August 21st, 2014

I am sorry, Mom, I am not very good at talking about myself and my day.

I spend most of my day observing things and taking in as much raw material as I can. I weigh the value of a day by the amount of things I enjoyed and remembered and by what I made of it. A day goes badly when I did not make much nor enjoyed much. As for myself and whether or not am doing good, that is not even something I think about.

I got sick today. I never mind getting colds, because it reminds me of the Fall as a kid. Memories of my childhood flood back when the olfactory sense is stunted. The worst part about getting sick for me is the sore throat before it. A sore throat will keep me up all night. I eventually have to get up and drink three glasses of water. Is there an immediate cure to sore throats? If so, tell me.

I also had my first history recitation today. It went well. I never know what to expect with new teachers. When I am getting to know a new teacher, I am really trying to look for what they enjoy the most. Do they enjoy the repetition of familiar ideas? Do they enjoy seeing the wave of news faces and the challenge of putting them together into a class? Do they enjoy lecturing or taking questions?

Behind all this, there is the question of how they see the world. How someone sees the world has a lot to do with what they are looking for. A footprint of this can be seen in the notes that people put in books. The sentences someone underlines in a book shows what that person craves and enjoys. It is always fun to read a used book and see that someone is looking for completely different ideas than yourself.

A lot of it, too, has to do with what terms trigger connections in their mind. If I were to say eschatology, for example, that would be a more interesting term for one person than end times. To dig even deeper, the terms that interest a person are usually borrowed from how they were taught. If a Christian homeschooler was taught a lot of worldview analysis, he will be more interested in postmodern art than contemporary aesthetics.

I have done a bad job of demonstrating this, but I have seen it when students answer a teacher’s question. When a teacher asks a question, they are looking for the core of an idea. It is the students’ responsibility to provide that core. Most students do not see it that way. They see a teacher’s question as an opportunity for them to voice their opinions. The teacher is not interested in their opinions – although sometimes they might surprise him – he is interested in them deducing from the question what they did not know. So, instead of telling them something new, he makes them think something new. It takes a good teacher and good students to play this game called deducication. 

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