Joshua Katz, who works in the field of emergency medical services, has a John Holt-like mindset about learning.
His opening graf in an essay about education: "One month ago, I interviewed for a teaching position at a small private school. The school was quite rightly proud of their high standards. Their students learned what was, in many ways, a classical curriculum. In addition to English, all students learned Latin and Greek, as well as one modern language. In mathematics, all students were required to learn BC Calculus. Certainly, this is high-caliber high school education. My first reaction is to say 'See what can be achieved through market forces!' Yet, a little voice inside my head rises up to question this ideal of a classical education. This little voice gives me pause as it asks 'Why does everyone need to know integration by parts and dead languages?' "
Why, indeed. Conversely, he thinks that specialized training (e.g. learning to administer an IV) shouldn't take place in the living room. This is true.
Since Joshua likes reading Marcus Tullius Cicero, let us close this blog entry with a few of the Roman orator's thoughts. Although something is usually lost in the translation (from the Latin), these quotes are crystal clear and bumper-sticker worthy:
*Brevity is a great charm of eloquence.
*An unjust peace is better than a just war.
*I criticize by creation - not by finding fault.
*I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity.
*If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
*The beginnings of all things are small.
*When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff. (Well, Cicero was a lawyer.)