Modern Library’s 100 Best Non-Fiction Reads (with links)

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I’ve been on the hunt for some good non-fiction reads for 2019 and realised in the rush with everyone else to read Sapiens or Sleep, I’m probably missing out on some classics. The Modern Library has made a pretty good, if very American, list of its 100 best non-fiction titles. Some of them I’ve read for pleasure, some for studies, … Read More

Seneca On Saving Time

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Not a bad thing to think about at this time of year. (From Seneca’s Letters to Lucilius. 1. Continue to act thus, my dear Lucilius – set yourself free for your own sake; gather and save your time, which till lately has been forced from you, or filched away, or has merely slipped from your hands. Make yourself believe the … Read More

Life Lessons from Bergson

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My dogears from Michael Foley’s excellent “Life Lessons from Bergson” Time “Time” is now the most-used noun in English, whereas many primitive peoples, for instance the Amondawa tribe of the Amazon and the Australian Aborigines do not have a word for it. (p.24) Chance The corollary of predictability as comfort is randomness as threat … We would almost rather accept … Read More

Mohini The White Tiger and Learned Helplessness

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I’ve been watching a lot of TED talks recently (part of a NY’s resolution), and have been struck by the number that say something along the lines of “school is broken” and “how do we make children like school?”. There’s a sad story about a tiger called Mohini that Tara Brach tells as follows. Mohini was a regal white tiger … Read More

24 Books for Teachers

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There’s probably a more graceful way to put this list up and there’s certainly a catchier title for this post but for the moment/in no particular order here are some titles that might be of interest. I’ve certainly found them useful pointers in some shape or form. A Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If … Read More

An Epidemic of Listicles

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I like this excerpt from Krista Tippett’s interview with Maria Popova, curator of the wonderful Brain Pickings [Thanks to the Centre for Teaching] Culture needs stewardship, not disruption. … We seem somehow bored with thinking. We want to instantly know. And there’s this epidemic of listicles. Why think about what constitutes a great work of art when you can skim … Read More

Gentling

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Bonnie explains that there are two basic ways of taming a wild horse. One is to tie it up and freak it out. Shake paper bags, rattle cans, drive it crazy until it submits to any noise. Make it endure the humiliation of being controlled by a rope and pole. Once it is partially submissive, you tack the horse, get … Read More

Gramsci’s “Optimism of the Will”

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Isn’t it pointless to fight back? Antonio Gramsci, the Italian political writer jailed by Mussolini’s Fascist regime, believed in “pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will.” In other words, you can know your clapboard house is on fire, and you’re a long way from civilization. But you have to call 911, get out your garden hose and bucket, … Read More

A Little Game for Roald Dahl Day

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I’ve rejigged a little adjective game I made so that it can be used for Roald Dahl Day. It’s pretty straightforward: Load this webpage:  fantasticadjectives Read the text with the class Ask them to add their favourite adjectives in the boxes below Click “Fox It Up” And reread. Happy to make some more if people like them.

Upgrade Woes

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I dunno … sometimes you update your theme to keep things current and it completely changes things. Rebuilding things now. Sigh.