Free Webinar: Reconciling Beauty and Progress

On June 9, at 8:00pm EST, I am delivering “Reconciling Beauty and Progress,” a free webinar for newsletter subscribers to GibbsClassical.com.  

Beauty is rightly understood as an overflow, a surplus, and a gratuity. Beauty contributes nothing to our survival. Beauty is luxury and privilege. On the other hand, progress is now a cultural pursuit typically associated with Marxism, socialism, egalitarianism, and equality. What could beauty and progress possibly have to do with each other? Quite a bit, in fact.  

In this forthcoming webinar, I will address the hidden, paradoxical connection between a traditional understanding of beauty and a common-sense approach to cultural progress.

This video will not be available as a recording.

Gutsy Ecumenicalism

“A Presbyterian teacher should sound like a Presbyterian, not ‘a Christian.’ A Lutheran teacher should sound like a Lutheran, not ‘a Christian.’ An ecumenical school must be on guard to not create an image of ‘a Christian’ for students which is generic, vague, non-committal, and more concerned for diplomacy than truth. I would rather my own daughters hear about the rapture from their teachers—an idea I do not take seriously—than for them to constantly hear ‘everybody believes different things about the future.’ That’s just secularism with a cross on top.”    

-from Keeping An Ecumenical Project From Becoming Generic And Gutless

We Need Fewer Philosophy Teachers And More Philosophy Coaches

“As a philosophy teacher, I think coaches have it pretty good. Coaches never struggle to convey the importance of their work. Because the work of coaches is more important than the work of teachers, coaches are allowed to speak to students passionately, realistically, and without sentimentality. Part of the reason kids take sports seriously is because coaches yell, ‘Get your head in the game, Mason! Quit messing around! What’s wrong with you?!’ when they need to.

Philosophy teachers aren’t allowed to talk like that, though. In most cases, philosophy teachers have to say encouraging piffle like, ‘So, you’ve done some interesting things in this essay, and I see some positive signs of good progress, but I still think you can make improvements in the following areas.’ Sounds real important, right? Yawn.

-From We Need Fewer Philosophy Teachers And More Philosophy Coaches, my latest for CiRCE 

Registration Is Now Open On GibbsClassical.com For All 2021-2022 Classes

Registration is now open on GibbsClassical.com for all 2021-2022 classes. There are a limited number of Student level openings in Foundations of Modern Politics, British Ladies of the Nineteenth Century, The Divine Comedy for Beginners, and Modern Romance: The Cult of Courtly Love in Theory, Literature, and Film. All these classes have an Auditor option, as well. Additionally, there are 16 slots open for Teaching High School Humanities for Beginners.

The 2021-2022 year is a significant expansion on last year’s GibbsClassical.com offerings. I am deeply grateful for all the interest shown in my work and for the support of readers, subscribers, and Proverbial listeners. Thank you very much.

Anything Less

“What is Christian Culture? It is essentially the Mass. That is not my or anyone’s opinion or theory or wish but the central fact of two thousand years of history.”

-John Senior, The Restoration of Christian Culture (1983)

A Class For Humanities Teachers

In addition to the four 2021-2022 classes already announced, next year I am offering a class through GibbsClassical.com specifically for humanities teachers.

Young teachers have it rough. To begin with, they are often only a few years older than their students. A lack of experience often leads to a lack of confidence, and yet young teachers have a habit of creating overly ambitious lesson plans. When they fall behind, they lose sight of the real purpose of a classical education, which is the cultivation of virtue. I have been there myself.  

In Teaching High School Humanities for Beginners, I am offering instruction to young humanities teachers on a wide range of issues, from lecturing to writing letters of recommendation. While the class runs (between September 7 and December 7), teachers enrolled in this class can email me their catechisms, quizzes and assessments, parent emails, replies to parent emails, and questions about individual student/faculty issues and receive a response within 36 hours. This class is geared toward first through third year humanities teachers, although seasoned veterans are free to enroll, as well.

My goal is to give young humanities teachers the instruction and perspective they need to be confident and competent behind the lectern. I take a common sense, unsentimental approach to classroom management and welcome blunt questions about everything related to school life. Registration will open for Teaching High School Humanities for Beginners (and all four other 2021-2022 GibbsClassical.com classes) this Friday, May 21st.

Enrollment is limited to 16.

Here are the rest of the details:  

Teaching High School Humanities for Beginners / 14 weeks ($450)

Tuesday evenings at 8:00pm EST, September 7 through December 7

Class sessions run 65 minutes.

Curriculum: The Restoration of Christian Culture by John Senior; The Abolition of Man by CS Lewis; Lost in the Cosmos by Walker Percy

A few topics covered in this course: The current state of classical Christian education (and the individual teacher’s place within the movement); choosing and defending your curriculum; the “discipleship model” of education (and its relative merits); the “read and discuss” lesson plan; life outside the classroom & negotiating school politics; writing and grading good assessments; classroom management; parent management; the character and personality of the teacher as a teaching tool; the art of the lecture.

Direction

The mask mandate was lifted in Virginia two days ago. However, in the city of Richmond, every business I have been to over the weekend is still enforcing it. Small shops, big shops, chain stores, grocery stores.

If anyone has a list of businesses in Richmond that are no longer requiring customers to wear masks, I would love to see it.

On Bitcoin

Gibbs: (walking out of Ready Player One in the year 2018) That was lousy.

Time traveller from 2021: Believe it or not, three years from now, the premise of that movie will come true and overtake our currency markets. Lousy or not, that movie will prove prescient.

Gibbs: You’re crazy.

Time traveller from 2021: You live in the nation that made Cardi B a star. You didn’t think a good movie was going to prove prescient, did you?

Gibbs: Fair point.