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Velella's Blog


Putting Happiness to Flight

Posted by Velella , 04 October 2017 - - - - - - · 3577 views

As schools withdraw from the project of imparting knowledge, they turn to promoting mental health as their mission. The result is a preoccupation with identity, difference and well-being.

In a recent article, “We Shouldn’t Teach Children about Mental Health”, Charlotte Gill argues that it is not the role of schools to treat mental and emotional disorder...


Wild Bees

Posted by Velella , 03 September 2017 - - - - - - · 1084 views

<p><p>Wild bees  

Wild bees

When all is said and done, how do we not know but that our own unreason may be better than another’s truth? for it has been warmed on our hearths and in our souls, and is ready for the wild bees of truth to hive in it, and make their sweet honey. Come into the world again, wild bees, wild bees!

Hannah Ke...


They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead

Posted by Velella , 12 July 2017 - - - - - - · 1423 views

They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead . . .

Lament for the loss of history

Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason , among many other books, calls herself a cultural conservationist. It’s an idea whose time has come.

Of course, this is what schools were intended to do, to pass on our cultural heritage to the next generatio...


I feel, therefore I am

Posted by Velella , 04 June 2017 - - - - - - · 1478 views

<p>I feel, therefore I am  

Not so many generations ago, you could have written Sentio, ergo sum  and been confident that most readers would have understood it as a play on Descartes’ famous Cogito, ergo sum  — “I think, therefore I am”. Since then we have lost not only basic Latin as common knowledge, but also our familiarity with the seminal id...


Lovesick Winds

Posted by Velella , 03 May 2017 - - - - - - · 1282 views

Lovesick Winds*  

The Art of Writing and How to Teach It  

* Refers to a passage from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra : ‘Purple the sails, and so perfumèd that/The winds were love-sick with them’, which itself owes much to Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives, which in turn was influenced by . . . ?

Kids are copycats, and have been sinc...


Dear Ms Primary School Teacher

Posted by Velella , 01 April 2017 - - - - - - · 1243 views

Dear Ms Primary School Teacher

Thank you for referring me to “The Last Trombone Player” by Marcus Buckingham. It’s kind of you to recognise my interest in these matters and to share your views with me. I do appreciate it.

In fact the video clip was very enlightening indeed. I have finally grasped the point that the philosophy of the school is to play...


Knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven

Posted by Velella , 08 March 2017 - - - - - - · 1472 views

“Drill and kill,” they say. “Skill and thrill.”

Is this truth in a nutshell or an earworm that stops you thinking?

Answer: It’s an earworm, relying for its appeal on rhyme and a false opposition between drill and skills.

In fact, skills are knowledge that has been drilled until it becomes automatic.

Even motor skills begin as knowledge. Think of k...


The sleep of reason brings forth monsters

Posted by Velella , 21 February 2017 - - - - - - · 1075 views

I have been pondering what it is about sites like this, which is intended as a forum of ideas, that unleashes so much bile.

It’s partly the anonymity, of course. Anonymity makes the coward bold.

It’s also, I suspect, the attractions of the pillory, which the petty sadists of the virtual village can’t resist. A non-standard opinion is spotted and they st...

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