Ranting on the Loss of Cursive Writing

So, I found it excruciatingly painful to watch this video clip,. Excruciating because I love and value cursive writing, and I felt really bad for this young woman, and for what is apparently a whole generation (or two) that has been denied the experience of learning to use it. Cursive enhances brain function, helps to develop fine motor skills and gives a student a daily dose of something that is both an art and a discipline.Ranting about it in social media, I was told that cursive isn't … [Read more...]

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Remembering Bobby Kennedy and Missing Great Oratory

Today is the anniversary of the death of Robert F. Kennedy. On Facebook, Bishop Christopher Coyne posted this quote from him:"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."Something to ponder in a world where extremism is become commonplace.We’ll not see the like of RFK again, to our detriment. I don't say this because I t … [Read more...]

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If Canonized She’ll be Barbara-the-Barnburner – UPDATED

There is nothing quite like an essay by Barbara Nicolosi. She is forthright; she is knowledgeable and blunt; she has zero-tolerance for bullcrap; she is also deeply thoughtful and her intellect shines through every paragraph she writes.Not everyone always agrees with her, but she's okay with that too -- she is always up for a good debate. In other words, Barbara Nicolosi is a strong woman with strong views; if she is ever canonized she will be known as Saint Barbara the Barnburner, and this … [Read more...]

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“A Very Safe Place” in a world so thin of them…

The value of a musical education begun during the early years of childhood has been well-documented; students who are exposed to musical instruction while young tend to do better in math and language arts and -- more importantly -- they develop a musicality that will remain with them for as long as they choose to use it, and can always be re-gained. At a recent family event our sons brought out a guitar, a uke, a mandolin and (and a fiddle for a guest) and it was kind of delightful to have a … [Read more...]

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Dissecting Bodies, Sex, Sin, Selves: Catholic, Muslim and Plasticine

A couple of days ago Muslimah Media Watch examined the way the media indulges in reductive stereotyping of Muslim women, whenever sexual issues are discussed:Thank you Jezebel for your groundbreaking work in this field and for using phrases like “Islam, surprisingly…” and “All of which may make many a Muslim woman blush,” because that’s not reductive at all – particularly when discussing Muslim women and their intimate lives, completely missing the point that sexuality is a normal part of Is … [Read more...]

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Could Newtown Massacre be Latent Effect of Bullying?

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo is expressing embarrassment at just how much the press got wrong, yesterday, as they rushed to tell us anything they could about the terrible slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Perhaps he also feels mortified by the press tweets to families and friends of the victims looking for a story.I mean, I'm not a member of the fourth estate, and I'm mortified by it.But as we wonder what happened, why it happened and what motivated this terribly dark … [Read more...]

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Educating graphs on IL education

In this graph, the amount of money going to retirement benefits begins to look like Pacman, eating the ghost of Illinois' future.Tom Elia has more.Clearly, legislators -- if they are serious -- are going to have to find a way to prevent retirement benefits from eating all available resources. Whether they can get serious, or even want to, is the real question. I suspect that if anyone in Illinois tries to get a handle on this looming and outsized bill coming due, they will be … [Read more...]

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"Quality" Teachers for Wisconsin – UPDATED

Photosource, Althouse, taken by Meade."I NEEN QUALITY TEACHERS."They need teachers who can instruct them to love the qualifiers that denote the character of a quality - whether it is high-or-low, good-or-bad teachers that they neen and want.But apparently Wisconsin students are being pulled from their necessary classes in order to help teachers protest "whatever this dude [Governor Scott Walker] is doin'.My favorite observation on this story of schools closing so teachers may protest … [Read more...]

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US vs Tiger Mothers, Lion Fathers – UPDATED

Our Sunday Visitor is carrying a piece of mine looking at the controversial question of whether the berating Chinese "Tiger Mother" is truly superior to the doting and timid "you're so special!" Western mode of parenting. I am of two minds on it:In America we have allowed genuine excellence to be sacrificed upon the altar of our children’s self-esteem, and our barely earned praise has become a kind of cheap grace. In our schools, every test gets a star, every assembly gets a “participation cer … [Read more...]

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The Audacity of Wonder – UPDATED

Illustration Source)Over at First Things, my Tuesday Column is looking at our mania for credentials and how it closes doors, narrows minds and holds wonder at arms length:He has authored over a dozen books, written a syndicated newspaper column and countless essays and articles covering a broad range of subjects—sports, politics, mobsters, union thugs, cultural touchstones, booze, and blades of grass—all of it written in a smart, literate voice of the casual sophisticate who takes his sub … [Read more...]

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