Archive for April 13, 2008

“Our Need for Knowledge”

Seems my English teaching colleagues all agree that they need more knowledge.  Teaching means simultaneous learning right along with our Kazakhstani students. Nice to have the weekend away from the pressures at work, I had my teaching colleague friend over and Ken had one of his Kazakh colleagues over to enjoy a fun meal together before we all went to the play.  What was even funnier was our party of six (including driver) all fit in a taxi to get to the Great Hall in time to get our second row seats.

My favorite play of the four was “Universal Language.”  A teacher had melded many different languages into one so that it could be spoken universally.  He helped a poor girl with a bad stuttering problem, but then at the end he revealed he was a fraud.  VERY funny cognates were in place so that you knew what the teacher was saying throughout his lesson to his young protege.  Such as when he declared something that sounded like: “Past, present and furniture!” or “Police, take a chair!”

The other three, one act plays were very entertaining as well, the first was called “Awkward Silence” about a blind date at a restaurant.  The next was about a lost earring and finally the longest play after intermission was set in France about a murder case.  Bizarre plot that featured a cute little dog, a REAL dog!!!

On a more serious note, the following is C.S. Lewis’ take on “our need for knowledge:”

Good philosophy must exist; if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.  The cool intellect must work not only against cool intellect on the other side, but against the muddy heathen mysticisms which deny intellect altogether.  Most of all, perhaps, we need intimate knowledge of the past.  Not that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet, need something to set against the present, to remind us that the basic assumptions have been quite different in different periods and that much which seems certain to the uneducated is merely temporary fashion.  A man who has lived in many places is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village: the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age.


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