Friday, February 26, 2010

Va Va Voom!

I love the va va voom of technology. Go grease lightning! Ok, yeah, so it’s Friday, can you tell? Anyway, it really does make one exuberant to see the goodies coming our way at a breathtaking, breakneck pace. How can any English teacher not marvel, let alone salivate, at the prospect of so many shiny e-reader gadgets? Between the Kindle, Reader, Nook, and the highly anticipated iPad, the educational establishment better get ready for a serious paradigm shift away from traditional hardcover textbooks to epubs, or electronic publications.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Naming Baby #2: Sara or Sarah

Bestowing a name is a very important decision. In fact, the giving of a name reminds us that we are co-creators with God, not just in bringing the child into the world, but in directing his or her path. Consider this. One of the defining characteristics of both creation accounts is the act of naming. God speaks the universe into existence in Genesis 1, and in so doing, his omnipotent utterance bequeaths a name to each aspect of creation. Similarly, in the Garden of Eden, one of the principal duties with which God entrusts man is the naming of the rest of the created order. Needless to say, Jennifer and I take this responsibility very seriously.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Teaching Austen and Bronte to Young Men

You would think teaching Austen and Brontë at an all-boys Catholic high school in the South would be mission impossible, right? Think again. These boys eat it up. Some are quite candid in their praise of the fiction, while others try to conceal their secret delight. There are, of course, a few supercilious students who bombastically scoff at these writers and smugly refer to their stories as trite period pieces unworthy of their serious attention. However, I think even these students are really just afraid to admit to themselves that they like the novels because to do so, they falsely believe, would render them -- poof -- effeminate on the spot. I stand before you (figuratively, of course) as living, breathing evidence that you can be a hot-blooded heterosexual male and treasure these women’s words.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lent 2010: Offer It Up

I love Mardi Gras, but as the mirth fades away and the effervescence subsides, I find myself struggling each year to rouse my languid soul to the rigors of Lent. Ashes help. I love the memento mori ritual and symbolism of our Church’s liturgy. It is quite the experience to look in the mirror and behold my countenance transformed into some Gothic chiaroscuro sketching. That black grime isn’t just etched into my forehead, but into my soul. Thank you, Holy Mother Church, for the reminder. The siren song of a Mardi Gras life is seductive, but I would rather visit such Bacchanalian digs than live there permanently.