Harrison Middleton University
The Raven
Gertrude Stein
astronomical clock
Rachel Carson

Category: Holidays

We’re excited that you’ve joined the conversation! At HMU, we want to continue the great authors’ conversations in a contemporary context, and this blog will help us do that. We look back to Aristotle and the early philosophers who used reason and discourse to gain wisdom and now we endeavor to do the same every day.


December 22, 2023

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Solely due to A Christmas Carol, every winter I begin to long for a bit of Dickens. This year, I decided to tackle that monument of a book: Bleak House. I won’t lie, it’s a daunting book. Not only is it dense, but the character list feels endless. However, as it is the beginning of our break,

 » Read more about: Book Club with Bleak House  »

December 31, 2021

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

It is the eve of a new year. That seems hopeful considering the struggles of 2020 and 2021. What better way, then, to ring in the new year than with verse dedicated to the beauty and honesty of winter? Before the poems, however, is a little background about the poet, Matsuo Bashō, who was born Matsuo Munefusa. Bashō’s name is taken from a banana (bashō) tree that he planted in his garden.

 » Read more about: Poetry for A New Year  »

June 26, 2020

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Bread is of universal importance. Since nearly every culture has a type of bread used for celebration, ceremony and comfort, today’s blog breaks bread in the form of an invitation for community. Thank you for joining me today.

First, I want to share my favorite bread with you: Pão de Queijo. As you read,

 » Read more about: Breaking Bread  »

December 28, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Heri za Kwanzaa means Happy Kwanzaa. Since Kwanzaa began on December 26, and since I know so little about the holiday, I thought that today was the perfect opportunity to learn about it. Also, due to the fact that I know so little about it, I would be happy for anyone to correct anything that I have posted. This post intends simply to touch the surface of the holiday.

 » Read more about: Heri Za Kwanzaa  »

November 23, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

“Cookery is the most ancient of the arts, for Adam was born hungry.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

I love cooking and so, naturally, I love old cookbooks. The holidays present a perfect time to rummage through my cookbooks. I learn so much about culture just from these pages. I also enjoy the pamphlets and chapbooks that small entities publish,

 » Read more about: Holiday Menus  »

December 22, 2017

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

I have been busy wrapping presents. But I’ve also been wondering about some of the language that we casually throw around this time of year. So, in today’s post, I am going to compile a couple of terms and tell you what I learned about them. Perhaps the most important word of the season (noticeably missing from this list) is gratitude.

 » Read more about: Holiday Words  »

December 23, 2016

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

We have just passed the 2016 Winter Solstice. The longest night and coldest temperatures often derive strong images of sadness or death. These are the days of greatest darkness, and yet, for all the dark, we also find hope for the coming of the light. Small cycles often represent much larger cycles, more difficult to coherently map out.

The larger picture includes,

 » Read more about: Winter Solstice  »

April 1, 2016

“April is the cruellest month” – T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

I hardly think that T.S. Eliot had Chaucer in mind when he wrote those lines. However, Chaucer does begin the pilgrimage in The Canterbury Tales in April, and most of the tales are relentlessly cruel. But his cruelty is also full of laugh-out-loud hilarity.

 » Read more about: Chaucer’s Jokes  »

December 25, 2015

Today, the day that celebrates the birth of Jesus, presents the perfect opportunity to continue our discussion of utopia. To catch up on past conversations, visit the last blog posts about Utopia here: (Universal Spirit and Utopia  or Imperfect Ideal ).

Looking for Paradise”, a song by Alejandro Sanz and Alicia Keys, grounds today’s discussion. Feel free to listen while reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRFegcmOTPE.

 » Read more about: Euclidean Utopia  »

September 4, 2015

Labor Day weekend offers the chance for a quick weekend getaway before the long haul of fall and winter. It is a good time to plant seeds, enjoy a walk, or to take the day trip that you keep putting off. Since so many of the HMU staff travelledl this summer and fall, we felt that today’s article should celebrate travel itself. We are all long time book-lovers who also like to travel and see the places that we read about.

 » Read more about: When Traveling….  »

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