I have some thoughts about home libraries


Jerry Seinfeld got me thinking when he asked during his observational comedy bit, what’s the deal with home libraries? He claimed these shelves are for holding the trophies of a reader, and while there is certainly something to that kind of egotistical showing off, there are more noble aspects of the home library too.

– The home library is to books what the gallery to art: the books on the shelves remind you what they have done and what they can continue to do for you, and more than that many books with striking or elegant fonts, endpapers, and of course, covers are visual pieces of art in their own right

– The books are there to edify the guests for a spare moment or loan on the way home

– then there is the consideration that those particular books can’t be replaced whether the particular book reminds you of a good time or place, and some people mark up there books with lots of notes (with varying degrees of insight and annoyance) and represent a growing experience.

– anyhow, I wouldn’t go as far as say everyone should have a library at home, but I maintain a collection of bound ink stained pages is still a worthwhile thing to have around


Fanfare of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I know I’m late to the party- I must say, though, The Goldfinch is wonderful- and what a simply great theme richly brought to life: it is so often the shrinking, wincing feeling of awkwardness or guilt or greed that keeps beauty locked away, and prevents us from telling the true from the false. Like Lonesome Dove, another of the great novels, those things, guilt and awkwardness and pride prevent Call from acknowledging and nurturing his son. Like Plotinus, Tartt teaches us that loving beautiful things takes us into a larger never ending beauty

On the blended classroom, coaching, and cyborgs

I like the term natural, as in “he has a natural swing’ meaning it isn’t coached. Of course, some of the most fluid, natural looking swings are very coached. There is a problem, though, with too much coaching, particularly computerized coaching. I think it’s most obvious in sports but the principle applies to everything. The more the human element is taken out of something, the less people care about it. If a computer instantly tells you how to do something in an optimal way, does that make you any less human and more cyborg?