Wednesday, February 6
Columnist Linda Chavez writes of a 30-year old high school teacher in Maryland who has re-introduced diagramming into her classroom. Interesting.
My mother liked to tell the story of someone she knew who, during a perfectly miserable stint in the Pacific during World War II, passed the time by diagramming The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Come to think of it, such activities aren't a total thing of the distant past. One of my former colleagues, an English teacher, told me that he had a professor at William and Mary (in the early 90's) who had his class diagram the first book (I think....) of Paradise Lost.
You'd think that in these days in which educators are so keen on students' different "learning styles" and the importance of the visual for some learners, that diagramming would be the rage. Of course not. Silly me.
the award is given in honor of William Wilberforce, an 18th century British parliamentarian who stood against his party in his campaign to abolish the slave trade.
"In his 22 years of service as a U.S. Congressman, Christopher Smith has led high profile, often controversial, legislative crusades for human rights, both nationally and around the world," the press release stated. The Washington Post has called Smith a "hero" in the human rights field, "always ready to take up the cause of foreign political prisoners, child laborers or those who suffer religious persecution," including Christians in China.
Chris Smith is, indeed, one of the few people of real integrity in Congress. Along with his activism for the rights of already-born humans, he's unswervingly pro-life.
Officials had hoped the center initially would draw an average of 500 people a day, and eventually bring in about 1,300 daily visitors. The daily flow, however, has been about 150 people -- about 41 percent of whom hail from the District, Maryland or Virginia, officials said.
Yikes. 150 a day. One more chapter for "Great Stories of Catholic Evangelization."
If you've not read Shusaku Endo's novel about the persecutions, Silence, you really should. Paradoxical and powerful. Just like faith.
But what's amusing is Greeley's critique of the series for its language, violence and nudity. Andrew Greeley criticizing a cultural product for being vulgar? Really? Tell me more.
He also faults the series' portrayal of Catholicism, a criticism with which I agree, but not quite for the same reasons. The language used to talk about faith in the series is always a little off, and never quite rings true. But what's good about this dimension of the series is that Carmella's "faith," as awkwardly expressed as it is, is an important part of her character because it exposes her deep hypocrisy, something that comes out with great poignancy in the third season.
He also says that there's not a priest to be found who would advise Carmella to stick with Tony. I don't know. You can find priests who do a lot of things these days: abuse kids, cover up for abusers, sell Ecstasy, or manufacture date-rape drugs. Finding one who'd tell a rich mafia wife to stay with her husband might not be so hard.
I'm not one of those who would proclaim that The Sopranos is the greatest thing ever to hit television, but I would say that it has had some excellent moments and is working at a theme that Greeley just doesn't seem to grasp. I think the fundamental theme and tension of The Sopranos is not about the whole therapy/Mob thing. It's about the incredibly hypocrisy of Carmella and Tony as human beings, and particularly as parents: On their kids to constantly be good, succeed, punishing them for breaking curfew, engaging in vandalism, back talking, when they are pretty much immoral creeps, both in their own way. It will be interesting to see how David Chase continues to work with this in the fourth season. If it ever comes.
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