From George Eliot’s Adam Bede [via the brilliant Brain Pickings]
Surely all other leisure is hurry compared with a sunny walk through the fields from “afternoon church”… Ingenious philosophers tell you, perhaps, that the great work of the steam-engine is to create leisure for mankind. Do not believe them: it only creates a vacuum for eager thought to rush in. Even idleness is eager now — eager for amusement; prone to excursion-trains, art museums, periodical literature, and exciting novels; prone even to scientific theorizing and cursory peeps through microscopes. Old Leisure was quite a different personage. He only read one newspaper, innocent of leaders, and was free from that periodicity of sensations which we call post-time. He was a contemplative, rather stout gentleman, of excellent digestion; of quiet perceptions, undiseased by hypothesis; happy in his inability to know the causes of things, preferring the things themselves. He lived chiefly in the country, among pleasant seats and homesteads, and was fond of sauntering by the fruit-tree wall and scenting the apricots when they were warmed by the morning sunshine, or of sheltering himself under the orchard boughs at noon, when the summer pears were falling. He knew nothing of weekday services, and thought none the worse of the Sunday sermon if it allowed him to sleep from the text to the blessing; liking the afternoon service best, because the prayers were the shortest, and not ashamed to say so; for he had an easy, jolly conscience, broad-backed like himself, and able to carry a great deal of beer or port-wine, not being made squeamish by doubts and qualms and lofty aspirations. Life was not a task to him, but a sinecure…
Another one less than enamoured with talent. William Faulkner in a Press conference, University of Virginia, May 20, 1957. (The audio is here)
“At one time I thought the most important thing was talent. I think now that — the young man or the young woman must possess or teach himself, train himself, in infinite patience, which is to try and to try and to try until it comes right. He must train himself in ruthless intolerance. That is, to throw away anything that is false no matter how much he might love that page or that paragraph. The most important thing is insight, that is … curiosity to wonder, to mull, and to muse why it is that man does what he does. And if you have that, then I don’t think the talent makes much difference, whether you’ve got that or not.”
This video is almost worth it just to hear the comment about using technology for something more than just improving businesses.
Just came across a nice quote via Euan on Facebook. It was attributed to the McCarthy era.
“Beware of artists. They mix with all classes of society and are therefore the most dangerous”
Alongside taking exercise and eating healthily, one of the things I keep trying to do more of, not always successfully, is check the sources of things like this. I instinctively like it, and, probably too often, take it as a given that it is true. Partly thanks to the wise advice of Euan and others, I’m getting better at catching myself before I swallow these sorts of tasty quotes whole.
Thanks to all Julian’s hard work , I found out the full quote was actually from a letter from Leopold 1 of Belgium to his niece, Queen Victoria.
“To hop to escape censure and calumny is next to impossible, but whatever is considered by the enemy as a fit subject for attack is better modified or avoided. The dealings with artists, for instance, require great prudence; they are acquainted with all classes of society, and for that very reason dangerous; they are hardly ever satisfied, and when you have too much to do with them, you are sure to have des ennuis.
…Your devoted Uncle, Leopold R. “
So yes, it’s a similar quote, but I like the add-on of the ennui at the end. I’m somehow happier buying in to the idea of artist as classless dangerous hero with the health-warning of “may become self-congratulatory self-publicist”.
I keep coming back to this talk by David Weston on Hattie’s work and why “it might be a little bit more complicated than it seems.” Definitely worth a watch.
Almost all the children in my classes play Clash of Clans, so I thought it would a good basis to try my first 3-Act lesson, as per Dan Meyer.
There’s some arithmetic and geometric progression that’s ripe for more advanced students, but I teach KS2 and KS3 so wanted something a little simpler. This thread on Reddit gave the starter
Anyway, looking forward to trying it with my Year 7s tomorrow.
Slides here: Clan Maths – Build Walls
Info Sheet here: Clash of Clans – Wall build – info sheet
Rough notes below
Act 1: The set-up
Introduce Clash of Clans / make sure everyone understands it
Show pictures of time-lapse growth and ask for questions
Discuss everyone’s questions – which interesting, which mathematical etc
Make list of these so can come back to them and try to answer
Ask for estimates of real cost of walls in gems.
Act 2: The Wrestle
Ask what sort of information we’d need to work out the answer
keep it precise
help with proportion / rate problems if need be but try to ensure students do heavy lifting
Handout info sheets
ask children to team up to find useful bits of information
can use calculators
Act 3: The Reveal
Show the answer
Explain steps and discuss how tie in to discussions in Act 2
Look at left-over questions – room for answers, what next