Thanksgiving Day joins together friends and family to feast, laugh, and reflect upon the innumerable blessings of God upon each of us; some of the most important ones gathered around the table. And, while for too many, Thanksgiving has morphed into “Turkey Day” – a day to eat too much, fall asleep watching football games they don’t care about, and plan Black Friday shopping – the intentional act of giving thanks is important.
A lot can change depending on whether you focus on sight or hearing. When I teach Plato’s Republic, we spend weeks discussing whether beauty is real or not. Our students generally regard themselves as counter-cultural. They will tell you they utterly reject the moral relativism and atheism that they see in the broader society beyond their family and community. And yet they will always say, with remarkable confidence, that “beauty is completely subjective; it’s in the eye of the beholder.”
If you have attended a CiRCE conference the odds are pretty good that you have prayed a prayer with us that includes the words: "teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that your will governs all."
When I say these words, I am usually asking with in interesting attitude of expectation: I expect something terrible to happen today so I am asking God to teach me to accept it with "peace of soul and firm conviction" because it's going to be hard to take.
Nautae caelum et terram vident is a humble Latin sentence. It means, “The sailors see the sky and the land.”
It’s simple, yet it involves interconnecting thoughts and the ability to organize them in a systematic, coherent manner.
This sentence is relatively complex in the knowledge and skills it requires. To translate it, you must identify the syntactical attributes of each word, define each accordingly, and assemble them in English.
Everyone knows how Aristotle defined rhetoric, but very few people believe actually him. Apparently, rhetoric is “the faculty of discovering in any particular case the available means of persuasion,” but classical educators are afraid to take Aristotle at his word. Every year, a great host of students at classical schools write theses wherein they fail to persuade their judges of their arguments, yet receive A’s on their work nonetheless. For many classical schools, rhetoric is not about persuasion, but about the formal structure of arguments, which is unfortunate.
Christians presently have a complicated relationship with the concept of hate. During the 70s, 80s, and 90s, the zeitgeist turned against hate and secularists chagrined hate as primitive and thuggish, but since the 2016 election, hate has become fashionable again and forgiveness is thought naïve and regressive. During the decades when hate was unpopular, many conservative Christians stood up for hate and pointed to the obvious: What of genocide? What of torture?
What is the purpose of our leisure? This question has been simmering in my mind since I first encountered the idea of schole several years ago. It’s a lovely concept, particularly appealing to us homeschool moms whose days are typically busy, demanding, and, if we are not careful, chaotic. Many of us are thus inspired to order our days around a “liturgy,” implementing periods of work and rest in the pattern of our weeks and years and sharing in a “feast” of good books, music, and art with our children, and all are good and noble pursuits.
Student: Why did you count my Homer paper late?
Gibbs: Because it was due on Friday and you turned it in on Monday.
Student: But I wasn’t in class on Friday.
Gibbs: You weren’t in my class, which was the first class of the day, although you came to school later in the day.
Student: How do you know that?
Gibbs: I saw you around school.
Student: But I wasn’t at school during first period, which is when your class meets, and so I wasn’t present to turn in my paper.
Gibbs: Did you have a paper to turn in on Friday?
Proverbs 26:4 says, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.” The very next verse says, “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.”
The whiplash while reading wisdom literature like this often leaves one wondering what she ought to do. Do I answer the fool, or don’t I? The answer, of course, is this: It all depends. Sometimes, both happen at the same time.
In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, we get some good samples of folly.
No one is more cautious about the value of words than professional writers. Having made a career of speaking for large and small crowds, and having written three books, a hundred film reviews, four hundred essays for this website— and having undertaken my fourteenth year of marriage— I would say I am skeptical of the idea that the best way for people to sort out their problems is to “just sit down and talk.”