Monday, June 29, 2015

Gymnasium - "naked training"

Gymnasium:  I disapprove of much
and many and cast aspersions because
I am  an inferior person: jealous, envious,
threatened, fearful, lacking empathy and
intestinal fortitude, insecure. I could go
on. It would be dishonest to pretend
other wise.

I once commanded a class that their
papers be 10 pages in length. Because
I could.  From one I got the finished
product with a single word on each of
10 pages. 

Was that in accord with the letter
of the law, or the spirit?  Think
about it. No, really think.  Critical
thinking is our specialty,  yes?

How would you grade it? Would your
grade say more  about you or about
him? Would the fact that the student
had the  balls to hand-in 10 words say
more about him or about me? What
would it say? Say.



  1. I attended Gymnasium. Much of it was learning languages with the grammar drilled in, translating famous writers and writing essays explaining both sides of the issue.

  2. One of the women on the dementia unit had a stroke and now she will be off all drugs and life support. I am distraught. And it's really hot. I read 100 pages of Joseph Brodsky overnight. He is good. But I can't make the essayist and the poet congeal. He seems like two different persons.

  3. A different kind of Gymnasium: learning empathy.

  4. I have sympathy but little empathy.

  5. Empathy, maybe it only comes with similar experience, truly. I find it mostly in older experienced women.

  6. Ann has so much it's a handicap. I'll tear up at a movie or tv show and feel nothing but detachment at the grief and pain around me. Sociopathetic.

  7. I find it the most ironic and not enough considered thing, perhaps because of lack of interest or political correctness, that men can't feel what women feel and vice versa. We are so into each other and don't get a thing. Rhinos.

  8. Not likely (to feel bad): that's the benefit/liability of little empathy.

  9. Hemmingway and Brodsky do a good job presenting male psyche to me. The men in my life are more nurturing than their writings. But by driving things to a point, they become clearer.

  10. I just read Brodsky's "Profile of Clio" (muse of time or history). It is just up your alley. Like totally.

    Clio, herself, seems a bit unknown. Even her Wiki page is pretty sparse. Her vagueness and unknowability is, of course, the main theme.

  11. He does not think much of Pablo Neruda. Stalinist. Hm.

    Neruda never lost his essential faith in Communist theory and remained loyal to "the Party." Anxious not to give ammunition to his ideological enemies, he would later refuse publicly to condemn the Soviet repression of dissident writers like Boris Pasternak and Joseph Brodsky, an attitude with which even some of his staunchest admirers disagreed.[24]

  12. When Brodsky diminishes scientific historicism, he may well be talking about communist indoctrination, at heart. But, no, I think he means it broadly sweepingly. Still it may be tinged by communism and secular Judaism, leaving him jaded, or unmoored...

  13. Historical research can and should still be conducted. It is wrong to sideline it in favor of stories and fiction. Another stupid false dichotomy...