Category: Education

Children Are (Hopefully) Not Our Future

Is this what all those tutors, lessons, sports, and camps, angst about toys, playtime, socialization and discipline, fights about homework, college prep, lectures about drugs and alcohol were about? Is all the money we pour into our little critters, all that time spent hovering over every detail of their lives, and all that driving — only intended to churn out another child’s personal assistant?

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There’s Not Enough Scotch in Tacoma, Part II.

But for many students, hearing that their writing is incoherent or overwrought, that their ideas are inconsistent, unsupportable, or trite; that they do not have the chops to go to medical school; or, in short, that they are not the brilliant insightful person they thought (or were led to believe) they were is as devastating and enraging as the news was to Oedipus.

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Never Go Back to the 20s.

My students are often dismayed when I announced that the worst is still in front of them. The teens, even with High School, adolescence, and hell of Jr. High (considered by many the worst time ever), is not the worst…

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A Graduation Address: “Simplify Your Life.” (A.k.a: Get a Divorce and Start Smoking).

Click-click-click. Tap-tap  … “Is this thing on?” “Okay, can you hear me back there? Check … one … two … check … check. Okay? Okay.” “Graduates: Today you can be justifiably proud. Your have learned to think more deeply, consistently,…

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Having the Last Word.

I thought that Classics would give me a way to explore the history of ideas and culture like one might explore a city like Rome or Istanbul: layers replacing layers, each new stratum utilizing, covering up, or rediscovering some of the rubble of what went before, each a hybrid of old and new. But finally, underneath it all, there would be relatively solid ground. Instead, I found a Venice: a city floating on pilings driven deep down into the unstable muck, its foundations slowly shifting and buckling, a stubborn and tragic testament to all that is both wonderful and wretched in humanity.

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