When the Struggle is Worthwhile

My excitement rose with the sun.  Despite the previous night’s rain—which had served to muddy many of the famed fisheries of Paradise Valley—we were headed for the clear water of DuPuy’s Spring Creek, arguably one of the finest trout waters in Western Montana.  Our guide had warned us that DuPuy’s was a more technical fishery, and some days, expert fishermen leave the creek empty-handed.  Still, … Continue reading When the Struggle is Worthwhile

On Rearranging My Classroom (Mundane Meditations Series)

I’ve found that life presents a series of bizarre paradoxes. One of the more profound of these paradoxes is the desire of everyone to fit in. We all want to belong to something, to feel at home in it—whether it’s a family, a group of friends, a club. But simultaneously, we each like to conceive of ourselves as unique, not like anyone else. We want … Continue reading On Rearranging My Classroom (Mundane Meditations Series)

What Are You Looking For? The Crossroads of Classical Education and College

By Wade Ortego, Guest Author Whether it is the numerous startups launching, charter schools clamoring to copy the model with state approval, or mainstream Christian schools seeking to boost enrollment with transitions to the classical curriculum, the classical model is on the rise. After the past two years of lockdowns, online learning, and teacher strikes, families seek something new for their child’s education. While many … Continue reading What Are You Looking For? The Crossroads of Classical Education and College

Teaching as Hospitality 

By Carrie Eben, Guest Author Hospitality might not be the first word for many to describe a posture of teaching. My first understanding of the word hospitality was limited to the act of entertaining guests, and if this is one’s only understanding of the word then a negative response is warranted—the role of the teacher is not to entertain her students. However, this is not … Continue reading Teaching as Hospitality 

Re-Visioning Our Writing

By Christine Norvell, Guest Author I confess. I have asked students to make revisions to their essays. In fact, I may have casually said, “You just have some light revision work,” or “This needs heavy revision.” It sounds flippant to my ears now. Trite. But those comments all beg the same question—what does it really mean to revise our writing? One of my former students … Continue reading Re-Visioning Our Writing

You Should Teach Poetry: Science Demonstrates It

By Albert Cheng, Guest Author Albert Cheng is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Education Reform in the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas, where he teaches courses in education policy and philosophy. He is the director of the Classical Education Research Lab, where he conducts research on the effects of classical education on character formation. He is a Senior Fellow at … Continue reading You Should Teach Poetry: Science Demonstrates It

In Assigning Seniors Somber Sonnets

In his collection of poetry on loss and lament, Poet-Priest Malcolm Guite offers the following comparison of the use of a Drone in some forms of music to the experience of Loss in our lives. He says, “[“Drone” is] the word that describes that continuous repetitive sound we hear in some early forms of music, especially the Gaelic lament. The drone of the bagpipe grounds … Continue reading In Assigning Seniors Somber Sonnets

An Update from The Classical Thistle

Hello friends! It’s been a while since we have posted articles on here, especially with any frequency, and we wanted to reach out and give you an update. We apologize for the long silence, but we backed off for some good reasons. Why the limited content for two years? COVID-19 had a significant impact on us personally, forcing us into a heavier administrative load at … Continue reading An Update from The Classical Thistle

Waiting for the Sun

Most of us in the Midwest found ourselves hiding indoors from winter weather this week.  While we curled up beside families and fireplaces, the snow just kept falling.  City maintenance trucks rounded our neighborhood repeatedly like cars on a racetrack, but to no avail. With temperatures hovering in the single digits and teens, there was little opportunity for melting, and the snow kept us home … Continue reading Waiting for the Sun

How Do You Plant a Student by Streams of Water?

How Do You Plant a Student by Streams of Water? I stand silently near the corner of a third-floor foyer, staring aimlessly out the window. It’s early in the week, only Tuesday, but already my heart is heavy, my mind is overworked, and my body is wearied—I’m fatigued in spirit. I’m praying for peace, for some semblance of sanity in the chaos that is a … Continue reading How Do You Plant a Student by Streams of Water?

Four Questions for Reading the Great Books

One of the foundational aspects of classical Christian education is our commitment to reading the Great Books. But many students, despite an increasing number of them growing up in classical Christian schools, find the jump from what they read in the earlier grades to the Great Books themselves to be a difficult and daunting task. How do we help them take this next step in … Continue reading Four Questions for Reading the Great Books

Are you an “Essential Worker”?

The first I heard of the potential of someone carrying around a letter from their employer stating that they are “Essential” to the operation of their organization, I thought to myself, “Well, aren’t they special?” Over the past number of weeks, due to COVID-19, companies and organizations have sought to justify their operation (and potential existence) as being “Essential” to the operation of society. From … Continue reading Are you an “Essential Worker”?