A Rhetorical Superhero

I’ve learned many useful things from my students through the years. Last fall, Peter Jackson from my Senior English class drew my attention to the the term “Steel Man”. I’d understood the concept it represented, but not encountered the term; as often, however, having a name for something makes it easier to handle and promote.… Continue reading A Rhetorical Superhero


I have to date remained silent here about the COVID-19 pandemic, because for the most part I haven’t had anything constructive to add to the discussion, and because I thought that our parents and students would probably prefer to read about something else. I also try, when possible, to discuss things that will still be… Continue reading Unprecedented?

Reflections on Trisecting the Angle

I’m not a mathematician by training, but the language and (for want of a better term) the sport of geometry has always had a special appeal for me. I wasn’t a whiz at algebra in high school, but I aced geometry. As a homeschooling parent, I had a wonderful time teaching geometry to our three… Continue reading Reflections on Trisecting the Angle

Crafting a Literature Program

The liberal arts are, to great measure, founded on written remains, from the earliest times to our own. Literature (broadly construed to take in both fiction and non-fiction) encompasses a bewildering variety of texts, genres, attitudes, belief systems, and just about everything else. Like history (which can reasonably be construed to cover everything we know,… Continue reading Crafting a Literature Program


The Greek philosopher Aristotle thought widely and deeply on many subjects. Some of his ideas have proven to be unworkable or simply wrong — his description of a trajectory of a thrown object, for example, works only in Roadrunner cartoons: in Newtonian physics, a thrown ball does not turn at a right angle and fall… Continue reading Causes

Time to Think

On average, my students today are considerably less patient than those of twenty years ago. They get twitchy if they are asked merely to think about something. They don’t know how. My sense is not that they are lazy: in fact, it’s perhaps just the opposite. Just thinking about something feels to them like idling,… Continue reading Time to Think