Category: Basics

Basics, Education

Learning to Read

The abysmal truth is that few read before or during college: “The desire to appeal to incoming students who have rarely if ever read an adult book on their own also leads selection committees to choose low-grade “accessible” works that are presumed to appeal to “book virgins” who will flee actual college-level reading. Since common …

Diet, Basics, Health

My GERD Experiment

I’ve mentioned before that I have a genetic bone disorder and have utilized my interpretation of scientific publications to self-experiment. This self-experimentation has had positive health results. Other times I have merely yielded knowledge about what does not help. For instance, I’ve had pretty bad acid reflux for the past few years. I recently discovered …

Basics, Dialectic, Education

On Why We Need Logic

John Henry Newman was talking about his own era, but his thoughts are relevant today: It were well if none remained boys all their lives; but what is more common than the sight of grown men, talking on political or moral or religious subjects, in that offhand, idle way, which we signify by the word …

Basics, Education, Intellectual Virtues, Pedagogy

How to pass any exam

I’ve told my students this exact advice so many times: Here are some posts I’ve written about serious study strategies: Lecture to the wall Thomas Aquinas on Memory Study Space The Bible’s Study Pattern  

Christian Mindset, Basics, Education, Mindset

Growth and Biblical Wisdom

Everybody has a self-theory, some hypothesis or doctrine about what/who they are. Some of these theories are simple sentences like, “I’m an athlete.” Others are more fundamental, like, “I’m worthless.” According to Carol Dweck and Daniel Molden, our self-theories lead directly to our self-esteem maintenance/repair strategies after we fail at a task or to reach …

Basics, Links, Pedagogy, Psychology

How to be boring

A popular blog managed not to conform to the zeitgeist. I found this treasure trove of ways to lose friends and alienate people: Negative egocentrism. The #1 most boring way of behaving was what the researchers described as “being negative and complaining, talking about one’s problems, displaying disinterest in others.” Banality. “Talking about trivial or superficial things, …

Basics, Writing, Dialectic, Education, Pedagogy, Philosophy

Simplify Complex Problems Like Descartes

Ever Feel Stupid? Many of us wish we were smarter than we are. Rene Descartes even felt this way:   “For myself, I have never fancied my mind to be in any respect more perfect than those of the generality; on the contrary, I have often wished that I were equal to some others in promptitude …

Basics, Writing, Dialectic, Education

Dialectic: The Second Art of the Trivium

Introduction: What is dialectic? What is logic? The second liberal art is logic or dialectic. Dialectic typically refers to the practice of precise discussion, using a question and answer format with facts or apparent facts, to explain or get at the truth. It has another, less academic, use I’ll explain later. Logic is a more …

Autobiography, Basics

How I Escape the Dungeon

Everybody finds themselves in the dungeon from time to time. It’s that place where you feel like progress is impossible or meaningless, like you’ve gone too far in a wrong direction, or that there’s no such thing as the right direction. It’s so weird, because it feels like the same place no matter where you …

Basics

Teddy Roosevelt on Masculinity

A former student texted me out of the blue something like this, “Why isn’t there anything specific about masculinity taught at the school?” It’s a problem I’ve thought about for a while. There are, at the high school level, many pitfalls. The first is the significant danger of shaming young boys for non-masculine behavior with …