October 08, 2005

A Dark Muse

Title:
Rating:
2 out of 5 stars

In theory, this book tracks the influence of "the occult" oon literature, art, science…

Needless to say, that's a slightly difficult task – by nature, and by definition, "the occult" is hidden.

Having said that, I enjoyed this book, and found it useful. There are times when the writer is more credulous than I am (I'm not at all sure I believe as much about some of the historical figures as he does), but not overly so – this is still within the realms of "read with some confidence".

For those who are new to the area, this book might assume more knowledge than is comfortable – for those who know the area well, the book will be vaguely interesting but will tell them little new. For those who have some background, but not much – it might just be a gold mine.

It has a serious lack, however, in not having an index – one must trawl through to find entries. Admittedly, these are fairly well marked but the lack of an index reduces the usefulness of the book greatly.

Level: Two.


Book review: Wizards: A History

Title:
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

Interesting….

There's some useful information, moreso about the distant(ish) past than times nearer to our own.

Very much a broad brush approach, as it would have to be in a book of this length (222 pages) that purports to deal with ritual magic from "ancint times to the present" (back of book blurb).

As a beginning history of ritual magic, one could do worse. One might well do better but I'm not sure what book would fill that niche – because this is at least specific. Nothing to say against it, merely that it is broad brush.


September 23, 2005

I still can't quite believe….

Writing about web page http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/education/courses/open-studies/n101.phtml

… that we got this course not only into the programme, but that it has recruited. But it has. :)

Chaos Magic Theory comes to the University. (As if it's ever been absent, she enquires, gently…?).

Although my co tutor and I did at first think that we should prepare nothing and just blame it on "being chaotic", we know better than that and have structured the course as tightly as any other… (partially because convincing the admin staff that "Chaos is good!" is not something I want to tackle right now. I used to run that office, and it has enough chaos coming into it as it is….). :}

This is fun. There is now a small but growing stable of such courses… all of them applicable to the BA, which is even better.

AND it gives me an excuse to buy all those books I've wanted…


September 15, 2005

Military History – WWII

Open post – History?
I'm now in possession of a number of things that might be of interest if I knew where… So this is open, hoping to find someone who knows about US military history…?

I have…all WWII vintage

-my father's letters home. He was in Italy, mainly in Rome and Florence – engineers. He was in the square when Mussolini and Petrachi were… killed.

-many of his pictures…

-my mother's pictures, some of her letters. She was in Africa, front line hospital, ward nurse. She was the first nurse invalided home from the African theatre (and therefore went on bond drives all over the country). I believe we have the records of her discharge trial, as well.

I'd like them to go to a museum…? History department…? Perhaps someone studying the role of women in warfare would be interested in my mother's things, if nothing else? I'd rather they went to someone who was interested in them, who can use them…

Suggestions?


September 14, 2005

Pledge of allegiance

Writing about web page http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-pledge-of-allegiance,1,331572.story?coll=chi-newsbreaking-hed

Interesting. Forcing children to say the pledge is unconstitutional, according to a federal judge.

Aside from the "patriotic" issues involved (citizenship, anyone?), there are interesting issues of force, etc. Is having an assembly in which the majority of people, inlcuding teachers, say something learned by rote, "forcing" all children present to say it?

(Yes, it could be subliminal. I certainly didn't untangle what the words meant until long after I'd been saying it for years – and found I had to go look it up this evening to remember them in the correct order…).

"Under God" – the phrase causing the issues – is pretty generic, and would do for most theists, I think (one could add a surreptitious "s" if one wished to be polytheistic).

One could simply leave that phrase out, while others said it. (I manage that every time I say the Creed and no one has noticed yet – but I'm hardly about to repeat a redundant mention of "men", am I?).

Or one could re-write the Pledge.

That will be fun to watch. :)

When I was a student, an order came down that the crucifixes had to be removed from any teaching room (at a Jesuit university) in which publicly funded courses (nurses' training, for instance) took place. We had one lecturer who used to carry crucifixes around and replace them in such classrooms. At the time, I thought it odd but had more sympathy with it than I do now – though I rather wonder what else could have been done with the money and time spent on such an exercise, I do see the principle involved….


September 13, 2005

Thesis abstract

Abstract

The possiblity of the Christian Religious Education of Adults

This thesis sets out to answer a central question: is it possible to engage in the Christian religious education of adults without resorting to indoctrination? It looks first to the concepts in the literature connected to the Christian religious education of adults. This literature deals with education overall, the education of adults in particular, and then education as it relates to faith.
The concepts of indoctrination, preaching and nurture are then examined as they relate to education. A visual representation of the relationship between these concepts is offered, showing that there is a progression from indoctrination, through preaching, nurture, to education understood in a pure sense, which has only the intention of facilitating (any) worthwhile learning.
Alongside this work based on conceptual analysis from the literature, field work undertaken in a Roman Catholic Diocese in England and Wales is used to support the research. The field work is an illustrative snapshot, rather than representative; its purpose is to illuminate the conclusions reached in the first part of the research.
In both the questionnaire and interview section of the field work, data was obtained from three groups of respondents: administrators, tutors and participants. This grouping covers all those involved in the Christian religious education of adults in the diocese, and allows triangulation of data.
The results of the field work is then related back to the chart proposed from the literature review, and conclusions drawn about gaps in the literature and proposals made for further study. Overall, the data from the field work support the conclusions of the first part of the research, with minor adjustments.


Interests…

Having said that we could make more use of technology…. perhaps I should do something about my own use of it? :)

Research interests within the Institute:

Federations of schools
Networks of Schools
Continuing Professional Development and the evaluation thereof

Research interests - EdD:
(submitted, no date for Viva set, University of Nottingham):
"The possiblity of the Christian religious Education of Adults: Indoctrination, Preaching, Nurture, Education". (I'll put the abstract as a separate post).

Teaching interests:
(Nottingham, Continuing Ed)
Intercultural Theology (Christian) – ongoing Certificate course, on which I teach modules including "Why Theology", "Doctrine", "Ethics", "Spirituality", and so on.

Open Studies courses, this coming year:
Study Skills
Chaos Magic
Adult Teaching and Training
Greek Gods
Magic (Residential Course through Study Tours)

(Courses in past years have included: (Some team taught)
Cultural Constructions of Hell
Women and Religion
Paganism, past and present
Myth and Magic
Women in History
Women and Society —> Gender in society (course changed)
Myth (residential course)
Women and development
Principles of Interpretation


December 21, 2004

Education on the Discworld

Sometime in April, I'll be giving a lecture on the above title in the U of Nottingham's "Friday Nights at the Centre" programme – at the Adult Education Centre in Nottingham:

Terry Pratchett's popular series of books about the Discworld
floating through the cosmos on the back of a giant turtle provides
the setting for any number of interesting activities. Included among
them, between the explosions in the Alchemists' quarter and the
machinations of The Great Trunk, is a great deal of learning.

Join us for this lighthearted amalgamation of thoughts about adult
learning and life on the world that only exists because every
probability curve needs to have a far end!


November 10, 2004

Buy nothing day?

Writing about web page http://www.adbusters.org/metas/eco/bnd/


November 07, 2004

First entry….

Interesting idea… but perhaps redundant if one already has an LJ account?

There seem to be a few more options than LJ, but the lack of a friends' list may be a barrier….


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