The Force of Her Focus – UPDATED

Marks '10/Kris Snibble (Photosource)Readers may remember a post from the spring, featuring Mary Anne Marks, Harvard '10, and her salutatory address, given in Latin, with not a notecard in sight.In this interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez, you can feel the force of her focus; she is like a laser.The cry that the Church is a “dying, loser organization of sinners” echoes down the centuries; it rang out in Christ’s day, it rang out in Luther’s day, and it rings out in ours. The second part always … [Read more...]

Receiving Communion at Age 6?

Horrible Little Girl on a Great Day, Age 6There is a question being bandied about, thanks to A Cardinal's Musings::Children today are maturing so quickly and are exposed to so many different influences that it might be time to consider allowing them to prepare for and receive their first Communion even before their 7th birthdays, said the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments."A child's first Communion is like the beginning of a journey with Jesus, in communion … [Read more...]

Ken Howell Update

The other day I wrote of the firing of U of I's Ken Howell, who had taught “Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought“ and other courses on Catholic doctrine, understanding and reason:The Howell story, however, goes beyond grim: it tells us that a simple charge of thinking incorrect thoughts and encouraging others to also dare to think, even if one comes to a different conclusion (“All I ask as your teacher is that you approach these questions as a thinking adult . . .All I encou … [Read more...]

Out of Chaos, Hope

Real hope, not rhetorical hope. This is very encouraging. How adorable are these kids? I love the teacher who suggests that kids have a right to express to their teacher their dissatisfaction with the teacher's efforts.The teacher's unions are going to hate this:Do read Ed Morrissey for more on this subject … [Read more...]

Happy 4th, or, umm…UPDATES

When I was in elementary school, the typical class had 52 students, with one nun in charge of getting information into our heads.The public schools had a better student-to-teacher ratio, but outside of religion the courses were the same, and they included a quaint little class called "civics."Civics class taught you things like: when, how and why America was formed. What the Declaration of Independence was; what the Constitution said, and the origination of the Bill of Rights. We learned … [Read more...]

Beautiful & Sad and all too true

Joseph Bottum tells a too true story:There are some real championship athletes on the rodeo circuit, and she wasn’t that. But she was good enough to get a minor riding scholarship to a school off on the other side of the state, joining the rodeo team of one of those big land-grant state universities that engulf midwestern and western towns. And she lasted less than a year. Three, four, maybe five months before she dropped out and turned up at home again, pregnant.Not pretty enough to be a r … [Read more...]

Busybodies intrude on childhood friendship

Sometimes I wonder if "enlightened experts" ever had childhoods,. . . increasingly, some educators and other professionals who work with children are asking a question that might surprise their parents: Should a child really have a best friend? ... “I think it is kids’ preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that,” said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School … [Read more...]

The "Ghost" Radio & School Strangeness

Remember The Twilight Zone?Reader Mike sent this along,and it has all the makings of a great episode of that Rod Serling series:A 70-year-old radio at a Scottish heritage centre has been picking up vintage broadcasts featuring Winston Churchill and the music of Glen Miller.The Pye valve wireless at Montrose Air Station, a heritage centre that tells the story of the men and women who served there, has no power and is not connected to any source of electricity. [. . .]The vintage radio set … [Read more...]

Chris Christie on Teacher's Unions

John McCain only wishes he could have talked this straight:H/T AllahpunditMy best friend is a high school Social Studies teacher, and she is a great one. She is creative and curious and she brings out the creativity and curiosity of her students. She's hot for primary source documents, and she tries to meld historic and current events as springboards for her classes in economics, political science and the rest. She asks her students questions that force them to consider both sides of an … [Read more...]

In theory, it should be this easy…

...but we've been told for too long that without "nuance" (which too often becomes doublespeak) a politician can't exhibit sophistication of mind. And somehow, sophistication has been linked to competence. I think it's a false link.H/T Allahpundit who also has a transcribed excerpt of an exchange between Christie and a public school teacher. Nuanced, it was not.I am all for good teachers being well-paid, but I also think tenure needs to be re-examined and perhaps re-defined. There has … [Read more...]