Tag Archives: education

Can You Change? Will You Change? — Post by Mary C. Findley

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We love books. But we live in a semi truck. Yes. We live there, full-time, hubby and I. It’s not one of those with a motor home setup. It has small storage spaces here and there, but we have to have clothes, food, tools, personal care supplies ,,, Not a lot of room for books. We have perhaps a dozen books, if that many, in the truck, and they fill an entire cupboard. They are reference books that only exist in print, or samples of some of the books we have written in print format.

We also have a Kindle Keyboard, a Kindle Fire, and a tablet. Among all three, we may have 2000 books. Not sure. But it’s probable that we have more than you do in your whole house.

Do you read ebooks? More and more people say they do. It’s still kind of like a novelty, reading ebooks as opposed to print books. Some get them on their phones, their tablets, or even own an ereader especially for books. Some claim they buy a lot of books there, or take advantage of the free ones that are EVERYWHERE online. You can certainly save a ton of money, in most cases, by buying ebooks versus print books.

But many people still prefer “real” books. They want to hold them in their hands, and they have bookshelves filled with them. Why not? Books are nice. Hardcover books are substantial, and last a long time. They can even become valuable. For thousands of years, people have valued physical reading material, be it clay tablets, scrolls, parchment, or paper books. They are treasures, and can be ornaments to a home. Beautiful scroll cases. Ornate bookshelves.

But what happens when you no longer have a home? You say that won’t happen? It has happened to many people, for many reasons. I’m just going to focus on just two reasons, though. I’m not necessarily talking about homelessness. That’s a different issue, for another time.

One reason for not having a home is the need to be mobile, like our current need. Our work requires constant travel. Go where a load is, pick it up, go where it needs to deliver. We have some stuff in storage, but that’s mostly more books, which are kind of becoming a burden, because storage has to be cared for and paid for.

Another reason for travel is to make personal appearances. Many sales jobs require that. Public speakers of all kinds have to do that. We are trying to segue into that, to be teachers and to promote our books by making appearances at conferences and conventions. Go where the people are, to tell them about what you want them to buy from you. But even people who do that usually have a home base — a place they keep coming back to. Normally that’s a home, with books and bookshelves.And they sell physical books at these appearances.

But there’s a third reason for constant travel. It’s called persecution. People have suffered that for thousands of years, too. Elijah in the Scriptures is an excellent example. Where did he come from? Where did he live? We have no idea. But we know of two incidences in his short career where he had to pick up and move out, fast. He predicted no rain for around three years and then God told him to run and hide. After the drought ended with that spectacular sacrifice on Carmel, he ran again. Pretty sure he didn’t take his book collection with him. Maybe, you’ll say, he didn’t have to make that second move. He just did it because he was scared. He still did it, fast, and likely didn’t take a lot of baggage.

The point is that we as believers are too rooted in our homes and our stuff. What if we had to move, suddenly? What would happen to our books? How would we study, learn, teach, and even amuse or distract ourselves and those we care about? Don’t give me the excuse that earlier believers didn’t have electronic devices. We do, but we’re relegating them to the toy department. It’s time to realize they are tools God has given us.

Apocalyptic stories drill home the mantra that we will be at a mere survival level. We will trudge, and kill the enemy, whatever it is, and trudge some more, and scrounge for food, and hide, and become hardened and tough, and nothing else will matter, until we reach that refuge, however elusive it is. One day we will get home again, and start accumulating stuff again.

But what about the people in the Scriptures who wandered in sheepskins and goatskins? What if we never have a regular home again? What will we do for books then? How will we teach our children?

I haven’t seen the movie The Book of Eli, but I understand that Eli listened to recordings for most of the movie as he traveled. That’s one way to “read,” and necessary for him. It sounds like a great idea that he had to barter for power sources to recharge his listening device. A nifty, practical concern.

Still, the movie, to me, seems to have had a rather silly point — fighting and struggling and killing and nearly dying to possess or preserve a physical book. When are we going to realize that digital books can live forever, go anywhere, come to us easily, instantly? They take up almost no physical space. They can have beautiful, color illustrations. They can have sounds, even be listened to rather than just read. These things are treasures in the aether. They can flee persecution with us, in our pocket or our backpack.

Christ said to the disciples to go to the ends of the world, sharing the Good News. But we won’t go, because we won’t leave our stuff, and some of that stuff is physical books. Print Bibles, concordances, study guides, devotionals. Homeschoolers even have tons of paper to teach their children, with the best of intentions. Maybe the disciples wouldn’t leave their stuff, either, and that’s why persecution came. When it did, they went everywhere, preaching.

Most of us still haven’t got the message that anyone can go and tell the Good News, because we’re stuck to our stuff. We can’t even answer a question out on the street without going home and looking it up in our paper Bible. What if your Bible was right with you, in your phone? What if, instead of your kid using his handheld device to play games or check Instagram, he had his Bible, his schoolbooks, wondrous, edifying pleasure reading, right there in his hands?

When there’s a fire or a tornado or some other disaster, we have to pick up and move fast. What do people grab first? Their phones. Sometimes nothing else.

When we are persecuted (and we will be) we will have to move fast and travel light. Many people already are fleeing death for their faith. What will you be able to take? Not those bookshelves of Bibles and homeschool curriculum and reference books. Probably not any of your physical books. But what if your tablet or phone is also your book shelf? What treasures can you take, and preserve, and share?

Just think about it.

Images from Pixabay.com

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Chapter Twenty-three – What Do You Want from Me?

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Talia dragged Keith away from the windows of a travel agency with posters of Greece and Turkey destinations. They were spending the day in the “big city” shopping and finishing up preparations for the trip. “We’re going there,” she laughed. “You don’t have to look at pictures.”

“The history of these lands is like a huge press,” Remmy explained as they climbed into a rental car. “Wine, olives, cheese, words, all are squeezed, and the faithful were squeezed, by war, by persecution. Sometimes they flowed out to other places. Sometimes they went into hiding. Sometimes they hid in plain sight.”

“They hid in plain sight? How can you do that?”
“So many ways. Let me give you an example from Europe. The Jews, the Marranos, as the Spanish called them, publicly claimed to have converted to Roman Catholicism under the threat of the Inquisition. Jews have the Mezzuzah, the little box on the doorpost containing Scripture. They would still have that box, but it would be part of a whole design, carvings around the doorway, and none would notice that one part which contained the treasure. Even for the Moors, the Moriscos, it was so. In a country where one ruler proudly displayed no less than five severed Moorish heads on his coat of arms, these people lived and served another faith, but very cautiously.”

“I’m glad Christians don’t have to do that in America,” Keith said.

“Really? You think you still have religious freedom in America, do you?”

“Sure we do.”

“Nonsense. How many people have been fired from their jobs for such trivial things as wearing a pin with the Pledge of Allegiance, containing the words Under God?”

“What? Nobody.”

“You are wrong. How many teachers have been disciplined for having a Bible on their desks – not even showing it or reading the Word to students, just reading it themselves during times when the students have seat work?”

“They can’t stop you from doing that. How do you know this stuff? You don’t even live in America.”

“In America you have a saying, ‘to keep the ear to the ground’, I believe it runs. I have been a long time keeping my ear to the ground. I listen, I watch, I see the chipping away that goes on. Christians are supposed to turn the other cheek, to bear all things, to be longsuffering, to always be loving. You see, the enemy has used our own Scriptures against us, just as the evil one used them against our Lord in the wilderness temptation. I read of someone who pointed out that Satan used more Scripture in one conversation than many faithful use in hours of ‘fellowship’.”

“I never thought about that. We get together for a youth activity and we play basketball, eat pizza, and at the end we have a devotional.”

“Exactly. Even when we have a choice, it is divided into tidy packages. Why do we not ourselves always try to press the word stored in our hearts, to make it flow out into all our lives, not just the ‘devotional’ parts? Do we regard it so lightly, that the basketball and the pizza, they are given more time? What do the Scriptures say, over and over and over again? They call for meditation. They call for prayer. They call for tucking the word into the heart. They do not call for the basketball or the pizza.”

Keith laughed uneasily. “Right. But look at our Bible as Literature class. That’s spilling over into the kids’ lives, into their families’ lives. We had no idea it would take hold like that.”

“It is the Word. That is what it does, if we truly let it. What do you think will come of this archival project they have taken your Bibles for?”

“It could be the greatest thing that ever happened. So many people use computers and the internet for Bible study already. You can meet people all around the world. You can study with them. Getting school students involved in it can only be good, right? And you saw it yourself. They didn’t take anything. They gave it all right back. Didn’t even bend a page out of my Bible. I checked.”

“Are you trying to convince me, or yourself?”

“But they said they respected our faith. They thought it was important.”

“I respect the huge dog with many shining teeth who guards my neighbor’s yard,” Uncle Remmy smiled, pointing out a ferociously barking animal as they pulled up alongside a bistro. “But what if I persuade that man that I cannot sleep for the barking, that I do not feel safe. He must build a high, strong fence. He must get a chain. He must put a muzzle on his dog. These are reasonable things, already laws in civilized countries. But his dog can no longer do what he obtained it to do. ‘Oh, look, what an admirable dog he has’, we can say, when it is restrained and silent and troubles us no more.”

“Wow,” Keith said. “But everyone whose opinion I value, everyone I love, said we should do this. I mean, you two were right there helping us carry the stuff out to the church van Sunday night.”

They ordered coffee and pastries. “I think maybe Uncle Remmy’s just playing devil’s advocate with you,” Talia ventured, shooting some sharp looks at her uncle.

“Talia tells us that you are ‘safety man’ at your school,” Sophia said. “She says how much you and your father care for these children, and for your beautiful sister and mother. We just want you to keep on doing that, to think ahead and to plan for the safety of these you love and honor.”

“Okay, so, are you saying we’re being too short-sighted? You’re giving us that van for Grandma and Joana, because you thought we weren’t considering their safety enough? Maybe you don’t realize that my mother and father spent everything they had taking care of Grandma, and then Joana got sick. My mom worked sixty-or seventy-hour weeks, and my dad still has two jobs.

“I just took off like some oblivious teenager, because I had scholarships and grants for college and no debt, and got my own place and my own car. When my mom dropped dead from a heart attack, I realized that I’d quit being Mr. Safety and started being Mr. Selfish. Dad and I sold everything we could possibly do without, and we have done the best we could. I don’t know what you want from me, but I’m just a guy trying to do what’s right. I don’t need this kind of grief.”

Keith jumped up and took off running. The others called out to him but he was in no mood to stop. He had gone to college here and knew the city fairly well, but finally ran out of breath in the park. He collapsed on a bench and tried to get his breathing back to normal.

“No way,” he muttered as the familiar rental car pulled up alongside the black wrought-iron fence.

“Please don’t be angry,” Talia said as she ran up to him. “They do it to me too. The new cellphone we just got you for the trip? Uncle Remmy can track the GPS.”

“Why do I keep feeling like I’ve suddenly become part of some super-secret spy mission, and that it’s up to me to save the world?” Keith demanded. “Who are you people? Why did you come to our town? What are we to you? Why did you even need our participation in this trip? What’s really going on with these Golden Testaments, and why in the world would you need our school’s help, or my help, to get them?”

“Get them all out in the open, Keith,” Sophia said. “Every question you want to ask. We promise to try to answer anything you want to know. Anything we can, at least.” Remmy and Sophia sat on a bench across the footpath and Talia sat next to Keith.

“Well, okay, then, did you or didn’t you know that this Repository Project was going to demand that we get all our Bibles and materials scanned?”

“We knew nothing about that part of the project. We asked Talia to become involved in it, frankly, because we wanted to learn more about it, and could get no information from the outside. We did not specifically choose your school or you. Talia sought the teaching job there, because we wanted to learn about the project from the perspective of a small, conservative school and community where the program would be new. We wanted to see the implementation from the beginning.”

“What about these new families?”

“We have no connection to them, and no specific knowledge of where they came from or why they chose this town to push their agenda. But this is a pattern, which I am sure you and your father and grandmother have already noted, to extend government control and extort compliance in places where they would likely find great resistance. These small towns require special handling. It took us a little time to realize that the Bible as Literature grants would first break down the resistance, and then create obligations, and finally force obedience.”

“So who are you people, that you feel like you need to get involved with us? Talia was the one who told dad about the program. Nobody showed up from the government. None of those parents brought it up.”

“We are just people, Keith, who want to try to preserve the Word of God and slake the Great Thirst. We know that many governments, not just the American government, are trying to stifle reliance on the Scriptures. They don’t want them taught. They don’t want them to exist. So of course we assumed this program must seek to do the opposite of what we would wish it to do. Talia wanted to make a stand, to make their plan, whatever it was, what is the expression? – backfire. She wanted to teach truth as truth, not as just another mythology. The two of you have succeeded beyond our wildest hopes, especially in the memory aspect of the class. Your memory clues have been simply brilliant!”

“Well, I just remembered all those crazy memory cues we had to learn for Science. Mnemonics, I mean. Especially for Chemistry. Like ‘Leo says Ger! or Leo the lion, Ger!’ T stuff like that for the Bible memory, especially the references. That’s what I always mess up on.

“Grampa used to say, ‘If the Scriptures are your best friends, why don’t you know where they live?’ So I told the class; here’s Galatians 2:20: ‘They only asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I also was eager to do.’ Think of two gals who ate two hundred and twenty peanuts. These gals weren’t much like Paul, which starts with a P, because they didn’t care about the poor, which also starts with p. So the gals help you remember the reference, and the P in peanuts reminds you of Paul, plus the P in poor, and then we’re ready to start working on the verse itself.’”

All three of his companions exploded with laughter.

“But to get back to the nasty now and now,” Keith continued, “How’s the trip connect to the Bible as Literature Class, anyway?”

“For over two years now, we have believed that we were being followed and spied upon in our work to discover the whereabouts of the Golden Testaments. We thought we were getting very close with the information we had that was leading us to search in the Levant or Anatolia. Things began to go wrong with our research contacts, our travel plans, our equipment … All of this convinced us that we must be on the right track, but that we must try to misdirect those who wanted to stop us. So we arranged for Talia to offer this trip to for the school.

“Who would suspect that we would take forty-five high school students along with us on a quest that has brought us more and more into danger? It was our hope that they would think we have given up, or were aimlessly fishing and no longer a threat. Indeed, recent events nearly persuaded us that we had to stop, when we learned that people would kill to stop us, and even those we would want to be our allies did not think us worthy.”

“Oh, so this is that ‘honorable man’ who said that you shouldn’t ‘play with defilement’?”

“We have promised to be candid with you, Keith,” Sophia said. “So we must tell you that Talia did not have pneumonia. Please do not think that she intentionally lied to you. We had an emergency and needed her to come to us in Naxos, so we had contacts here arrange for her to appear to have fallen ill and be hospitalized. Poor Talia did not even know what was going to happen.”

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Coming soon from Findley Family Video Publications

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The Power of Secular Humanism

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Within a lengthy facebook post was the following direct quote. “I’ve recently become more interest with atheism and it is way different from the cults.” (sic) While there are many reasons for people’s interest in this subject, there are three important, foundational points to keep in mind.

First, the term Secular Humanism is a better term. Secular Humanism includes agnosticism as well as atheism. It also includes the belief that the material universe is eternal and that there are many powerful nonhuman beings in this material universe who are not gods. The ancient astronaut believers fall somewhere into this mix. More importantly, in the flurry of lawsuits filed in the early-to-mid-twentieth century, this is the name they chose for themselves.

Second, while there are broke, homeless secular humanists, secular humanism is the wealthiest belief system the world has ever seen. Every major, well-funded charity in western culture is secular humanist, often deceptively labeled as “neutral.” The combined wealth of these charities is greater than anything except the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Perhaps it is greater, since these industries must put much of their wealth back into their industries. Secular humanism also receives tax funds.
Third and most important, Secular Humanism has become, in most western cultures, an Establishment of Religion. Secular Humanists require government school teachers to teach secularism. School, even preschool, becomes indoctrination. Parents have their children kidnapped (truancy laws) and put into foster care if they fail to properly teach secularism. That is not as extreme in the United States as it is in Europe.

After leaving the mandatory school system, Secular Humanism switches to bribes. The better jobs, grants, and opportunities go to people who “go along” with the “system.” As long as you are willing to not mention the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, or even God in a general sense, you may have tax money to support your projects.
The catchphrase becomes “Well, you don’t want other people using tax money to force you to believe their religion, do you?” They either do not understand or they are simply unwilling to acknowledge that this is exactly what they are doing with secular humanism, or the subset of secular humanism called atheism.

As more people accept the indoctrination process, then specific tenets of the religious system become law. It becomes illegal to spank children, for example, or to teach anything other than the earth is millions of years old. Euthanasia and abortion become options, then requirements. Entertainment and media in general either reject families altogether or mock them. You are never allowed to protect yourself; you must trust in the police power of the government (Plato’s guardians).
But the worst possible response to the established religion of secular humanism is to reject it.

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Leaving an Inheritance by Michael J. Findley

A good man leaveth an inheritance
to his children’s children;
Proverbs 13:22a KJV

A simple reading of this verse brings to mind property, real estate, houses, land, and money. Keil and Delitzsch in their commentary point out that the word can also mean “the man who is willing to communicate all good is truly good” and “a dispenser of blessings.” Jesus explained this “If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” Luke 16:11 and “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48b

Since God poured out His Spirit to found the Church, we are the first generation to have the teachings of the Word of God in an electronic format. We have the responsibility to use this opportunity to pass on to the next generation what the Lord has given to us.

These blessing and opportunities are also a great responsibility. Unlike the printed copies of educational material, educational ebooks can be given away for nothing more than the cost to store the material on a publisher’s site, which is at this time about two dollars per book. Then these books will be available worldwide to anyone who can read English and owns an ebook reader. At this time ebook readers are available in the US starting around $79. With very minimal advertising and no marketing, we have sold books in about twenty countries.

While we do write fiction, our educational goals are to write an integrated series on the history of the world. The Introduction to the Conflict of the Ages Series is entitled Antidisestablishmentarianism. One of our reviewers wrote that it was 950 pages on his ebook reader, so we also made it available in 4 sections as 4 separate books, What is an Establishment of Religion?, What is Secular Humanism?, What is Science? and What are the Results of the Establishment of Secular Humanism?

The Conflict of the Ages series begins with a defense of the origin of the universe in part one. Part two covers the origin of evil. At this time, part three, the flood and the ice age is about half complete. We intend to cover history through the twentieth century. At this time we estimate that will be about 42 volumes.

We were surprised to discover that no other ebook is available with our perspective. We have two major differences from any other works that we are aware of. First, we hold to the Scriptures as absolute authority but use other sources. We hold that Josephus and other ancient sources, though they contain errors, are more reliable than physical evidence available today through science. The reason is that the cataclysmic changes, not just during the flood but for hundreds of years after, have made the proper interpretation of the physical evidence extremely difficult.

Second, we integrate the history of the ancient world with art and literature. To the extent possible, we intend to include mathematical problems as well.
With some people there might be one other issue. We have no intention of making a detailed scope and sequence with daily assignments, quizzes and tests. Though we include many questions in the teacher’s edition, these need to be modified by the parent or teacher to fit the needs of the students. While the basic text has vocabulary suitable for an advanced elementary level student, the concepts are difficult to grasp in places and the recommended outside reading ranges up to the postdoctorate level.

May God bless you.

Image source: Norman Rockwell’s “Family Grace” from http://drawingatduke.blogspot.com/2010/11/norman-rockwell-greatest-american.html

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Maturity

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But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Hebrews 5:14

We are all involved in a Spiritual warfare that is not going away just because we do not like it.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 3,4

In 1956 the New York Campaign of the Billy Graham Crusade chose to accept liberal sponsorship and place converts in liberal churches because he believed it gave him the opportunity to reach more people. This policy of “reaching more people” at the expense of part of the message of the Word of God is rampant in churches across the United States.

Today, the fruit of those decisions are churches with unbelievers in positions of leadership. While Jude tells us this has been going on for 2,000, mature Christians have theconflict 1 student 10 responsibility to contend earnestly for the faith. The difficulty we have is that we have not practiced and our senses are not trained to discern good and evil.

Mary and I are working on a series to partially correct that serious error. The original preface grew to be a 600-page book in its own right, Antidisestablishmentarianism. While while COA is designed for homeschool, the Conflict of the Ages series is suitable for anyone. Part One covers the creation, showing the historical record in the Word of God to be accurate. Part Two covers the origin of evil and the antediluvian civilization. Part Three covers the Flood and the Ice Age. At this point in time, we intend to make a series of modules as e-books. The current master plan of 46 might change as they are written. Each module includes its own questions and answers.

The Word of God commands us to be mature and through practice not only be able to discern good and evil, but also to fight, struggle against evil. Victory is of the Lord. But we are responsible to fight for God’s Word.

We also are writing these principles to fulfill, in part, the requirements of a homeschool education. Since believers will live in a world controlled by Secular Humanists, we must train students in the tactics of this world. We include every possible source outside the Bible to demonstrate the principles of the Word of God in this world’s setting. Often this called the inoculation principle. We present enough the world’s beliefs and their system that the student may both understand and resist that system.

Sadly, what most students encounter is inoculation against the Word of God. It is presented in a distorted form which turns them against God for the rest of their lives. Sadder still, this is often done in Churches and Christian homes.

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School Indoctrination

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From the video Sacred Geometry DNA changes 2012 Mollecular Atom Consciousness…

My first comment is that they spelled molecular incorrectly in their title.

“With the deliberate push for government controlled educational curriculums, generation after generation of the youth are being taught to focus only on the facts, figures and numbers. Repetition is used to train children subconsciously to accept what they’re learning. Children aren’t rewarded for questioning the validity of the information they receive, they’re ridiculed. However, the children who blindly accept the information as true and merely regurgitate the information on command when it is time to take a test, those children go on to become the decision makers in our government, law, medicine, business and every other occupation with power and prestige.”

These comments, taken out of context are great. Children need to be taught how to think. However, there are two very serious problems. Some material must be learned by rote simply because it is true. There is no point arguing over the times tables. Just memorize them. The point is, for school boards and those establishing the curriculum, with the ubiquitous modern calculator, how important is it to memorize the times tables? Isn’t precious school time put to better use by learning how to use the various functions of the calculator than memorizing the times tables? And it is impossible to teach history if you have to spend a week convincing students that George Washington really lived. And how much time should George Washington be given in class? If we spend too much time on George Washington, then Andrew Jackson, the Louisiana Purchase, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, the Gold Rush and other important topics are either cut short or ignored completely.

But taken in context, this video is not complaining that children are not taught how to think. The makers of this video want children to be brought up with “wholistic thinking.” What they emphasize is “left brain” female side, emotional thinking. After listening to the entire video, I am not certain what their goal is. While they are emphasizing “wake up,” what would their world, if they were in charge, actually look like?

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Information, Please?

“Never Let Schooling Interfere With Your Education,” by Grant Allen and popularized by Mark Twain. “One year in Italy with their eyes open would be worth more than three at Oxford.”

“What a misfortune it is that we should thus be compelled to let our boys’ schooling interfere with their education!”

In the early days of the American Republic, the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville toured America and wrote of his observations. He marveled at the education of our children, believing an American education to be the best in the world. Women and children were well educated and could hold their own in any conversation on any topic.

Entrance exams into colleges such as Princeton or Harvard required reading and writing part of the exam in an ancient language (normally Latin, Greek or Hebrew) and a modern foreign language (usually French or German). That included proper grammar and using certain words correctly. One example of a geography question from the 1869 Harvard entrance exam: “Bound the basin of the Po, of the Mississippi, of the St. Lawrence.” One example of arithmetic from the same exam: “Find the cube root of 0.0093 to five places of decimals. Find the square root of 531.5 to three places of decimals.” A section followed this on Logarithms and Trigonometry.

After completing the Freshman year, another round of entrance exams were required to be admitted as a sophomore. The questions were somewhat more difficult. Write an essay comparing and contrasting the following “Leonidas, Pausanias, Lysander.”

While Alexis de Tocqueville was impressed with America’s classical education, he noticed a lack of training in modern thinking. At that time a public versus private education was determined by enrollment, not funding. A public education meant that it was open to everyone. A private education meant that the school was closed to everyone except members.

Even an exam from 1895 Salina, KS would be difficult, if not impossible, for the average college graduate of today. There is some question as to who was being tested; Eighth Grade? High School? Is it a teacher’s certification exam? To be fair, science and arts disciplines were not included in these examinations. No physics, chemistry, music, literature or physical education were required. Each of these disciplines takes time and that time is taken away from these other courses.

Yet today we have high school graduates unable to read their own diplomas. The shift in emphasis is not the reason for their inability to read. It is the lack of discipline, both personal and academic. The books Why Johnny Can’t Read: And What You Can Do About It and Why Johnny Still Can’t Read: A New Look At the Scandal of Our Schools by Rudolf Flesch examine both some of the problems and solutions.

We are perhaps the best informed and worst-educated generation the world has ever seen. Most American students have completely lost the ability to think through any issue. We have access through the Internet to any information we want. But what do we do with it? Problems that might take days, weeks, months or even years to solve are discarded in favor of easy quick solutions.

This mentality began with plays, then switch to movies. Even serial movies had some kind of an end. TV shows had either complete solutions in half an hour; at most an hour or soap opera formats where nothing was ever solved. The open-ended nothing is ever really solved format became the fast paced video game. Quick one-word or phrase solutions are available through Google searches, so we have no need to remember anything. Life has become unending self-gratification where nothing important matters. “Give it to me now” has been the motto of western culture for over 50 years. Did it begin with the Beatles? Elvis? Frank Sinatra?

Solomon reminded us that “there is nothing new under the sun.” Plato wrote of Socrates in his dialogue Phaedrus that writing in and of itself was a step in the wrong direction. Instead of the mental disciple required by oral traditions, humans grew lazy and relied on what was written down. They could read, so they no longer needed to remember or think. “This will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, … they will trust to the external written characters.”

Plutarch tells us that Lycurgus, the founder of the laws of Sparta, believed the same way. “None of his laws were put into writing by Lycurgus, indeed, one of the so-called “rhetras” forbids it.”

Our generation easily dismisses the charge that they do not think things through with a “yeah, right,” neither openly accepting or rejecting, just wanting to “get on with life.”

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs and tyrannize their teachers.” (attributed to Socrates [Plato]. The exact source is unknown.)

These children killed Socrates when they grew up and came to power. These children also started the Peloponnesian Wars, one of the most barbaric episodes in human history.

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