Sunday, March 11, 2007

Robert Frost on College Education

"What we do in college is to get over our little-mindedness. To get an education you have to hang around till you catch on."

- Robert Frost, as quoted in Jay Parini, The Art of Teaching (Oxford: 2005), 86.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Teaching from the Center

"Oddly enough, Dr. Brown was not a gifted performer in the classroom. He read from densely prepared lectures, rarely pausing to make a point stick, or changing the pitch of his voice. He would cough--or clear his throat with a husky rumble--every two minutes or so. This was wildly irritating. But his erudition and passion for literature and ideas were obvious, and students admired him, even worshipped him. The main lesson I learned from this important teacher was that content matters more than anything else. You cannot fake the substance of a course, and must always teach from the center of your material, trusting the material to carry the class forward, to stimulate the students. . . . I have always used the memory of Edward Brown as a way of reminding myself to stick with the core intellectual content of each class, and let the truth and beauty of the material carry its own weight. In some ways, the best teachers are those who step aside, letting the subject dominate, letting it shimmer. This takes skill and faith, but it remains the only way to succeed as a teacher." - Jay Parini, The Art of Teaching (Oxford University Press, 2005), 23-24.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

More from Jeremy Taylor

He loves virtue for God's sake and its own that loves and honours it wherever it is to be seen; but he that is envious or angry at a virtue that is not his own, at the perfection or excellency of his neighbour, is not covetous of the virtue, but of its reward and reputation; and then his intentions are polluted. - Jeremy Taylor, The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living (1649), 28.

For more on Jeremy Taylor see, the source of the attached photo.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Moving like Pharaoh's Chariots

But he that does his recreation or his merchandise cheerfully, promptly, readily, and busily, and the works of religion slowly, flatly, and without appetite; and the spirit moves like Pharaoh's chariots when the wheels were off; it is a sign that his heart is not right with God, but it cleaves too much to the world.

- Jeremy Taylor, The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living (1649). This edition: Cleveland: World, 1956, p. 26.