Sunday, November 06, 2005

two lovely bits of spam just now from Stipulates V. Meadowlark and Decode B. Picketed ... at least they keep us mildly entertained

posted at 2:02 PM

ach ... i fear amazon has updated & is leaving my bowser ... IE 5.1 for Mac ... in the dust ... grrrr ... just as paypal has ...

posted at 10:36 AM


posted at 9:04 AM

 

Saturday, November 05, 2005

lately intrigued by jordan's reading, playing with, around, about a book called the travels of sir john mandeville ... medieval fiction ... producing what seems to me a curious exotic/ism ... blurred .. obscured ... and suggestive of any number of new trips taken through old texts ...

posted at 11:16 AM

about a month ago, one of my seniors posted this thought on class discussion board ...

You know what's awesome about Brother Tom's class: he doesn't really enforce reading! You can read ahead, be way behind, or whatever. (Of course, you want to keep up so you know what people are talking about the next day in class.) He gives us deadlines, but doesn't quiz us like former teachers have. And you know what? I have found that I have enjoyed more books this year than I have all other years at Carmel combined. I read to the deadlines, but I don't feel pressure. And it is pressure that makes us read carelessly and impatiently.

i'm thinking about this now because over this past week i've felt compelled to begin that enforcement of reading ... it became clear to me that many students were very far behind in the reading ... of tess of the d'urbervilles ... and this was making discussion impossible ...

is there such a thing as human nature ... which will always take the easiest path ... i don't know ... but we do ... don't we ... my students had "de-prioritized" this work for the class ... they all had their reasons ... but it came down to "i don't have to do this because there are no consequences for not doing it" ... so ... to my sorrow ... i have begun to provide some consequences ...

sorrow ... because i think that the student's insight about the bad effects of pressure on reading is fairly accurate ... i've felt it myself ... and it lies behind so many other student comments about how they'd like to re-read this or that book again on their own ... when they could take the time to really think about it ... i don't think the problem lies with my intense reading list for the course so much as the school context itself ... there's always "too much" going on ... how can any of us carve out enough solitude to attend to what's really important ... we just don't have it ... and don't know how to get it

posted at 10:16 AM

i've only just learned about Mehmet Tarhan ... a turkish conscientious objector ... what i'm reading about him and by him resonates with much that was happening in this country some thirty years ago ... i'm sometimes blind and deaf to the struggle for peace and sanity that never ends (but only seems to when one's own tiny part of reality calms down) ... blessings on mehmet tarhan ...

Conscientious objection may be founded on various things, but in its essence, it is the freedom of people to organize their lives towards their own wishes. Total objection roughly means refusing any "civil" alternatives that may be suggested in place of military service. The reason for this is that, by militarism, the total objector does not only imply army service, but the entire web of hierarchical and discriminatory relationships that lie in the core of social life and relationships.

go here for recent good news

posted at 9:52 AM

But for kids, all you have to do is bring them here and let them feel uneven turf beneath their feet, taste a freshly picked vegetable, plant a seed. They understand instantly and without words.

posted at 9:02 AM

 

Friday, November 04, 2005

David Orr - What Is Education For?

It is a matter of no small consequence that the only people who have lived sustainably on the planet for any length of time could not read, or, like the Amish, do not make a fetish of reading. My point is simply that education is no guarantee of decency, prudence, or wisdom. More of the same kind of education will only compound our problems.

posted at 7:10 PM

 

Thursday, November 03, 2005

and today shows up The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch ... which may contain more energy than any standard bookshelf can bear ... head to head with Frank's big green tomestone ... side by side ... i'm looking forward to losing myself in there ...

posted at 12:55 PM

 

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

it's not rain ... just wind in the leaves ...

three new books ...

wendell berry's latest ... The Way of Ignorance ...

Some readers, I am afraid, will conclude from the title that I intend to recommend ignorance or praise it. I intend to do neither.

the norton Tempest ... with that singular footnote ... patrick: you the man ...

Jazz ABZ ... "an a to z collection of jazz portraits" ... poems by wynton marsalis ... pictures by paul rogers ... a rich, beautiful book ... something to see and think about and almost hear everywhere you look ...

Mingus makes mad, majestic, mind-boggling music.

Mystic mulatto music on matter-of-factly marked manuscript.

posted at 9:53 PM

 

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

this morning ... a note from my pal amy ...

I am at Panera, hogging their wireless internet, and I tried to visit your site.

Look at the error message I got!

Brother Tom! I didn't know you visited the dark side!!!!




what can i say ... it's nice to be (thought) naughty (even if by some misguided cyber-spook) ... but for the record ... i am not a cult ... and the only occult relations i have are between me and my vegetables ...

posted at 7:00 PM

The Prince of Wales ...

How wonderful it would be to see even more South Devon and Red Devon cattle in the fields, as well as increased numbers of our indigenous sheep breeds, such as the Exmoor, the Grey-faced Dartmoor, ­ incidentally, very good for mutton, I hear! ­ the Devon Closewool and the Dorset Downs which have immense value and look after themselves. I don't know if you have heard about my attempt to make a mutton renaissance.

posted at 3:34 PM

 

Monday, October 31, 2005

William Hutt takes final bow ... via wood s lot

posted at 4:03 PM

since it's halloween why not investigate the singular ghosts of Stephen Vincent?

posted at 3:56 PM

some sad news today of the deaths of two good men ... both in their own ways salt of the earth ...

mr. tony manfre ... who taught and coached here at carmel for quite a few years ... who despite his physical problems in his later days at school always had a kind word and some encouragement for anyone ...

and fr. simon kenny ... who as principal at mt. carmel high school in houston throughout my nine years there gave me the courage to become whatever good part of a teacher i am today ... and who fully lived his understanding that whatever we may be as teachers, administrators, carmelites, priests, and brothers we must first of all be good human beings ...

may they rest in peace

posted at 12:14 PM

from thomas merton ...

In a spiritual crisis of the individual, the truth and authenticity of the person's spiritual identity are called into question. He is placed in confrontation with reality and judged by his ability to bring himself into a valid and living relationship with the demands of his new situation. In the spiritual, social, historic crises of civilizations ­ and of religious institutions ­ the same principle applies. Growth, survival and even salvation may depend on the ability to sacrifice what is fictitious and unauthentic in the construction of one's moral, religious or national identity. One must then enter upon a different creative task of reconstruction and renewal. This task can be carried out only in the climate of faith, of hope and of love: these three must be present in some form, even if they amount only to a natural belief in the validity and significance of human choice, a decision to invest human life with some shadow of meaning, a willingness to treat other men as other selves.

from Faith and Violence, by Thomas Merton. University of Notre Dame Press; Notre Dame, Indiana. 1968.

posted at 12:00 PM

not only is today Halloween ...

and Reformation Day ... (may all my protestant pals have a good one) ...

BUT ...


posted at 7:38 AM

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