A Beautiful Email From a Former Student and Present Friend

Rocha, If you are about to eat dinner, then put off reading this email. It is about dissections. I have been in anatomy class for three weeks now. A huge portion of the class and my favorite part of it is the lab. For about ten hours every week we cut and pull, prod and poke, rip and tear and break a human corpse. It is simply wonderful. Often I am disgusted by what I am doing. It confuses me, challenges me, and disturbs me. Yet in and through these emotions I find beauty, so much beauty. I … [Read more...]

Sep 8, 2012 4:30pm

Shooting a white buffalo. (Taken with Instagram) … [Read more...]

Sep 7, 2012 10:24pm

Home office in progress. (Taken with Instagram) … [Read more...]

Class Notes

Historical Foundations of Education — third meeting Yesterday’s class seemed doomed from the outset. Because of a shortage of books, and my still-absent personal library, I was unable to retain a personal copy of the text for the day. Thankfully, I’ve read and taught Robert Church’s Education in the United States many, many times. But I was winging it. As it turned out, the simple insight in what I call the “creation story” of compulsory schooling was powerful enough on its own. Compulsory schoo … [Read more...]

A column at First Things

The essay — “Real ‘School Choice’” — that grew from the two notes I posted (and then deleted) here last week is now available at “On the Square,” the online column published by First Things.  The construction of this essay has taught me an important lesson: writing cannot be planned or scripted. At least mine can’t. First Things was the first intellectual journal I ever read. In it, I found my first regular engagement with big ideas. Although … [Read more...]

Sep 2, 2012 6:13pm

My good friend, Eduardo Duarte, graciously and gratuitously sent me a copy of his new book, pictured above. I’ve been reading it all weekend and I’ve found it deeply inspirational. He’s also the radio show host for tonight’s show. Don’t be fooled: Professor Iguana (founder of the “Dead Zone”) is a serious, deep cat. The show airs this evening around 6:30 pm ET. You can listen to it online streaming from WRHU, Hofstra university. … [Read more...]

Literary News

I just became aware that one of my favorite short stories — Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” — was translated into Spanish by Jorge Luis Borges. (Read it here.) Even if you don’t read Spanish, I’d still highly recommend reading it in the original English. It’s a remarkable, strange story. I use it every semester in some class or another. The prospect of reading it translated by such a literary mind like Borges is worth one of … [Read more...]

Essay and Radio Update

Two quick, exciting updates: 1. I’ve deleted the previous two notes on schooling and education; they’ll appear as a single, extended essay for First Thoughts (the main weblog for First Things) this coming Tuesday. I’l post a link when it appears.  2. The radio show I recorded with host Eduardo Duarte (a.k.a. “Professor Iguana”) will air this Sunday, from 6:30ish to 7:30ish pm, on WRHU Radio, the radio channel for Hofstra University. The content is an extended dis … [Read more...]

Class Notes

Historical Foundations of Education — second meeting The readings for yesterday’s class were the first part of Gerda Lerner’s Why History Matters, “History as Memory” and Susan Moller Okin’s article “Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?” We began by watching the short film The Art of Farewell. The impact of the film was hard to follow, but that was the point. There was much covered, many details and boardwork, but, as I noted earlier, there is … [Read more...]

Class Notes

“Foundations of Educational Thought” — second meeting The most important thing that happened in class yesterday did not occur in the time/space of the class. About two hours before class I was busy sorting through a reimbursement snafu where I completely lost my composure. I was seething mad. In retrospect I am pretty happy that I didn’t do anything REALLY stupid given how internally angry, how royally pissed off, I was.  Prior to that I prepped a pretty good class … [Read more...]


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