I find this sort of thing motivating. Shout outs to Bill and Helen Reeves and Joe and Jill Wolfskill:
Echo chambers abound. In other words, on Facebook and Twitter you “gather” with like-minded people who confirm your entrenched views.
Funny name that Facebook. There is no real face to face interaction and “gathering” or connecting is all virtual. Real person to person interaction has gone the way of the Dodo bird!
Great pooling of ignorance. Yes, there are thoughtful people on both Facebook and Twitter, but there are many more who are ignorant, and a large percentage seem not to know it!
The ancient Greeks said that to “learn is to suffer.” Real learning usually means we have to unlearn something that we believed to be true. This rarely happens, though I know of a few examples like the Westboro Baptist woman who realized via social media that her views were wrong. But these kinds of examples are rare, very rare. Probably not wise to build a case for something based on rare examples.
Let’s say you spend twenty minutes a day on Facebook and /or Twitter. That adds up to a little over 120 hours per day. Now think what you could do with 120 extra hours!
Some books are long, but relative to their length you don’t benefit much. Some books are short, but relative to their length you benefit greatly. Joseph Clair’s new book, On Education, Formation, Citizenship and the Lost Purpose of Learning fits in the latter category.
In 120 pages Clair gives a crisp and thoughtful account of how higher education has lost its moral rudder. To make his case, Clair uses the always insightful and relevant, Bishop of Hippo: Augustine.
Instead of simply detailing the problem, Clair offers some suggestive and practical antidotes. I will mention just one as it is similar to something I’ve been thinking about. Clair mentions that teacher training ought to consider learning from “demanding vocations for inspiration and guidance—for example, Navy Seals, Jesuits, professional athletics—where a sense of identity and purpose provide a strong team spirit and where the results of a shared effort are judged on the basis of the whole community’s performance.”
There was one thing that made me reticent to recommend this book: the cost. That has now been rectified due to being out in a reasonable paperback.
“The letter to the Times is indicative indeed of a much wider problem in our intellectual culture, namely, the tendency to avoid real argument and to censor what makes us, for whatever reason, uncomfortable. On many of our university campuses this incarnates itself as a demand for “safe spaces,” where students won’t feel threatened by certain forms of speech or writing. For the first time in my life, I agreed with Richard Dawkins who recently declared on Twitter, ‘A university is not a “safe space”. If you need a safe space, leave, go home, [and] hug your teddy…until [you are] ready for university.'”
I have observed the following on many occasions.
A son or daughter grows up in a Christ-professing home. Sadly, the parents have not availed themselves of opportunities to grow in their own understanding of the Christian faith. They can’t interact or answer any of the objections to Christianity that increasingly nag Johnny and Sally.
Johnny and Sally go off to college. They abandon their Christian upbringing.
The parents add to their sorrow with the misguided notion that their kiddo abandoned the faith due to “liberal professors.”
A surprisingly potent technique can boost your short and long-term recall – and it appears to help everyone from students to Alzheimer’s patients.
Adam Sorenson graduated number one in 2017 from the University of Virginia law school. Here is his secret for getting stellar grades:
“I can tell you what worked for me, but it comes with the caveat that I know plenty of brilliant and successful people who had completely different approaches. I preferred handwriting my class notes because it helped me retain the information. I made my own study materials rather than use other people’s outlines or hornbooks because it was the process of distilling my class notes, not the end product itself, that I found useful. And I tried to write short exams because I am a terribly slow typist and I found that communicating good arguments clearly was more important than packing in every attenuated bit of analysis I could think of.”
The rest is here:
First, bombard a notepad (find a good one) with my favorite black pen (links provided).
I am taking down anything I see, questions I have, possible connections, illustrations, etc.
Second, cross off those things that start to go in the first draft.
Third, tighten and edit first draft.
Fourth, make final draft.
Fifth, practice several times in bathroom with fan on so as not disturb my wife’s own studies. I asked if she could hear me downstairs and she said the neighbors could! That’s good!