A comment regarding education I once made. I wonder if too much perspective is necessary at this late date for its true understanding.
I’m afraid the traditionalists are what is needed–not the ones of which you write, however–those who once taught by means of illuminating real books rather than textbooks–which contain little more than survey material.
Although, to the matter of textbooks: I came into possession of a now 130 year old “Appleton’s” designed for forth year students–who would be some 9 years of age. It was, in fact a survey work, just as any modern composition text might be. (Such things were devised to allow less qualified people to teach–frontier situations, for example, very well intended) However it is more sophisticated, and demanded more thought in follow-up questions and proposed projects and assignments than did a similar book I have which was published in the mid 1980ies. This more modern textbook was designed to teach college freshman–so they would be some TEN years older than those who had learned from the old Appleton’s! I am not exaggerating as I write this. Regarding the older textbook, the reading selections therein were much more demanding, the questions afterwards were similar, but required much more thoughtfulness and much greater understanding.
I shudder to think what such a book would look like today. I did have an experience with such a book in, I believe it was, 1998, and the degradation even from the 1980ies book was severe. It even had little cartoon drawings interspersed throughout in order to keep the college sophomores’ attention. The sophistication of the reading selections was of a character far inferior to its 1980 counterpart and, of course, was dwarfed by the Appleton’s to an unbelievable degree.
I am not a teacher; however I do know two excellent ones who reluctantly left the field and have gone on to private teaching. We have spoken much about such things, and they would, no doubt tell you the same as I.
What, I wonder, would the scholars writing for Appleton’s 130 years ago think if they knew how well they had succeeded in the long term in the way of enabling the unqualified to teach?
In aire, dost–poise thou in His image–fly
Perfection! bronzed against Hyperion’s blaze;
Exalted! at thy nadir by His rays;
With mastery! dost thou hold thy piece of sky.
In aire, for thee, hath stopt all time; on high,
At perfect flexion, as His Son displayed:
Retract, and tense, ’til once thou deign obeyed
His gravity, that deign thou not defy.
Down! by His unseen force, to Earth art thrown;
Descend thou! as I gasp–thy devotee.
Thou! slicing air! perfection still outshone!
And twist! and roll! and turn! to all degree!
As fly thou through devoted hands alone
With thee, who hast so Godly kist the sea.
…regarding reposting sonnets on “sonnet blog” and “reflections.” First, it seems that I should possibly combine these two blogs into one, and separate the entries via categories; however about this I have not decided yet. I have decided not to to repost sonnets on “sonnet-blog” any longer. I believe this dilutes any commentary or news regarding the site the accounting of which I may want to be more readily available. Although, not many people follow this blog, perhaps, more might do so, if it had only consistent postings.
On the other hand, what I could do, it simply “stickypost” the most current actual post–one, on either companion blog, that is not either a reblog or a repost of a sonnet, but rather an actual entry.
Now that I articulate my thoughts in writing, I believe that is more along the lines of what I must do. Then I am free to repost and reblog as I see fit.