This looks great! I’d encourage everyone to read these as they are produced. This is our history. There’s so much to profit from as we hear about the lives of saints in another age … and they’re short :).
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.’ …
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 involves 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.
While this article speaks particularly to Classical education and not Classical & Christian education, there is still much in it of value.
In the fourth chapter, “Behind the Drill: Latin,” Bekah moves on to individual subjects and components of a C&C education, beginning with Latin:
“As you expand your vocabulary, you’re learning much more than lists of words. You’re learning about the universe.
You’re parsing feelings, sensations, actions, categories … You are broadening your mind. This is why studying foreign languages is so good — it expands the benefit of vocabulary study exponentially …
In the second chapter, Bekah Merkle uses the analogy of a puzzle. A student is given a large puzzle with lots of pieces and told to put it together. Students at C&C schools and typical government schools are given the same pieces but only the C&C students are given the box with the picture on it as well. C&C students have a grid, or worldview, in which to understand all the facts … to determine which to reject and which to keep and where to put the pieces you keep. Without the box, the puzzle is an almost impossible challenge as you’re left with lots of disconnected pieces and no picture of the finished product to guide you.
In the third chapter, she switches the analogy to a map and then uses an athletic analogy to hammer home her point. Here are some excerpts from Chapter 3:
There are a number of reasons why the Ivy League schools are no longer a desirable destination for your children and this author cites a number of them. Like a lot of authors, his diagnosis of the problem is accurate but his prescription to address is not nearly as good as the diagnosis. Of course, much of the attitude he describes reaches beyond parents/students seeking an Ivy League education and his criticism hits home in these cases as well.
Bekah Merkle has written a short book titled, “Classical Me Classical Thee.” She writes as the product of a C&C education to current students in C&C schools with the intention of helping them understand the “Why” behind C&C education. This is a short book, 99 pages, but should be read by students and parents alike. She does a great job of covering lots of bases in an easy-to-read, winsome book.
I’m planning to post several excerpts to both whet your appetite and to communicate the gist of her message. Here’s the first from Chapter Two: