Rules for Civility: 14-Year-Old George Washington’s 110 Commandments for Cultivating Character

Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present. When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usualy Discovered. Shew Nothing to your Freind that may affright him. In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet. –Brain Pickings.


Ave atque vale

What is a liberal education and what it is for? From Cicero’s artes liberales, to the attempts at common curricula in more recent times, to the chaotic cafeteria that passes for a curriculum in most American universities today, the concept has suffered from vagueness, confusion, and contradiction. From the beginning, the champions of a liberal education have thought of it as seeking at least four kinds of goals. One was…

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Does Math Exist?

Millions of high-school students might wish math did not exist, but, alas, it does, at least as a human creation. The question, however, of whether math exists independent of humans is a much deeper one, and PBS’s Mike Rugnetta gives a fun, brief overview of the age-old philosophical debate in the video above. via Does Math Exist? – Rebecca J. Rosen – The Atlantic.

The Milestones That Matter Most

[W]hen Japanese and American fourth and fifth grade children were asked why they shouldn’t hit, gossip or fight with other kids, 92 percent of the American kids answered “because they’d get caught or get in trouble.” Ninety percent of the Japanese kids asked the same question responded, “because it would be hurtful to someone else.” –via Christine Gross-Loh: The Milestones That Matter Most.


Creative People Say No

When I was a master’s student working as a PR writer for the engineering school at the University of Virginia, I had the chance to interview Randy Pausch. His phone rang numerous times while we were talking. The first time it happened, recognizing that I was imposing on his time, I asked, “Do you need to get that?” He didn’t. For the hour or so that he had blocked out…


What Does the Demise of Cursive Mean?

Are you aware that our children aren’t being taught to trim their own goose-quill pens? And don’t get me started on the growing number of urban children who lack adequate access to parchment. Here’s a welcome, balanced response to the decreased role that penmanship plays in today’s schools — and in today’s society. My clients are often stuck in mindsets or stalled in places they know are holding them back.…