Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Souls pass by, passy by on a whim
thoughtless of deed, benign of a time
that flickers in the fate dimmed
words of repose; the words of this rhyme.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Veil Is Getting Thin

As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a wisper wispering.
I heard a wisper wispering,
Upon this fine fall day...

As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a laugh a'laughing.
I heard a laugh a'laughing,
Upon this fine fall day...

I heard this wisper and I wondered,
I heard this laugh and then I knew.
The time is getting near my friends,
The time that I hold dear my friends,
The veil is getting thin my friends,
And strange things will pass through.

Friday, October 26, 2007

An Invitation to our Contributors in Belfast

My Unconventional Warfare class has just begun a unit on Irish Independence. We welcome comments on any of the postings; I just ask that you make clear in your comment that you're writing from Ireland and not a class member.

Up the Ra!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Wolves of Learning

This post appeared in another blog and rather than just link to it, I republished the whole thing.
It is from EdTechJournal at

The Wolves of Learning
At birth we are blessed with a natural curiosity. There is a great wildness in it. A shaft of sunlight illuminates a world of dust and delicate objects floating in air, as if by magic. A child who catches a glimpse of this will stop whatever it’s doing and begin to explore what it sees. We are called to learn.
Our natural curiosity is like a wild animal; it hunts where it needs to in order to satisfy its deep hunger. As children, we awaken each day with an insatiable appetite to learn. It is in our early years that we are “wolves of learning”. There is a deep, DNA-based, natural connection between learning and survival; call it the burning relevance of the empty stomach.
Over the centuries, as we have institutionalized learning, we have taken something precious from our children, our young “wolves of learning”; and from ourselves. The wildness of our natural curiosity has been tamed, domesticated, and subdued.
We have done this by giving our children virtually no control over their education, little responsibility for their learning and whatever natural curiosity they have has been replaced with a structured curriculum. We reward them for following directions and doing what they are told and reprimand them if they wander too far from our agenda. Since it is our agenda and not theirs, they put minimum effort, if any effort at all, into what we ask them to do. They are in compliance mode. Compliance produces the lowest level of effort. Fear of retribution becomes the prime motivator rather than the excitement of learning.
We have trained them to expect to be fed without going on the hunt. Like domesticated pets, we offer them bland processed learning laid out in prescribed amounts at certain times of the day. We decide what they are fed, how much, and when. They rarely experience learning by their own wits, their natural curiosity, or even serendipity. They will not gorge on learning and fight over the scraps until their bellies are full.
We have so successfully domesticated our students that they are likely to rebel when they are asked to use the natural gifts for learning with which they were born. It’s as if we were trying to release a pet house dog into the wilderness, the odds of survival would be small. Within hours the dog would be back in front of the door, begging to have its master serve its dinner to it in a dish.
Let us find ways to give our children back their birthright, their natural curiosity and facility to learn. There have to be ways that we can organize our learning institutions to accommodate individual curiosity and the standardized curriculum. I believe that thoughtful educators can create environments that are less restrictive and provide much more natural habitat for learning. Let us find ways to foster the wildness and thrill of learning again. Let us answer the “Call of the Wild”.


Monday, October 08, 2007

The Earth Begins to Cool

let the night fall
for i am not afraid of the dark
or of imaginary evils
or of myself
and my own power
let the night fall
let it come with its dreams
its mysteries
its wonders
let the night fall
let the goddess drape her scarves of black
around me
and clear the cauldron's surface

so that i might remember

Written by Lady Lissar

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Fall of the House of Usher

Here is a link to the Fall of the House of Usher by Poe

The Fall of the House of Usher


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New life, Old ways.

Samhain is upon us again, and to get in the mood I am hoping to revive the PaddyWop book club. I am not sure what people may have read before so below is a list of possibilities. Comment on what one you would prefer and hopefully by the end of the week there will be a decision. Then hopefully by the time Hollantide comes around we will be able to disucss.

1. Uncle Silas: A tale of Bartram-Haugh, Sheridan Le Fanu

2. The turn of the screw, Henry James

3. The Withered arm and other stories, Thomas Hardy

4. The Fall of the house of Usher, Edgar Allan Poe

5. Ghost stories of an Antiquary, M. R. James