Showing posts from June, 2010

Doctor Who in Denmark? David Tennant's Hamlet

When I was a graduate student, I always had far too much to do in the time, and with the energy, available to me. Yet, since I was a "re-constructed" graduate student (i.e., returned to graduate school after a gap of many years, and eager to put as much into, and to wring as much out of, the experience as humanly possible), I was constantly seeking ways not only to read what needed to be read for class, but also to reflect upon what I had read, so that I could learn from it. Toward the end of my coursework, I took a class on Shakespeare's history plays, which met (I believe) once a week, in the evening. (I think we covered a play a week.) Many of these plays I had never read before, nor seen performed, so I got into the habit of going to the library one afternoon each week to watch a video of the play assigned for the next class. Fortunately, the University of Dallas's library possessed the complete collection of the BBC's televised performances of all of Shake

Laughs in the Catholic Blogosphere

Since this is a blog about things I'm reading, I guess it's okay from time to time to make reference to other blogs that I read occasionally. (I don't plan to make a habit of this, however.) One that I enjoy from time-to-time is Fr Dwight Longenecker's Standing on My Head blog, particularly when he is in satirical mode (which is much of the time). One of his recent entries that got me snorting was an announcement that he will henceforth be linking his blog to the website of his new parish, Our Lady of the Rosary in Greenville, SC, and including more parish-relevant posts. That much is just straight news, no funny business intended. However, to let his new parishioners get a taste of what they will have to put up with from their new pastor, he includes the following at the end of his discussion of his new parish : ... The parish has a building project, so the chance to build a new church is an exciting challenge. I have already designed a very nice contemporary s

Lectio Divina: The Ancient Christian Art of Spiritual Reading

Often, when teaching college undergraduates, I have found that my students are hiding a guilty secret: they don't really know how to read. Now that doesn't mean that, if I were to give them a book or newspaper and asked them to read a particular sentence they would be stymied. No, they would be able to make out all the words, and even comprehend entire sentences or paragraphs, so they are not "illiterate" in the most basic sense. But many of them don't know how to make sense of what they read:  to be able to discern the most important ideas and see how those ideas fit together;  to put these ideas into context with other assigned readings (to see connections or contradictions);  to assess or apply the significance of what they have read, once they understand it;  to judge the value of what they have read, taking into account its merits and deficits; and other tasks that allow them to get some value out of what they have read.  Once I discovered how un