Tag Archives: learning

There sat the world

“I was a hugely unchaperoned reader, and I would wander into my local public library and there sat the world, waiting for me to look at it, to find out about it, to discover who I might be inside it.” – Patrick Ness When I was a child, we didn’t have nearly as many children’s …

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Such beautiful lessons

Another morning and I wake with thirst  for the goodness I do not have. I walk  out to the pond and all the way God has given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord,  I was never a quick scholar but sulked and hunched over my books past the hour and the bell; grant me, in your …

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The jangled soul can flee

‘Tis fitting in these days of noise, Here in these thunder years of steam, The soul should keep its equipoise And think its thoughts and dream its dream. We scar the placid vales with mills, We scoop the seas and shear the hills: ‘Tis well that to these temples of the mind The jangled soul …

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Go beyond

“…novels go beyond simulating reality to give readers an experience unavailable off the page: the opportunity to enter fully into other people’s thoughts and feelings..Reading great literature, it has long been averred, enlarges and improves us as human beings. Brain science shows this claim is truer than we imagined” — Annie Murphy Paul Even if …

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Something you have to learn

“Nobody is born smiling – being happy in this world is something you have to learn.” — Ashleigh Brilliant How true! And as with all kinds of education, some people seem naturally better at learning happiness than others. A few are exceptionally gifted in this way, and others are what we might call “learning disabled” when …

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A thousand tongues

“There is an air about it, resonant of joy and hope: it speaks with a thousand tongues to the heart: it waves its mighty shadow over the imagination…and points with prophetic fingers to the sky.” — William Hazlitt, describing Oxford This was my third visit to Oxford, but the first time I stayed more than three …

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Where everything is free

“The library is like a candy store where everything is free.” ― Jamie Ford Only it’s better than that, because books won’t rot your teeth, cause blood sugar problems, spoil your appetite for healthy food or make you gain weight you don’t want to gain. Not that candy will necessarily do any of those things, unless you …

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It harbors beauty

“History should be studied because it is essential to society, and because it harbors beauty.” – Peter N. Stearns Leaving aside for a moment the arguments that might arise from Stearns’ assertion that history is essential to society (I’m one who agrees that it is), I think most everyone will admit that history indeed harbors …

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Geniuses

“A certain group of geniuses can easily learn even the world’s most difficult languages: they’re called babies.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Are you bilingual, or (even more impressive) do you speak several languages fluently? If so, I envy you. I’ve always wished that I could communicate in many different languages. I suppose it’s because I like to …

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Opening the gates

“Books. They are lined up on shelves or stacked on a table. There they are wrapped up in their jackets, lines of neat print on nicely bound pages. They look like such orderly, static things. Then you, the reader come along. You open the book jacket, and it can be like opening the gates to …

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I learn by going

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.    I learn by going where I have to go. —  Theodore Roethke I’ve never been fond of awakening from a nice dreamy sleep, and getting up (especially on cold, dark mornings) is not something I do well. I envy and wonder at Jeff’s ability to get up very early, usually …

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Not actually alone

“There are only two things I like to do alone: reading and traveling, and for the same reason.  When you travel, and when you read, you are not actually alone, but rather surrounded by other worlds entirely, the footsteps and phrases of whole other lives keeping you company as you go.” — Shauna Niequist There’s …

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Hopeful signs

“I’m looking for some hopeful signs — and something keeps telling me to look in your direction.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Today is my 800th published post, not counting the special posts linked above.  That number becomes more amazing to me the more I think about it.  Not only have I been writing that much, but …

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To number our days

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” — Psalm 90:12 (NIV) Jeff’s days are numbered.  But so are mine, and yours, and everybody’s. One of the benefits of slamming face-first into the reality of our own mortality is implied in the verse above.  I’ve found that many of the …

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The secret of the sea

…my soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The ocean is alluring, but it also can be quite intimidating.  So much of it is unseen, its secrets literally and figuratively unfathomable.  A great many …

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To look ahead

“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”― Graham Greene “Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” ― Meister Eckhart Today is my 700th daily post, and that number rather amazes me.  Nearly two years ago, …

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Defiance of the contemporary

“A hobby is a defiance of the contemporary. It is an assertion of those permanent values which the momentary eddies of social evolution have contravened or overlooked. If this is true, then we may also say that every hobbyist is inherently a radical, and that his tribe is inherently a minority.” – Aldo Leopold This …

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What counts

“What counts is what you learn after you know it all.” – Earl Weaver Sometimes it seems that life is one long series of reaching the top of one hill only to start all over again at the bottom of another one.  After awhile, we realize that we never stop needing to learn.  Most of …

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A natural affinity

“Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants, and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime.” — Robin C. Moore and Herb H Wong One of the best ways to enjoy nature is to tag along with a child or two.  They notice things we have forgotten …

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Another turned page

“…that old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air … Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.” ― Wallace Stegner Though it …

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Not the same thing

“They say that we are better educated than our parents’ generation. What they mean is that we go to school longer. It is not the same thing.” — Richard Yates “But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.  Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.” — 1 …

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The task of the educator

“The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confuse good with immobility and evil with activity…” — Maria Montessouri Any adult who interacts with a young …

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This bequest of wings

Quai d’Orléans Paris — Photo by Moonik (CC BY-SA 3.0) “He ate and drank the precious words, His spirit grew robust; He knew no more that he was poor, Nor that his frame was dust. He danced along the dingy days, And this bequest of wings Was but a book. What liberty A loosened spirit …

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Out there, waiting

“They say no land remains to be discovered, no continent is left unexplored. But the whole world is out there, waiting, just waiting for me…” ― Lisa Ann Sandell There’s a popular saying about never being able to step into the same river twice, presumably because the river is ever-changing.  If so, we can never …

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A vast university

“The whole of Paris is a vast university of Art, Literature and Music… it is worth anyone’s while to dally here for years. Paris is a seminar, a post-graduate course in everything.”  –– James Thurber People who love Paris and didn’t love school might not agree with Thurber, but I connected with his description immediately.  …

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