As per usual, Thursday school is short, so I’ll just offer that report in this space. Thursday homeschool class at the Cathedral. Today they apparently rehearsed the play they are doing for the drama class, and talked about Mendel and Galileo in history of science.
Bill is about, in case you didn’t guess, Bill Shakespeare. It’s a comedy made by the Horrible Histories people, released in the UK last year, but of course not on this side. I was waiting until the DVD came out to order (I have a cheap region 2 player I bought specifically for Horrible Histories sets that had not come out in US versions or were not yet streaming at the time.)
Well, Fathom Events, that does those one-(or) two – off movie theater events like The Wizard of Oz is bringing it over and showing it on April 11 (April being the month of Shakespeare’ birth). Check here to see if it’s playing at a theater near you.
I’ve joined their mailing list because I am always hearing about these showings the day after they happen. I mean – they showed the Maltese Falcon last week, and I had no idea.
Well, that Popesplaining post really blew up, didn’t it? The ironic thing is that I didn’t even try to make it blow up – didn’t promote it in any way. I just had to get the stuff in my head out there, basically because I have work to do and all of these issues were like the Borg and taking over my brain, and I couldn’t think.
And just to clarify – my sense of what popesplaining is is the reflexive reaction that a critic of a critic or questioner of any pope (like this one) to blame the questioner: “Well, that’s awfully Protestant of you!” “Don’t you have any faith in the Holy Spirit?” “You don’t understand what the Pope is trying to do.” “Try not listening to what the MSM says” or, in the case of some commenters, immediately whipping out the “Francis Hater!” and “Greatest Catholic of All Time!” accusation, attempting to shut down discussion and lazily shoving people in boxes.
It is entirely-totally, and absolutely like the tactics pro-abortion debaters use of answering pro-lifers’ concerns by saying, “You just hate women, that’s all.”
Notice that it is a real, actual book.
I have a like (not love)/hate relationship with e-books.
I much prefer to read non-fiction via print. I have a bad memory, so when I read non-fiction(mostly history for me), I must constantly flip back and forth to remind myself of who did what and when. It also just feels more solid.
I do appreciate digital books for what they are able to bring me from the past. I am a library rat, and could live in the stacks, so having the Global Stacks From the Beginning of Time at my fingertips is a joy.
But I do love a real book. I really do believe the research that is showing our retention is better when we read from a book – the totality and concreteness of the experience aids memory (how many times have you been able to recall a factoid or aspect of what you’d read by remembering where it was on the page?) I am deeply unimpressed by schools and systems that brag they have gone “all tablet” or “all digital books.” That’s not good for learning.
Plus, there’s this. While I am pretty strict on screen time, they do have it. They don’t have phones, but they have Ipods and use of my Ipad. (Btw, they are generally only allowed to use either in public spaces in the house, not in their rooms). I give speeches daily on the matter.
But then I started to feel a bit bothered. A great deal of my own reading was happening via my Kindle App on the Ipad. We’d all be in the living room, I’d order screens put away, then I’d take out the Ipad to read. They’d give me the side-eye, I’d offer an excuse.
What was I modeling?
And I also just started to experience a need to resist the screen culture in general. I don’t have an Iphone, and am not attached to my phone as others are, but still…it’s like a reflex, isn’t it? Bored? Waiting? Whip out the phone. It really started to get to me – to see a table full of people at a restaurant, everyone looking at their phones. Kids coming in to wait on their piano lesson, and the mom immediately handing them each a tablet for the wait.
I do it too, and I’ve decided to try to stop.
So the other day I was waiting for one of my sons to get out of a class at the zoo. There were a bunch of us standing around outside waiting, and every person was on a phone. My hand instinctively went for my jeans pocket. Nope. Don’t.
It was hard. I studied the trees. I looked at the clouds. I read a few signs over and over. And I kept saying to myself, “Don’t take it out. Don’t take it out.”
Even if I had Tolstoy on the Kindle App (I didn’t), I wanted to leave it be and just be.
The point being, I can’t be an effective witness against screen time if I’m on a screen, even if it is reading a book. It’s the sign value of the thing.
So yeah, I found a version of Cakes and Ale online (it’s still under copyright, but there was some weird edition that someone had put up legally), and started reading it there, but then when we were at the library the other day, I grabbed it, and well…isn’t it sad that I’m feeling victorious, virtuous and counter-cultural just for reading a real book?
Like I said…Farenheit 451 was prophetic.
Speaking of real books, I have put the picture books on sale – eight bucks apiece, and that includes shipping. I just have too many, and need to clean out the closet. So go here and get that First Communion shopping done….or buy gifts for teachers and classrooms…
It’s Friday. Stations day.
A Biblical Way of the Cross for everyone:
For Ave Maria press, we wrote John Paul II’s Biblical Way of the Cross. The current edition is illustrated with paintings by Michael O’Brien.
For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!