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Showing posts from April, 2016

Words of Wisdom from Charlotte Brontë

The English novelist and poet Charlotte Brontë (1816 –1855) was a the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood. She first published her works under the pen name Currer Bell.

What follows is the an excerpt from the Preface to the second edition of Jane Eyre. As with all words of wisdom, Brontë's sentiments expressed here are timeless.

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns. These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them: they should not be confounded: appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ. There is - I repeat it - a difference; and it is good, and not a bad action to mar…

The Challenges Writing Teachers Face

"A great teacher makes hard things easy." - Ralph Waldo Emerson Well-crafted written communication is one the hardest things to teach. Consider the complexity of the task. Many students are uninterested in learning to write well. They do not consider this a necessary skill for life. Good writing takes time. There is a process of writing and revision. Students are not rewarded by immediate gratification. There is the matter of recognition of good writing which comes through reading well-written material. Many students lack good reading skills. Those who like to read often fail to distinguish mediocre work from truly great literature. There is the problem of distraction so that students have difficulty organizing their thoughts. There is the additional challenge of logical order and sequence of ideas. Students often lack the critical thinking that this requires. Good writing also requires grasp of grammar and syntax. Writing teachers spend a great deal of time teaching and r…

The Precious Wood

I found this poem by Ed Pacht very moving and beautiful. It is one of a number of poems he has written that were inspired by the Cocheco River and by Hanson Pines Pubic Park. Ed was walking in the Pines and came across a dead tree. It was hollow and riddled with holes. The shape and image intrigued him and he paused to contemplate it, when he saw motion. It was a grey squirrel poking its head out of various holes and suddenly appearing at the tip of a presumably hollow branch. The image came instantly.

Hiding Place

Ah, the precious wood
to which a sinner flees,
oh, the precious wood
on which the Savior hung,
ah the great salvation
wrought upon that tree,
O my Jesus, hide me,
set this sinner free.

--ed pacht