• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming and home schooling. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 17/Grade 12, 15/Grade 10, and 13/Grade 9.

    Contact me at becky.farmschool@gmail.com

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    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
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    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

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    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
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    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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Hands

One of my favorite writers, science professor and naturalist Chet Raymo, wrote a recent post “Hand to Mind” at his blog Science Musings* about The New York Times review of Richard Sennett’s new book, The Craftsman; I highlighted some excerpts of the Times review here.

Prof. Raymo hasn’t read the new book yet, but has some wonderful thoughts on the subject. Here’s just a bit from his post,

The purest way to live, it has always seemed to me, is with what might be called a Benedictine balance of manual labor, intellectual work, and prayer. The closest I have come to achieving this is on the island, where part of each day is given over to reading and writing, part to woodworking and household maintenance, and part to paying attention, usually while walking. Yes, I know. It’s our brain that by most accounts defines our humanity — that gray stuff locked out of sight in the strongbox of the skull. But it’s with our hands that we make physical contact with reality. Our hands are our emissaries to the world.

Read the rest here.

* Prof. Raymo has the Science Musings blog and the Science Musings website (where you can find his thoughts on Benjamin Franklin and plate tectonics, among other things)

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5 Responses

  1. Reminds me of Helen and Scott Nearing…and their day’s structure was credited as being inspired by Thomas Jefferson.

  2. Yes, very much so, Jen. Ah, the Good Life : ). You’re probably beginning to detect a theme here at this point!

  3. Ha, ha! Probably the reason why I keep coming to read your posts! :) The Good Life, indeed.

  4. I have always liked the idea, at least, of the Benedictine way of life–although since my impressions of it were garnered from Rumer Godden’s novel, In this House of Brede, I’m not sure I really know what that means.

    I shall look out for The Craftsman…

  5. Oh I love that book, Charlotte.

    The one thing I think I know about Benedictines, or at least about Benedict, is that he said something along the lines of, “You’re only a real monk once you live by the work of your hands”. And when I read the passage above I thought of the Trappist monks — when I was growing up Trappist jams were quite popular (I think we got some as gifts). Made in Massachusetts, I think.

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