capra’s 1946 Christmas classic. 72 years is a long time for a pop culture artifact to last. Consider for a moment that the best-selling book of 1946 was Frederic Wakeman’s The Hucksters, and that title has never been reprinted. First editions currently sell on Amazon for about a dollar.

Joshua Gibbs Dec 19, 2018

A child has very few rights to demand of his mother and father, but a child does have the right of custom: it is fair that a child claim the same treatment today which he received yesterday, provided there are not extenuating circumstances. It is not right that a parent arbitrarily revoke this or that custom which has hitherto governed the home. If a child is accustomed to hearing a story before bed, his father cannot withhold a story for no good reason, or for specious reasons.

Kate Deddens Dec 17, 2018

Shortly after I ventured into social media many years ago, I discovered this poem by Emily Dickinson:

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! They’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

Josh Mayo Dec 14, 2018

What is Homer’s Odyssey about?

Joshua Gibbs Dec 14, 2018

As a little child, I unreservedly loved Christmas, but about the time I entered high school, I often found myself depressed around the end of the year. Christmas break means far more free time than usual, and Idaho winters were typically harsh and bleak, which meant I usually spent that free time indoors, where there was little to inhibit endless self-reflection.

Joshua Gibbs Dec 6, 2018

Come senior year, students ought to be reading the best books in the curriculum. Having arrived at the height of their intellectual powers, at least so far as high school is concerned, students should be diving into the books which will do them the most good over the spiritually disorienting four years which follow. Senior year, they ought to be reading Homer and Virgil, Milton, Plato, Dante, Augustine. Let us admit that there are classics and there are classics.

Joshua Gibbs Dec 5, 2018

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Americans speak more about tradition than they do at any other time of the year. A great volume of traditions are fixed to December 25th than any other day in the calendar, and these traditions range from highly personal to ecclesiastical. Traditional foods should be prepared, traditional colors worn, traditional hymns sung, traditional stories read.

Josh Mayo Dec 3, 2018

Occasionally, academics need a good lampooning. Perhaps often.

Joshua Gibbs Dec 1, 2018

In my fourteen years as a teacher, I have received dozens of Starbucks gift cards from students, and let me say that I have loved each and every one of them. I never tire of coffee, especially coffee I do not have to pay for. I adore handmade Christmas presents, as well, and I can usually give a good home to cookies, candy, chocolate, and pumpkin bread. Once, for Christmas, a student gave me a banana-sized beanbag full of rice which could be warmed in a microwave, then hung around one’s neck for comfort and relaxation. It was an absolute delight.