Link and Quotation: Louise Cowan on education

"...[J]ust as putting a Band-Aid on someone’s injured finger doesn’t make one a doctor, so giving direction in the normal skills and activities of daily living doesn’t make one a teacher. Schools have a unique purpose — the formation of citizens who are knowledgeable and wise enough to govern themselves.

And this is one of the things wrong with our educational philosophy. We’ve made teaching more like behavioral instruction (like the training of young animals) than the drawing out of noble aspects in rational and imaginative beings. We’ve neglected the elevating metaphors — those bundles of symbolic content revealing nobility that would otherwise remain hidden. We have become almost completely fact- and skill-centered, and our incessant testing is only one evidence of such reduction.

A teacher is not really needed for the mastery of facts and skills. To gain this sort of information something simply has to capture a student’s attention long enough for bits of data to sink in. A film, a cellphone, a game, an iPad — these are adequate vehicles for the acquisition of information and skills. And for almost a century now we have increasingly reduced education to this sort of robotic learning and are beginning, in all areas of our national life, to face the consequences. For facts are mere information, and skills are mere habits of behavior. Neither is necessarily related to principles and virtues needing to be instilled in our young if democracy is to survive. "

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Scene: Trader Joe's earlier today. An older man - mid 60s, I reckon - is standing behind the wine sample counter, an open bottle in front of him. I walk up.
Me: "Oooh! Samples! Can I have some?"
Him (scowling): "I'm gonna need to see some ID."
Me: *complies*
Sister: *hands ID too*
Him: *pours two cough-medicine-measuring-cups of a very bold red*
Me: *tastes* *starts to comment*
Him: *scowlscowl*
Sister: "Hmm."
Him: *looming, scowling*
Me, to guy: "Thanks!" *turns to walk away with a half-thimble remaining in the cough-medicine cup*
Sister: *follows*
Him: "You gotta stay here to drink it."
Us: "Oh."


Link and Quotation: On Homosexuality

"Both opposite-sex and same-sex love are used, in the Bible, as images of God's love. The opposite-sex love is found in marriage—sexually exclusive marriage, an image which recurs not only in the Song of Songs but in the prophets and in the New Testament—and the same-sex love is friendship. Both of these forms of love are considered real and beautiful; neither is better than the other. But they're not interchangeable. Moreover, Genesis names sexual difference as the only difference which was present in Eden. There were no racial differences, no age difference, no children and therefore no parents. Regardless of how literally you want to take the creation narratives, the Bible sets apart sexual difference as a uniquely profound form of difference. Marriage, as the union of man and woman, represents communion with the Other in a way which makes it an especially powerful image of the way we can commune with the God who remains Other. That's a quick and dirty summary, but it seems to me more responsive to the texts, more willing to defer to historical Christian witness, and more attuned to the importance and meaning of our bodies than most of the defenses I've read of Christian gay marriage."

For Sale: 17-opening Collage Frame $10

Has 9 spaces for 4x6 photos and 8 spaces for 3x5 photos. Originally $30 at Ross.
The cover is really thin plastic, so no risk of broken glass around little ones.

For Sale: TV $5

21" Philips CRT. It has a flat *screen*, but is definitely still a big box TV. It only has RCA inputs (the red/yellow/white jacks). Definitely old school. Comes with a remote that was, at some point in the past, acquainted with a dog. Everything works, though. Sometimes, when you push the power button on the TV, the channel goes up or down. That's pretty rare, though.