Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

27 February 2008

Great Books

I've had the good fortune of lecturing on Plato's Republic several times in the senior survey Philosophy class here at U of D Jesuit. For the number of times I've read the Republic, the book seems just as fresh and only slightly less enigmatic as the first time I opened it. The depth of insight is inexhaustible. Peter Kreeft once quipped, "a classic is like a cow, it always produces more milk," in which case the Republic is one of the most bovine of books.

Teaching is tiring work. At the end of the day I've found myself slipping into the unfortunate habit of settling down in the TV room and letting the images wash over me. As I walked by the TV room this evening intent on basking in the artificial glow, the dichotomy between the great book I've been teaching and what I was about watch struck me: a timeless classic versus largely vapid melodrama or strident analysis of current events. There are many classics I have yet to read, many great truths yet to be discovered. Perhaps life is too short merely to be easily entertained for the moment.

I don't mean to diminish the medium of television per se. There have been, are, and will be brilliant art and analysis through it. Yet I find my recourse to TV comes not from a desire for edification but from a desire for ease. I suspect the easy lessons of what I was going to watch are not worth learning.


13 February 2008


More paper grading...

My respect for good high school teachers grows by the day, especially on days when a mountain of papers comes in for me to grade. The need to incentivize learning by attaching a grade to it is rather distasteful but necessary, more necessary than I previously thought.

Thankfully next weekend is a four day weekend--a chance to get caught up.

In other news, Godspy has relaunched. "GodSpy’s mission is to show—through compelling, personal writing—that being a committed, believing, orthodox Christian is compatible with being a thinking, feeling, culturally engaged person of the twenty-first century." It's well worth a look.


05 February 2008

Joyeux Mardi Gras!

Happy Fat Tuesday to one and all.

I'm currently avoiding a stack of tests I need to grade while proctoring the learning center. The students are a bit lethargic today; they've been gorging themselves on Pazckis all morning and are now in a collective sugar coma. Before I came to Detroit I had no idea about Pazckis. They've a Polish pre-Lenten tradition, an extra unhealthy donut, if such a thing is possible. The idea was to use up all the lard, fat, etc... prior to lent. Presto! Pazckis.