Classical Me Classical Thee (Part 8)

Chapter 10 is titled, “Behind the Drill: History”

“The goal of studying history is not simply to exercise your memorizing muscle, pooling up historical facts the same way you might memorize the birthdates of all the players in the NFL — perhaps impressive but ultimately pointless.

The point of history is to teach you to be like the men of Issachar ‘who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do’ (1 Chron. 12:32). And the reason history is so important is that we are actually all characters in a story. What happens in chapter 13 is intricately connected to the things that happened in chapters 1-12 …

But hopefully you’ll come away from your years of history having a very basic and generally clear map in your head, beginning with the Garden of Eden and working its way down to twenty-first century America. You’ll know how the empires fit together. You’ll know whom the Persians conquered and who conquered the Persians, and how that sets the stage for which parts of the Old Testament. You’ll know where the greatest minds of history popped up on that basic timeline. And, importantly, you’ll also know how to dig and find out more. You’ll know how to ask the right questions, and you’ll know that cultural phenomena never just arise out of thin air. You’ll know how to begin to trace the thread back to something earlier, and how to identify causes and effects where other people only see chaos.

And, ultimately, this sort of wisdom will help you navigate all the decisions of your daily life: the little mundane things like which Facebook stories you click ‘like’ on, and which political candidates you decide to support, and how you process the evening news.”

Classical Me Classical Thee (Part 7)

Chapter 9 is titled, “Behind the Drill: The Maths and All That”

“However, you are being taught that the world functions according to strict, predictable, constant, mathematical rules because God made it that way, and it’s an expression of His character and goodness — and meanwhile the public schools are busily teaching that this math thing just sort of happened after a lot of gases randomly exploded and stuff sort of settled into a routine. (I’m not exaggerating.) This difference of perspective doesn’t really change how the math works, but it does fundamentally change how you view it …

If you study math and see it as a reflection of your Creator — as the work of an artist with love and intentionality behind it — then you view math completely differently than someone who believes everything we see is the result of blind chance

Continue reading “Classical Me Classical Thee (Part 7)”

Classical Me Classical Thee (Part 6)

Chapter 8 is titled, “Beyond the Drill: Worldview Analysis”

“You’ve studied enough history and enough literature by now to realize that gifted, educated, persuasive people can change the world for good or for ill. Adolph Hitler, George Washington, Walt Whitman, George Whitfield, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau all set the world ablaze in one way or another.

‘Changing the world’ is not necessarily a positive thing in itself. Everything depends, obviously, on which direction that change is headed.

So, yes, your teachers want you to go out and change the world … but not just in any old direction. They want you to be anchored, to know who your people are, to fight for the right causes, to be wise, and to leave the world a better place than you found it …

I hope your school isn’t measuring its success based on how many you get into the Ivy League or become lawyers or doctors. They want something much more, much bigger than that. They want to see you go out into the world with your loyalties intact; they want to see you stand for the right things, and fight for the right things, and persuade others of the right things, everywhere you go throughout your life. They want to see you ‘enchant the souls’ of all who come into contact with you as you display the beauty of the gospel in a full-orbed and robust Christian worldview. They want you to know what you think and why you think it and be able to winsomely explain it to others. They want to see you leave a mark on the world …

If you think of logic and Latin as putting a sharp edge on your blade, and literature and rhetoric as giving you the skills necessary to fight effectively, then all the worldview training is pointing you in the right direction and helping you figure out who are allies and who are enemies and how and when you should fight which people. An understanding of the Christian worldview is by far the most important thing your school can give you — because a not-so-talented soldier who earned a C- in everything, fighting for the right side, is by far to be preferred over a super ruthless and gifted general fighting for the wrong side.”

Classical Me Classical Thee (Part 5)

I’m going to combine the next 2 chapters into one post covering Logic & Rhetoric:

“Unfortunately many grown people in America couldn’t think their way out of a brown paper bag. They can’t connect one thought to another because they’ve never been shown how to do it, and this means they will fall for all kinds of nonsense. They are like a person with no immune system — they’ll catch whatever bug is going around …

That’s what your study of logic has been. You’ve been taught what cheating looks like in a line of argument, you’ve been taught how to spot it, and hopefully you’ll become the kind of person who doesn’t fall for it. Your classical education is a lot like self defense. In the marketplace of ideas there are many people who are going to try to mug you — and your teachers, your parents, and your school board are trying to give you the necessary skills to fight them off …

Continue reading “Classical Me Classical Thee (Part 5)”

Classical Me Classical Thee (Part 4)

Bekah continues on from Latin to look at Literature ..

“You are being taught to answer the question, ‘What does it mean?’ and that is a fundamentally different question than ‘What does this mean to you?’

I know this seems absurd, but as you graduate and head off to college and into the workplace, your ability to answer basic factual questions about what someone else is saying — whether they are saying it in person or in print — will actually seem to many other people, as I’ve said, like a superpower. I’m not even kidding. Our modern educational system has focused so much on the question, ‘What does this mean to you?’ and has insisted for so long that there are no wrong answers to this question that many people are absolutely unable to discern the difference between another person’s actual words and ‘thoughts I was thinking in my head while you were talking.’ …

Continue reading “Classical Me Classical Thee (Part 4)”

Approach Technology Like the Amish

Cal Newport is a very productive and wise author that has written a good bit to help others learn his “secrets” to productivity. He’s an advocate of “deep work”, work that involvesĀ sustained focus, time, and energy. He even wrote a book titled “Deep Work” to help others learn how to work in this way.

In this article, he looks at the Amish and their view of technology. It’s probably not what you think and there is definitely something for all of us to learn from the Amish.

Approach Technology Like the Amish