Cold and Comfort, Disquiet at the Disparity

It’s one of those days where I realize just how fortunate I am.  The wind is pretty wild here in Krum and the temperature dropped well into the freezing range overnight.  It’s projected to be bitterly cold here tonight. I personally welcome the cold weather.  I sleep better, and also appreciate the necessity of extended cold for the sake of yard and garden. I am also not poor.  I live in a reasonably well-insulated house with a good heating system, have warm enough clothes, a car with a good heater, and plenty of blankets. No reason not to enjoy this. But I’ve…

Hollow Be My Name

Fatigue wrapped its ugly arms around me earlier today–the worst I’ve experienced since starting my Sabbatical. Think it came from a weekend spent in the Cotswolds where I had a wonderful time reconnecting with a beloved nephew and his family and saw glorious countryside–and parts of New College Oxford where scenes from Harry Potter are filmed.  But . . . I completely lost the rhythm of walking/reading/writing that had characterized my days recently and that had led to such a sense of physical and spiritual well-being. My best recourse when I reach this point is to move.  This body is made for…

The Small Stuff

I saw this intriguing article over the weekend.  The writer speaks of a charter school in Chicago where the students must pay a fine for violating even the smallest rules.  Here’s how the atmosphere at the school is described: A sense of order and decorum prevails at Noble Street College Prep as students move quickly through a hallway adorned with banners from dozens of colleges. Everyone wears a school polo shirt neatly tucked into khaki trousers. There’s plenty of chatter but no jostling, no cellphones and no dawdling. This is an urban school–and urban schools in Chicago have nearly daily fights breaking…

Education, Yesterday and Today

I’ve seen this before, but it is making the rounds of the internet again.  It is a copy of the questions on the 8th grade exam given in Kentucky in 1912.  The questions are hard, and much is way beyond what is taught to our 8th graders today. The kind of math is also extremely practical for a farming, rural community. If they were to function in the world, young adults needed to know these things.  As for grammar and spelling–well done here! I’m personally appalled at the extreme lack of ability many high school graduates have  to express themselves properly in…