Monday, December 28, 2015

When you're spending your Christmas break sitting in a library planning the next unit of Medieval history for your students while listening to Medieval instrumental music and you're actually enjoying doing all of this, you have to realize that you were probably always meant to be a teacher . ..

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"The lines [of Beowulf] do not go according to a tune. They are founded on a balance; an opposition between two halves of roughly equivalent phonetic weight, and significant content, which are more often rhythmically contrasted than similar. They are more like masonry than music" (30). 

Tolkien, J. R. R. "The Monsters and the Critics." The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays. London: Harper Collins, 2006. Print.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

In case Four Swans wasn't already one of the most challenging pieces of group work in all of ballet . . . 

video uploaded by: Renato Bezerra
dancers of: The Australian Ballet

Thursday, October 15, 2015

I went on a field trip yesterday. 
Not because I'm in a class, but because I'm the teacher and I planned the trip. 

And, I somehow managed to get all of the paperwork figured out and I think my students actually enjoyed (at least parts of) the trip. And, no one got hurt or lost. So, I'd say everything went okay. 

Also, my grandma packed my lunch and it was quite yummy. 

I like this middle world where I'm both a granddaughter and a teacher. 

That's all. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

"Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books. All contemporary writers share to some extent the contemporary outlook—even those, like myself, who seem most opposed to it. Nothing strikes me more when I read the controversies of past ages than the fact that both sides were usually assuming without question a good deal which we should now absolutely deny. They thought that they were as completely opposed as two sides could be, but in fact they were all the time secretly united—united with each other and against earlier and later ages—by a great mass of common assumptions. We may be sure that the characteristic blindness of the twentieth century—the blindness about which posterity will ask, "But how could they have thought that?"—lies where we have never suspected it, and concerns something about which there is untroubled agreement between Hitler and President Roosevelt or between Mr. H. G. Wells and Karl Barth. None of us can fully escape this blindness, but we shall certainly increase it, and weaken our guard against it, if we read only modern books. Where they are true they will give us truths which we half knew already. Where they are false they will aggravate the error with which we are already dangerously ill. The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books. Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes. They will not flatter us in the errors we are already committing; and their own errors, being now open and palpable, will not endanger us. Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction. To be sure, the books of the future would be just as good a corrective as the books of the past, but unfortunately we cannot get at them." 

~ C. S. Lewis, excerpt from "On the Reading of Old Books"

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Augustine considers the Neoplantonists influential in his journey to understanding the nature of God's presence and the nature of sin.

C. S.  Lewis describes the parallel ideas and their difference in motivation quite beautifully.

"Christians and Platonists both believe in an 'other' world . . . for a Plantonist the contrast is usually that between an original and a copy, between the real and the merely apparent. . . for a Christian, between the eternal and temporal, or the perfect and the partially spoiled. The essential attitude of Platonism is aspiring or longing . . . In Christianity, however, the human soul is not the seeker but the sought: it is God who seeks, who descends from the other world to find and heal Man; the parable about the Good Shepherd looking for and finding the lost sheep sums it up" (qtd. in Ryken 53). 

Ryken, Leland. Augustine's Confessions. Christian Guides to the Classics. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2015. Print.

p.s. Ryken's study guide has been so beneficial!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Also, this hair forecast for Maryland today is quite accurate. 

*courtesy of Poncho
I am reading Augustine's Confessions with my students.
Augustine's deep honestly, which leads to his deep awe of the Lord, is overwhelming.
I am fairly certain that, if I were allowed to highlight in the copy I am using to teach, I would highlight almost every sentence. It's probably better that I'm not allowed to highlight.

So, here is one of the many passages my students and I discussed today:

"You alone are the life which never dies and the wisdom which needs no light besides itself,
 but illumines all who need to be enlightened, 
the wisdom that governs the world down to the leaves that flutter on the trees" (140-141). 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Why should a young child take ballet? 

"The study of ballet will teach your child that things do not happen instantly. Hard work, focus, and dedication take time to show results. Doing things right - over and over again - is more important than doing a difficult movement once. The foundation is vital. If you don't have a solid foundation of technique you will struggle once you get to really dance . . . the same is true of life. "

~ Ballet Foundation

Thursday, July 16, 2015

"We need Christians to train their children and love their neighbors well. I think churches should consider building affordable schools for their community. Educating our families and communities guards the minds of our little ones, shows mercy to our neighbors, and shapes future generations of decision-makers in the family and in society. . . . Education will inevitably lead to change, for good or for bad. We should be thinking, praying, planning, and investing in how to teach children to think and feel and act for the glory of God."  

-Philip Holmes, excerpt from "Five Ways We Fight for Children"

Saturday, July 4, 2015

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"Prayer is a sincere, affectionate pouring out of the heart to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, according to his Word, for the good of the church, with submission in faith to the will of God." - John Bunyan

Friday, June 26, 2015

I'm reading a book with Caleb called One Thousand Gifts.
It's really quite beautiful and moving and convicting.
I would recommend it to everyone.
Mrs. Voskamp knows Scripture well and knows the gritty-ness of real life well.
She is raw and honest and deep and humble.
Also, on a mushy side note, I really love listening to Caleb read.
Anyway, here is a thought from chapter one.

"From all of our beginnings, we keep reliving the Garden story. Satan, he wanted more. More power, more glory. Ultimately, in his essence, Satan is an ingrate. And he sinks his venom into the heart of Eden. Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave.

Isn't that the catalyst of all my sins?

Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other" (Voskamp 15).

"Since we took a bite out of the fruit and tore into our own souls, that drain hole where joy seeps away, God's had this wild secretive plan.

He means to fill us with glory again" (Voskamp 17).

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"The promise of mercy is traceable throughout the Old Testament. Indeed, God has always had a disposition of kindness towards us. Before Adam and Eve sinned, God had determined to express love and mercy towards his people. There's nothing about sin that has ever changed his mind or altered his plan. And that plan, of course, finds its ultimate fulfillment in Christ." 
-Dave Harvey

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"Our greatest fear should not be of failure 
but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter." 
~Francis Chan

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I have finally finished four years of college and I am so excited to start the next chapter of life with this wonderful person by my side . . . I wouldn't want it any other way. 

Also, as obviously stated by the presence of this post, I'm going to attempt to start blogging a bit more regularly again . . . no promises, though.