Thursday, April 3, 2014

Just Call Me a Curator


A Curator of Randomness.

That’s it!!

The above picture is one of my favorite family pictures. Levi was almost 4 and Luke was 1 and a half. This is the “no-hair” stage of our family.

Words, Questions, and Music

::  Blessings and Symbols by Andrew Kern @ CiRCE (Brilliant look into the nature of words. Be sure to read to the end.)

“I love the way another person can possess an amazing insight in his own soul and, by embodying it in a collection of sound-signs (what we call words), he can give me eyes to see the same thing: at least, if I am ready.”

“Using words we can bond and bless, or we can break apart and curse.”

::  ‘A Holy Curiosity’: We Can Vastly Improve Education By Teaching This One Skill @ Cognoscenti

“What have we been missing in all the debates about education reform? The question.”

I’ve been thinking much about asking questions. I am, by nature, a “formula” person rather than a “question” person. My husband and oldest son, on the other hand, question everything. Everything.

Dorothy Sayers addresses in The Mind of the Maker the “formula” or “problem/solution” obsession that society seems to have.

“The detective problem summons us to the energetic exercise of our wits precisely in order that, when we have read the last page, we may sit back in our chairs and cease thinking. So does the cross-word. So does the chess-problem…The struggle is over and finished with and now we may legitimately, if we like, cease upon the midnight with no pain. The problem leaves us feeling like that because it is deliberately designed to do so. Because we can, in this world, achieve so little, and so little perfectly, we are prepared to pay good money in order to acquire a vicarious sensation of achievement. The detective-novelist knows this, and so do the setters of puzzles. And the schoolboy, triumphantly scoring a line beneath his finished homework, is thankful that he need not…inquire into the subsequent history of A, B, and C. But this is the measure, not of the likeness between problems in detection and problems in life, but of the unlikeness. For the converse is also true; when they are done with, they are dead.”


And so I am slowly learning to ask questions and accept the tension of the unknown.

In the aptly named book The Question, Leigh Bortins spends more than 200 pages on the topic of asking questions (complete with model questions). Questions of definition, comparison, relationship, circumstance, and testimony (Aristotle’s five common topics)—across all academic subjects. If one needs inspiration or direction to feed the spirit of inquiry, this book is a great start. It is thoroughly grounded in practical application, but here is a taste of the inspirational:

“Contentment in questions and mysteries seems to irk the world.”

“I wonder if it was because she had been trained to write down the correct answer and for some discussions there are no correct answers, only very interesting questions.”

“How do you know what questions to ask if there are not copious amounts of ideas in your head?”

“Humans long for relationship, and thinking together in an interesting way about hard things is very rewarding.”

“They limit the questions, so they limit the answers.”

“Here is the problem with teaching a populace to ask questions: they ask questions.”

“Remember, the trouble about learning to ask questions is that you’ll ask questions. No more accepting the status quo. No more doing what you are told. Know thyself, and be prepared for a life of conflict. C.S. Lewis called man “a glorious ruin.” The more questions we ask, the more ruins we will find in need of repair. But the entire adventure is glorious.”

[Another fantastic question resource for literature is the Teaching the Classics Seminar Syllabus, which includes pages of Socratic discussion questions.]


The boys have been learning about composers and the instruments of the orchestra in Classical Conversations during the past few weeks, and someone shared links to the following videos. The filming is fantastic, and we loved watching them, so I thought I would share.




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