Learning Purringly

Honestly?  I think my job-teaching myself and my children-is the cat’s meow. 

I love learning something new, connecting it to what I already know, asking more questions, reviewing new information, tossing it out for discussion.  It is a glorious cycle that doesn’t seem to have an end. 

The “aha!” moments are pure sizzle. 

We are studying the 20th century and I am simultaneously appalled at what little I knew and delighted to start figuring out the back story of the years of my life.  The flow of history and culture fascinates as never before. As I am reading about the collision between Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics and Muslims in Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia and the Yugo (= south) slavs, early in the 20th century, I receive an email with a photo, asking for prayer for a refugee Serbian family searching for a country where they can live and work in peace.  That puts a face on the long struggles in the Balkan Peninsula.

This morning I found a word which I’ve read several times before and realized I didn’t know the meaning of it.
Sartorial (of or relating to a tailor or tailored clothes) from sartorius (muscle that crosses the front of the thigh obliquely and helps one to sit like a tailor).  Curt and I had a fun little debate about how tailors sit.  Any guesses?

Here is the context of the word sartorial, from the essay Why I am Hopeful by Andy Crouch, written about the present economic afflictions.

I am not hopeful because I think we are well prepared for what is ahead of us.  We are not.

We are a terrifyingly unserious people, our heads buzzing with trivia and noise.  This is more true, if anything, of American Christians than the rest of our country [world?].  The stark contrast between what I experience among Christians anywhere else in the world–and not just the “Third World,” because Canada and Germany and Britain and Singapore come to mind as quickly as Uganda and India–and American Christians is astonishing.  We are preoccupied with fads intellectual, theological, technological, and sartorial.  Vanishingly few of us have any serious discipline of silence, solitude, study, and fasting.  We have, in the short run, very little to offer our culture, because we live in the short run.      

Any learning sizzles in your life lately?

Here’s a mug in my sister-in-law’s collection in Maine.



5 thoughts on “Learning Purringly

  1. When I go to India what we discover is this….we have little they need to learn from us and MUCH we need to learn from them.  When possible we try to convey to them this..do NOT do church the way America does.Silence, solitiude, study and fasting.  I’m going to try and just imprint that in my head today.  You don’t mind if I copy and paste do you??  ha-haI had a learning sizzle last night…correcting Geography…a chapter on governments…long article on socialism and free markets.  A free market philosophy  only works if you have a moral people..and on and on it went..and I got less and less hopeful….I don’t think they taught that stuff at my high school!

  2. Yahoo answers:tailors used to sit on the floor and sew with their legs crossed. this would be “tailor fashion” similar to the indian style of sitting around the campfire or teepee. Planning to read that Couch article and come back later šŸ™‚

  3. What a great mug  I think the most fun I have in class is when a student asks me something that I don’t know so that we brainstorm together and discover answers with spontaneous enthusiasm and interest. ~Laurie

  4. learning purringly – that does create an interesting picture in my eye (are your eyes open? … My teaching involves using a fixed paced system (limited curriculum choices accepted by our government). This bor(e)ders the wild side – a roar not a meow is heard frequently! How to make time for purring moments remains a challenge! Makes me think…. have you got any great group study ideas (boys 14 & 16)? I’ve managed to slot in at least two group reading sessions per week and am looking for new (purrfect) material. Sonja     

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