Saturday, September 27, 2014

Contra Textbooks

     Continuing on the theme of mystery, one topic I’d like to take up is the use of literature textbooks in Catholic high schools. My experience, both as a student and teacher, has been with the ubiquitous, state-approved fare from big publishing houses. There are many problems with this type of textbook, all of which I won’t take up in this post, but I do wish to talk about one big beef: pictures.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Realm of Mystery


Richard Rodriguez is one of the few contemporary American writers whose Catholicism seems to reside at the forefront of his identity. To give you an idea of his clout in the academic world, he was selected, along with the likes of Frank Kermode, Burton Raffel, and Seamus Heaney, to introduce a unit in the mass-market literature textbook that our high school uses. He is canonical reading for most university writing courses. Perhaps no other writer so accepted by the secular elite openly addresses the Catholic faith and how it has shaped his vision of the world.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Socrates or Plato?

At a used book sale last spring I came across a book by Virginia professor Mark Edmundson, whose name I recognized from various publications (see here, here, and here). Despite the mawkish title, Teacher: The One Who Made the Difference, hardcovers were only a dollar-fifty, and I took it home.