Nerves as raw as meat in a butcher’s window

Do you know that quote? It’s from My Fair Lady, when, after months of agony, Eliza & Professor Higgins are draped late at night in the library, Higgins still insisting, “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain!” Eliza moans, “I can’t! I can’t! I’m so tired. I’m so tired.” #084: When noise rubs nerves raw That’s how I felt yesterday. In fact, that’s how I got to thinking about this quote and scene. I was loading the dishwasher, … Read More

Choosing Conviviality or Perpetuating a Pity Party?

Is happiness an emotion reserved for those who have an easy life? Right now I have a child who thinks happiness is a life without math fact drill pages. And, he’s onto something that misery is dragging one’s feet and taking three hours to do what should take one three minutes. However, cause and effect might be different than his perception. The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but liking what one has to do. — … Read More

Review: Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry – Simply Convivial

Originally read & written in 2010. My rating: 4 of 5 stars Library. Somehow, Berry makes you feel affection for all mankind, even those who aren’t likable and maybe even those who are wicked but especially for those who are foolish — which is each one of us. CH067: Thoughts on Jayber Crow and Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry If you ever want to get a sense for what it should be like to be the Body of Christ, a … Read More

Review: Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry – Simply Convivial

My rating: 5 of 5 stars Library. Audio (Overdrive). Hannah Coulter is a first-person narrative beginning with Hannah’s childhood in the Depression through her old age in the new millennium, living her life in agrarian Kentucky. Hannah’s voice was gentle, loving, humble, yet ironic and frank as well. CH067: Thoughts on Jayber Crow and Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry It is a story of community, loss, love, land, work, and “living right on.” Times changed so dramatically and so rapidly … Read More

Defining Education: What makes education classical

Originally posted in 2007 So, what is education? What is it this task that I have signed up for? I’ve been collecting quotes on the topic for several years; when viewed together they paint an inspiring yet daunting picture. All bolding is my own doing, italicizations are original. EDUCATION – The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, … Read More

Review: Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and NOT Be Overwhelmed – Simply Convivial

Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and NOT Be Overwhelmed by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters is a short (less-than-100-pages), grace-filled book on using our time wisely. At first blush, when encountering their premise, it might seem like the book will be either a guilt trip or a demanding book: We can actually do all that God has called us to do. […] We can accomplish everything God has ordained for us to do in this life. And … Read More

Seven Laws of Teaching Your Own: Law of Review & Application

Throughout my reading of The Seven Laws of Teaching by John Milton Gregory, I noted verbs he used as synonymous with teaching – kindle, give success, glow with truth, guide – as well as adjectives that he uses to describe good teachers – warmhearted, enthusiastic, skillful, sympathizing. In Gregory’s ideal, a teacher will stand at the spiritual gateways of his pupil’s mind. summon the minds to their work. guide them into the right paths to be followed. excite the minds … Read More

Seven Laws of Teaching Your Own: Law of the Learning Process – Simply Convivial

What is a teacher? What is teaching? According to Gregory, the art of education — that is, teaching — is two-fold: Teaching is the art of training. Teaching is leading the students into paths of physical, mental, and moral fitness. Teaching is the art of instructing. Teaching stimulates a love of learning and forms habits of independent study. Thus, a successful teacher is working himself out of his position. He is moving his pupils not into but out of dependence … Read More

Seven Laws of Teaching Your Own: Law of the Teaching Process – Simply Convivial

Learning operates upon fundamental principles, and unless we know them and follow them, we cannot teach. Gregory writes: Like all the great laws of nature, these laws of teaching seem clear and obvious; but like other fundamental truths, their simplicity is more apparent than real. Each law varies in its application with varying minds and persons, although remaining constant in itself. […] These laws and rules apply to the teaching of all subjects in all grades, since they are the … Read More

Seven Laws of Teaching Your Own: Law of the Lesson – Simply Convivial

One statement from the book that I think summarizes his view well was this: “The work of education, contrary to the common understanding, is much more the work of the pupil than of the teacher.” Gregory’s goal is neatly contained in this paragraph from his introduction: The teacher with these clearly in view will observe more easily and estimate more intelligently the real progress of his pupils. He will not be content with a dry daily drill which keeps his … Read More

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