Year End Efforts

Our year-end fund-raising drive had goals in stages, ranging from $20,000 to meet needs up to $50,000 to direct resources toward multiplying the information and resources we provide to educators and parents.

As of right now, it is 10:07 eastern on December 31 and we are about $2000 short of our low end goals. If you appreciate the work and vision of the CiRCE Institute, would you please consider making a year end donation? If 100 of you contribute $20, we’ll be in good shape for January. And we’ll be very, very grateful.

Please Click HERE to contribute

If you are among the many who have lost your jobs or are struggling financially, please offer up a prayer for us and we’ll gladly do the same for you if you let us know what we can pray for on your behalf. I can think of no higher honor.

Please rejoice with us. Our Lord keeps us providing for us in His own way!

Thank you.

A Poem to welcome the new year

A child unborn, the coming year
Grows big within us, dangerous,
And yet we hunger as we fear
For its increase, the blunted bud

To free the leaf to have its day,
The unborn to be born. The ones
Who are to come are on their way,
And though we stand in mortal good

Among our dead, we turn in doom
In joy to welcome them, stirred by
That ghost who stirs in seed and tomb,
Who brings the stones to parenthood

Wendell Berry, The Sabbath Poems, 1982, Poem V

Shakespeare and Science

When I was in high school I discovered that people had different opinions about Shakespeare’s plays – what they meant, what specific passages meant, where he got his ideas, etc. In the back of my mind I formulated a general notion that one day I could settle all those questions.

During college I still had a vague notion that I could write the definitive work on Hamlet, settling once and for all what it was about (which I have done – it was about “sin’s true nature”), resolving every issue, and explaining how we should go about mining its riches.


I have discovered that literature is the most perfect parallel to the cosmos. The maths and sciences seek to describe cosmos. They operate within the quest for finity as observed from the outside. They play a vital role.

But the soul that neglects story, by which I mean story rooted in the ancient dreams of the human soul, can never know the place of the sciences.

A Simple Question

Which causes you greater anxiety: the possible risks of climate change or the risk of governments trying to stop it.

This is the debate of the century and I don’t think it’s hard to see where the interests lie.

Writing, Running, and Ruminating

Follow this link to The Courier, a PDF of the Geneva School newsletter and read their articles on teaching writing to middle school students, the place of gymnastics in the classical curriculum, and Mark Noll’s call to the evangelical mind to smarten up.

You’ll also see a model of a high quality school newsletter.

A World Worth Lying About

What the world needs today is a little more hypocrisy. Matthew Arnold pointed out that hypocrisy is “a tribute that vice pays to virtue.” Our age follows the counsel of Voltaire, who said you couldn’t accuse him of hypocrisy because he never presumed to say he was anything.

Remember when virtue meant something?

Maybe not. It’s been a while. There was a time when you couldn’t reach any serious level of leadership if you didn’t convince people you were a man of virtue. This produced hypocrisy.

There are two ways to get rid of hypocrisy: to keep people from being bad or to deny the existence of virtue.

We gave up on the former since it can’t be done. But virtue and hypocrisy go together as thesis and antithesis, as head and tail, as feasting and indigestion.

Not wanting a world of hypocrites we chose something even worse: a world without hypocrites – the world we live in today.

A world without virtue.

A Higher Glory

A school is a dream. It’s built on the fantasy that one can create a world, a community, a culture, that nourishes the soul and leads people to higher ends. For some the ends are individualistic, particular, even the self-indulgence of a self-important mind. For others the ends are higher – oriented toward the perfection of the nature of an object. For others there is a still higher dream, in which perfected (mature, highly developed) adults give a higher glory to a higher God.

A Christmas poem of sorts

Where do I turn
When turning turns
To Vertigo

How can I burn
When burning burns
To Dust

Look downward, angel
Look upward, son

Gaze on the offered bread


I need help on that first verse. I don’t like the word vertigo but haven’t been able to think of a better one. The core paraphrased idea would be the excess of turning that is vertigo, that it’s hard to know where to turn when everything is turning so much as to give you vertigo. There’s more there, but that bit can’t be compromised.

So I thought for example of saying “a stray” which can take you in a couple directions, but doesn’t hold that core idea. I thought about using a cooking term, say, for what they do when they toss a pizza. What is that?

Any suggestions?

Scholastic Welfare: Meet Medical Welfare

If you wonder what the new health care system will look like, the public schools would be a good object for study.

You can find private schools and some of them strive to be affordable. But if you want a real education, you had better be able to fork out the tuition ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 per year. The presence of the Public system alters the private schools in many ways, especially through the process of assessment and regulation.

What will be similar? What will be different?

I don’t look forward to finding out.

When the two join forces (and why wouldn’t they – the calls for efficiency will demand it), will our intelligence and our health follow the path of our souls.

Christ the Logos

Great post by my friend Winston Elliott in which he points to two works, one by Robert Barron (The Priority of Christ) and one by Steven Caldecott (Beauty for Truth’s Sake).

For your mind to be fully in order, it must be ordered by and to Christ. Take a look at the claims at Winston’s blog The Christocentric Life.

Some wonderful reflections to prepare for the celebration of the incarnation!