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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.

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May 26, 2023

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

Last week’s blog (https://hmu.edu/2023-5-19-reading-rabelais-part-i/) used Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel as the foundation to connect with contemporary works. Today’s blog continues in the same vein, connecting the old with the new. As I said before, however, Rabelais is not easy reading. The language feels foreign, even after translation. He prefers large, often obscure words, and includes anatomical puns whenever possible.

 » Read more about: Reading Rabelais, Part II  »

Moor House inspiration

Before HGTV, before Ty Pennington or Joanna and Chip Gaines, before This Old House even, Charlotte Brontë wrote about the dullness of life in orphanages and the solitary life of a governess in Jane Eyre. As Jane moves from situation to situation, she comments on the decoration of her living situation. In each case, the style of the place juxtaposes that of the people. Her aunt mistreated her and spoiled her children,

 » Read more about: Early Home Makeover  »

March 18, 2022

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

As chrysanthemums and tulips sprout, birds nest, and winter eases its hold on the ground, humans also begin to change some behaviors. We associate spring with life and vitality. With this also comes annual responsibilities such as cleaning. Cleaning is one of those mundane tasks that demonstrate cultural values or cultural shifts. Much can be learned about cultures through notes about the way that we clean,

 » Read more about: The Mundane  »

December 10, 2021

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

Recently I attended a webinar hosted by Middlebury College on the subject of data literacy. This webinar was part of a program called Middlebury Initiative for Data and Digital Methods (or Midd:data for short) and functioned as an introduction to the importance of data literacy. The program is founded upon the principle that “Data and digital methodologies are as central to a 21st-century liberal arts education as reading and writing.”

The webinar consisted of a discussion between Eric Schmidt,

 » Read more about: Data Literacy  »

December 18, 2020

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

During this pandemicky year, a friend of mine has taken to writing me a letter every day. She usually includes details about the workday, family responsibilities, emotions of being at home, etc. A few times, she has included an old postcard, written more than a century ago, as part of the letter. These post cards have created an intense curiosity in me.

 » Read more about: Post Card Greetings  »

October 25, 2019

Thanks to Ned Boulberhane, a 2019 Harrison Middleton University Fellow in Ideas, for today’s post.

China: The far lands of the Orient, and perhaps the world’s oldest living civilization. However, the days of Huang He River Valley have evolved into something quite different than the previous centuries. 1949 saw the rise of communism in China, and the foundations and thinking of an individual named Mao Zedong would begin to affect the course of Chinese education,

 » Read more about: Maoist Influence on Contemporary Chinese Thought  »

August 16, 2019

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

-ess (or -esse): from ME -esse < OF < LL -issa < Greek
-Merriam-Webster Online

English borrows words from many languages. One way to identify the origin of a word is to look at the word parts. Today’s blog will outline some details about the suffix -ess (or -esse). When investigating a single morpheme,

 » Read more about: The History of -Ess  »

July 5, 2019

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

What happened the day after independence? Or the next day, or the day after that? How does one go about constructing a cohesive, yet flexible, democratic society? What is it like to transition from a single goal – defeat the British – to a much more fluid goal of a free society? To better understand some of the history of this period,

 » Read more about: The Day After Independence  »

June 14, 2019

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

Ancient history can be a difficult subject for students because it is inherently foreign to them. Not only is there a language difference, but it is genuinely difficult to envision life removed from today’s technologies. When speaking of ancient cities, most people think of ancient Greece or Rome, but today I want to focus on an ancient city of the southwestern United States.

 » Read more about: An Ancient Southwestern Town  »

January 4, 2019

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

Some members in my family celebrate New Year’s Eve with lutefisk or sauerkraut. Some people celebrate with both. I, however, draw the line at lutefisk. I just cannot stomach it. What seems to me to be a petty difference of taste really bothers others, though. They fear bad karma (or something) when I disrespect the tradition. We turn this into a joke at the dinner table,

 » Read more about: Celebrate the Old and New  »

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