A Teacher on Teaching

Posted April 28, 2017 By John C Wright

I thought this comment merited its own guest post:

Teachers having been bearing the brunt of criticism for educational policies that they did not want nor create. Yes there are bad teachers, just like in any profession, but as one I can testify that the majority really care about kids and want to teach them.There is a huge gap between the idealism they learn in college vs. the politics that go on once they get hired to teach at a school. They spend so much time data collecting to justify their performance to the admin. If a student is at risk at failing, its the teacher on trial, and not the parents, the poverty, the poor attendance, the sexual activity, the drug use, bullying, gangs, undiagnosed learning disability, teen peer pressure, teen angst, addiction to texting and cell phone, lack of any sense of courtesy or self-control, and many more issues beyond the teacher’s control. It’s tough to engage a child who carries adult baggage into class everyday.Then there is the “Silver bullet” initiative of the month foisted upon teachers from top down by so-called experts who claim it will effectively educate and engage students—90% of such initiatives which are nothing more than publicity stunts that fade away after a year or two.
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Not Tired of Winning Yet XVII

Posted April 26, 2017 By John C Wright

Trump to pull Feds out of K-12 education.

http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2017/03/trump_signs_law_to_undo_obama.html

President Donald Trump signed bills Monday (March 27) overturning two Obama-era education regulations, continuing the Republican majority’s effort to undo key pieces of the previous administration’s legacy.

Trump’s move scraps new requirements for programs that train new K-12 teachers and rolls back a set of rules outlining how states must carry out the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan federal law meant to hold schools accountable for student performance. In a signing ceremony at the White House Monday, the president hailed the measures for “removing an additional layer of bureaucracy to encourage freedom in our schools.”

Leaders of the Republican majority claimed that the accountability rules represented an executive overreach by former president Barack Obama.

Words fall mute before such joy.

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Superluminary, Episode 50, My Lord and Monster

Posted April 26, 2017 By John C Wright

Superluminary, Episode 50, My Lord and Monster, is posted on Patreon:

Episode 50 My Lord and Monster

In this exciting episode, Aeneas Tell finds himself in a world without light, in a torture chamber throneroom of a mad and power-mad uncle. Treason breaks into the open.

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Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” Writing Advice

Posted April 25, 2017 By John C Wright

Here is what I would have done differently had I been the head writer for Disney’s dull and dispirited feminist morality play BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, which is a parody remake of their animated masterpiece of the same name.

Instead of having Gaston and the villagers arriving to kill the Beast, I would have had the Beast remember his princely upbringing and manners, and offered all of them gracious hospitality, and a feast. At the height of the festivities, the menfolk boast of the obedience of their wives, and Gaston entreats the three Bimbettes to come to him. They send a saucy and insolent reply. The Beast then commands Belle to come, and she comes immediately, dragging the other women with her.

With flashing eyes, bosom heaving, she upbraids the disobedient wives with the following speech:

Fie, fie, unknit that threat’ning unkind brow
And dart not scornful glances from those eyes
To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor.
It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads,
Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds,
And in no sense is meet or amiable.
A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty,
And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee
And for thy maintenance; commits his body
To painful labor both by sea and land,
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
Whilst thou li’st warm at home, secure and safe;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks, and true obedience–
Too little payment for so great a debt.
Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
And not obedient to his honest will,
What is she but a foul contending rebel
And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
I am ashamed that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace,
Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
Whey they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
But that our soft conditions and our hearts
Should well agree with our external parts?
Come, come, you froward and unable worms,
My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
My heart as great, my reason haply more,
To bandy word for word and frown for frown.
But now I see our lances are but straws,
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,
That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.

Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,
And place your hands below your husband’s foot,
In token of which duty, if he please,
My hand is ready, may it do him ease.

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Ugly and the Beast

Posted April 25, 2017 By John C Wright

A friend gave me a free ticket to see the live-action remake of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. I am glad I spent not one penny.

It was an abomination from stem to stern.

It was terrible. Save your money. Buy whiskey. Get drunk instead. You will have more fun vomiting into a porcelain toilet than watching this.

Everything that could be wrong with this film is wrong, with the sole exception of the set design, make-up, and special effects.

So seeing this film, with its perfect attention to the visual details, was like seeing some draw the Mona Lisa, adding a perfectly well drawn and anatomically correct pustule-dripping sore to her lip, with a swollen louse or tick sucking at it.

But let us give credit where credit is due. The Disney miracle makers have not lost their ability to make something splendid looking, with an astonishing eye to detail.

So this is a amazingly well-drawn picture of a beautiful lady with an amazingly well-drawn pustule-dripping sore curling her lips and showing her diseased gums.

Really, really well-drawn.

Usually, when I see a film that is visually amazing and appallingly bad, I tell people to watch it in a language unknown with the subtitles turned off. That would not save this one: the expressions, gestures, and movements of the character were wrong (except for the special effects characters who were tools and furniture. Their acting skills were good.)

Nothing else was good.

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Not Tired of Winning Yet XVI

Posted April 20, 2017 By John C Wright

Secret Science Reform Act!

This is so hard to believe, and so very much in the category of being too good to be true, that I may be premature by offering it as a cause for celebration.

Therefore, in the spirit of skepticism, allow me to blow the trumpet and fire the guns and hoist the flag and raise a tankard and summon the dancing girls and announce bear-baiting and fireworks merely because such a matter is being seriously discussed. Even if this falls through, this is a sign that the winds of change are bringing a storm.

I quote without comment from No Passara. All the words below are his:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may soon be required by federal law to base its policies on actual science

writes Benny Huang on the Constitution website

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Harry Potter and Modern Love

Posted April 20, 2017 By John C Wright

A comment on an earlier post sparked a reply I would like to share with my readers. On the topic of faith being the substance of things hoped, a reader with the regal but abbreviated name of Richard A writes:

“There’s no calculation. This isn’t a business transaction, where we’re constantly doing a cost/benefit analysis of continuing as we are.”

And that is exactly where all modern philosophy falls short, and harms those who study it, whereas scholastic and ancient philosophy flourished, and did good to those who study it: God in the Middle Ages, and the gods among the pagans, were not analyzed as if the topic were a scientific study or an economic transaction, weighed in terms of costs and benefits, or a calculus of uncertain probabilities.

Aristotle talked of happiness; Plato talked of love; Aquinas talked of joy.

Man’s relation to God is a love affair, a loyalty like that of steed to knight, knight to king, lover to beloved, child to father, friend to friend.

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Case For Christ in Theaters Now

Posted April 20, 2017 By John C Wright
Let me take the opportunity to recommend the movie CASE FOR CHRIST, which is based on the book by Lee Strobel.
As someone who lived for many years as an very atheistic atheist married to a very patient Christian, I saw my old self in the main character’s shoes, and was fascinated.
This is a solidly made high-quality production, not merely a lecture disguised as a story. The acting is good, the dialog is crisp and realistic, and, much to my pleasant surprise, the atheists and skeptical characters in the film make strong rather than weak points in defense of their position.
Too many stories with a Christian theme make this error. Not this one.

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Evidence of Things Unseen

Posted April 20, 2017 By John C Wright
I have a question about the verse of St. Paul’s that says faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.
Have these words have changed in the shades of their meaning since King Jame’s day and age?
The word substance these days means a tangible solid.
Now, speaking of the tangible property of things hoped for is an odd metaphor indeed, because future things by definition are not solid and weighty in one’s hands and before one’s eyes. Tomorrow hides them.
But I propose the word if translated into more modern cant would mean the property that makes tangible solids be solid or become solid.
If so, the verse is saying faith is what gives a solid and tangible weight of assurance to the things we hope a future hour (or future life) will bring. In our present hour, no future thing has yet arrived. The sad fact is that a mere intellectual knowledge of what we know will arrive, no matter how solid the assurance, to the fickle imagination, it will seem a figment, a wisp.

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Superluminary, Episode 49, The Battle of the Blue Hypergiant, is posted on Patreon:

Episode 49 The Battle of the Blue Hypergiant

In this exciting episode, the outnumbered and outmaneuvered livings worlds place hope in one desperate stratagem, but in vain. All light is quenched, disaster strikes, and the Emperor is missing.

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