Tuesday, September 27, 2011

LTW Journal 9/27

(Previous Lost Tools of Writing posts)

Today's session was exciting.  I thought so, at least.  After last week's feeling that the sub-proofs were "off" somehow, I was encouraged by the LTWMentor group to decide whether to deal with logic now or work up to it in the next lesson.  Since Aravis has studied logic and Mariel has been introduced to it, I decided to mention sequitur and non sequitur and see what happened. 

Yesterday I visited with Mariel about how a point either "follows" an assertion or it does not.  If a point "doesn't follow," it is a logical fallacy, which makes a very weak argument.  She pointed out that no one was going to read her little essay and asked if it really mattered.  I listed the various ways she would use her persuasive abilities throughout her life.  She hadn't thought of it that way and decided she should practice persuasion now.  This made me happy.  :)  I asked her to find the unity (unifying thought-- this is from How to Read a Book) for each of her groups.  After some questioning and discussion, she had actual main proofs to go above her sub-proofs.  Then she determined which sub-proofs were strongest and edited her outline. 

(Aravis' sub-points followed her main proofs already.)

This morning we went to work on the practice essay outline.  We ended up rewriting the main proofs.  Discussion was lively.  As we talked about the third proof, Mariel objected to using only wise authorities that favored Frodo, saying that we were not considering both sides of the argument.  I rejoiced inwardly and explained that Mariel was exactly right, and that later we were going to add an excellent element called "refutation", but first we needed to get the foundations straight and strong.  And I saw the light dawn for Aravis, who has felt a little like the rudimentary essays are a waste of time.  Now she is ready to do the tedious early work.

THEN Aravis mentioned Matthew Henry's commentary on Leviticus.  We are reading that along with the book of Leviticus for our Bible twice a week.  Mr. Henry got poetic this morning with his comments on the meat offering.  Here is the portion we talked about:

Leaven is the emblem of pride, malice, and hypocrisy, and honey of sensual pleasure. The former are directly opposed to the graces of humility, love, and sincerity, which God approves; the latter takes men from the exercises of devotion, and the practice of good works. Christ, in his character and sacrifice, was wholly free from the things denoted by leaven; and his suffering life and agonizing death were the very opposites to worldly pleasure. His people are called to follow, and to be like him.

See how it fits with Boromir and Frodo?  Aravis said we could contrast Frodo's fitness as Ringbearer with Boromir's lack of fitness.  This sort of gets into the Elocution portion of the lesson, which I hadn't planned to teach until Thursday... but I went ahead and talked about "parallelism" and how we were setting up a lovely opportunity to employ that scheme.

It was like being in a fast-moving stream, teaching that class this morning.  We are heading somewhere good.

Here is the revised practice essay outline:

(the old outline for comparison)

%Boromir was not fit to be Ringbearer:

1)  He was spoiled.
2)  He was obsessed with saving Gondor.
3)  He was a Man.

#Frodo was fit to be Ringbearer:

1)  He was humble.
2)  He wanted to save Middle Earth
3)  He was chosen by the Council and the Ring

+Wise authorities chose Frodo.

1)  Aragorn let Frodo go.
2)  Gandalf refused the Ring when Frodo offered it to him.
3)  Galadriel resisted the Ring when Frodo offered it to her.

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