School’s Out
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School’s Out

This is my Father’s world. This is a meaningful phrase to me as I garden, go about my days, and focus my prayers. This line forms the start to a familiar hymn that was inspired by the Niagara Escarpment as its author, Pastor Maltbie D. Babcock, took frequent walks along the beautiful ridge in Lockport, New York 120 years ago.

Why Get Schooled?
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Why Get Schooled?

In my last column (June 8), I wrote that, “Going to university or technical school has never and will never save anyone, irrespective of whether one majors in philosophy or computer engineering. Only the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus can do that.” If this is indeed the case, why would a young Christian person attend a college or university at all, especially since it’s expensive and may not even lead to a well-paying job?

To the Grads of 2020
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To the Grads of 2020

Come on! While we are honoured to be asked to deliver this weirdest of graduation speeches to the graduating class of 2020, what could we possibly say that John Krasinski hasn’t said already? How does one compete with Oprah Winfrey or Barack Obama as your graduation guests? Haven’t they and others of international calibre said it all by now? We’ve heard that these are unprecedented times. Likely you’ve heard that too.

Crisis Schooling: Ask the Parents and Teachers
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Crisis Schooling: Ask the Parents and Teachers

I have two children doing “distance learning” at home right now. My eldest daughter, 11, is relatively self-sufficient. She’s old enough to follow instructions, turn in her work online and email her teacher questions. She loves to learn and values the peace and quiet of her bedroom, so “homeschooling” has actually been pretty enjoyable for her.

Crisis Schooling: Ask the Students
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Crisis Schooling: Ask the Students

“I like that we can play games, and the stories that the teachers read me, but I miss my teacher and my friends. Mom is a bad teacher. I would give her an F [laughing]. Mom is a good teacher!” – Levi, 5 “I like getting to spend lots of time with my parents! But I don’t like not seeing my friends, and I miss art class.” – Kira, 8

Crisis Schooling: More Thoughts from the Teachers
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Crisis Schooling: More Thoughts from the Teachers

“[One of the] challenges has been deciphering the contrasting and sometimes competing messages we’re given from above,” says a high school English teacher. “The ministry will announce something, the board will interpret it, administrators will chime in, then the union will tell us something different, and we all shrug our shoulders and do our best to institute a messy, poorly streamlined set of directions.”

How to Love the Grad Student in Your Life
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How to Love the Grad Student in Your Life

Grad school, unlike most educational programs, does not have a defined end date. Completion is entirely dependent on the success of research, clarity of data, efficiency of writing, and the decisions of advisory committees. “You can have weeks where experiments fail and it feels like you’ve accomplished nothing,” explains one Chemistry PhD student. “It’s hard to not take that as a reflection of you as a person.” We need to lend extra understanding and patience to grad students as they experience the stops and starts of their academic paths.

The Bible as a fantastic comedy
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The Bible as a fantastic comedy

C.S. Lewis once argued that realistic fiction might actually be the most dangerous genre of literature for Christians, including Christian children. As he pointed out, few children really expect to meet a dragon because of reading fantasy, but many may come to believe that getting rich through hard work is a primary human value after reading certain “realistic” fiction.