Home sweet home! Grace and I flew to PA on Monday, met my MIL and found:
- a fantastic grocery store
- half-day daycare options (one super close to the hospital!)
- a house (also close to the hospital!!!!!!!!!!!)
- a beautiful historic downtown
- a few colleges
- Catholic churches
- a friend!
- lots of area to explore and scenery to enjoy - truly charming
- the Peeps factory
|Little lady loved PA; she got up extra early to enjoy her time there.|
A little bit about Bethlehem, PA: it was founded in 1741 on Christmas Eve by Moravians, on 500 acres of land from William Penn. Be still my little American Studies heart.
Moravians are the hipsters of Protestantism - they started their crusade 60 years before Martin Luther did, and 100 years before Henry VIII started getting busy. The founder of the Moravians was burned at the stake for heresy in 1415 so... do you think they still hold that against Catholics? Because I was hoping to find a babysitter or two on campus. Fortunately, the area was flooded with immigrants (across the river... they could not live on the 500 acres for many moons), so there are plenty o' Catholic churches in the area.
Freedom of religion, yay!
This house is going to be an adventure. Built in 1886, it is now lived in as a twin. Its gorgeous interior is in need of a paint job in some places, a bit of woodwork repair, and a few appliances - namely, a fridge, a dishwasher, and portable A/C units. Maybe it's the HGTV magazine I bought or the Young House Love book I got for my birthday, but I'm excited. The house does have a washer/dryer, more than enough space [my want/need] + a one car attached garage, and Will can walk to the emergency room [his want/need].
I'm taking a free class on Dante's journey from Hell to Heaven and it starts Monday! You should join me! Starting with the Inferno, we're reading one canto a day, watching one video lecture a day, and writing one response a week. It's my summer indulgence! It's offered by Holy Apostles College & Seminary, a really incredible school.
|Desperately Seeking Beatrice.|
David McCullough (aaaaaaamazing historian) was asked about the five things to teach high school students. I love all of these.
It's been really great thinking about teaching in the fall. I'm looking forward to showing kids how history is more than a string of dates and events, but an intricate web of Who and What and Why. The motivation, the intrigue, the insults, the scandal and the common good. If you can memorize, cool. But if you can make connections? Even better. History is not a straight line - it's a wibbly wobbly, timey-wimey ball of people, places and things. And I love it.
The problem facing the humanities, in my view, isn’t just about the humanities. It’s about the liberal arts generally, including math, science, and economics. These form half of the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) subjects, but if the goal of an education is simply economic advancement and technological power, those disciplines, just like the humanities, will be—and to some degree already are—subordinated to future employment and technological progress. Why shouldn’t educational institutions predominately offer classes like Business Calculus and Algebra for Nurses? Why should anyone but hobbyists and the occasional specialist take courses in astronomy, human evolution, or economic history? So, what good, if any, is the study of the liberal arts, particularly subjects like philosophy? Why, in short, should plumbers study Plato?
My answer is that we should strive to be a society of free people, not simply one of well-compensated managers and employees. Henry David Thoreau is as relevant as ever when he writes, “We seem to have forgotten that the expression ‘a liberal education’ originally meant among the Romans one worthy of free men; while the learning of trades and professions by which to get your livelihood merely, was considered worthy of slaves only.”Clap clap clap for "Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers" by Scott Samuelson, The Atlantic
I also love that learning cursive is a mind good and not just an aesthetic pleasure - like these purple tulips.