Sunday, November 06, 2005
bits of spam just now from Stipulates V. Meadowlark and Decode
B. Picketed ... at least they keep us mildly entertained
i fear amazon has updated & is leaving my bowser ... IE 5.1 for
Mac ... in the dust ... grrrr ... just as paypal has ...
Saturday, November 05, 2005
intrigued by jordan's
reading, playing with, around, about
a book called the
travels of sir john mandeville
... producing what seems to me a curious exotic/ism
... blurred .. obscured ... and suggestive of any number of new
trips taken through old texts ...
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
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
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
just learned about Mehmet
... 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.
for recent good news
Friday, November 04, 2005
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
Thursday, November 03, 2005
shows up The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch
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 ...
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
rain ... just wind in the leaves ...
new books ...
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.
... 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.
mulatto music on matter-of-factly marked manuscript.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
... 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 ...
Prince of Wales
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
Monday, October 31, 2005
it's halloween why not investigate the singular ghosts of Stephen Vincent
news today of the deaths of two good men ... both in their own
ways salt of the earth
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
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
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,
is today Halloween
... (may all my protestant pals have a good one) ...BUT ...
t j b l
u g archive
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