Book Review: How to Read Literature Like a Professor

There is no crash course in literature quite like the revised edition of Tomas C. Foster’s How To Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines. Symbolism, theme, cultural context—you could be awakened to these elements in any great work by taking a full course. Foster’s book is an analytical guide rife with classic examples and explanations, tailored to the unliterary mind curious to become more literate.

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Teaching ‘Wife of Bath’ to 20 Boys and 5 Girls; or to 20 Girls and 5 Boys

The Wife of Bath’s Tale is one of the most famous and frequently taught of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The compounded irony is laid out thus: A man is telling a story of a feminist woman telling the story of a knightly man who forces himself upon a woman, who for his crime is sentenced by the queen (who was deferred to by the king) to spend a year searching for the answer to the question of what women want, at the end of which he is given the answer by an old woman who makes him swear to fulfill her next request, thereby saving his life, and yet cursing himself to honor her request to marry and bed her, so that he is tormented until she gives him the choice of either having her be beautiful and unfaithful or old, ugly and faithful, a choice which he skirts by letting her decide, thus learning his lesson by deferring to his wife and earning a woman both beautiful and faithful. The moral, says the Wife of Bath, is for God to bless all women with hot sexy men who will let their wives do what they want. At least in this man Chaucer’s story.
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Scaffolding Puzzles with My Toddler

My son is two and a half, and has had very little experience with puzzles. Just the other day, my wife bought a pack of four 12-piece puzzles of a school bus, race car, fire truck, and choo choo train. My first guess would be that our son, who only sits still for books and “watch something,” would hop around before stomping on the puzzle and running to his costumes. Continue reading

1 Timothy 5:8 and Self Defense

In his blog From Dust, Carl Jenkins examines the common perception that 1 Tim. 5:8 is talking about self defense.

From Dust

       My last post dealt with a passage that is often used to advocate the Christian’s right to defend oneself to the point of taking another’s life. The point of that post, as well as this one, was not to try and “convert” anyone to a position that denies the right of a Christian to defend their self of others in a way that willingly takes human life, but rather to evaluate the text in it’s context and see if it does or does not say anything about Christians and self-defense. My conclusion was that it says nothing either way about the issue. This post is in the same vein, in that it will focus on a particular verse (I Timothy 5:8) that is often used in the discussion of defending one’s self or loved ones through taking the life of someone trying to do you harm.

But if anyone…

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