Friday, December 29, 2006

Chestertonian New Year's Resolutions

1. Simplify your life. Here.
2. Get smart. Here.
3. Add humor. Here.
4. Give. Here.
5. Go back to school. Here and here.
6. Watch. Here.
7. Help the next generation. Here.
8. Join. Here.
9. Invite. Here.
10. Make new friends. Here.
11. Comment. Here. (I mean here, right where you are.)

There you have a nice round number of ideas for 2007. May your year be prosperous, healthy, happy and blessed.


  1. Who needs a goramn college degree? Just do everything on this list and you'll be much smarter than some loser with a piece of paper in his hand. :-D

  2. To say of the bulk of human beings that they are uneducated is like saying of a Red Indian hunter that he has not yet taken his degree. He has taken many other things. And so, sincerely speaking, there are no uneducated men. They may escape the trivial examinations, but not the tremendous examinations of existence. The dependence of infancy, the enjoyment of animals, the love of woman, and the fear of death - these are more frightful and more fixed than all conceivable forms of the cultivation of the mind. It is idle to complain of schools and colleges being trivial. Schools and colleges must always be trivial. In no case will a college ever teach the important things. For before a man is twenty he has always learnt the important things. He has learnt them right or wrong, and he has learnt them all alone.
    [GKC, "What is Right With the World" from T. P.'s Weekly, (Christmas) 1910 in The Apostle and the Wild Ducks 162]

  3. I see here a Chestertonian reply to "Chestertonian". There must be a paradox in there somewhere.

    Yes, studying Chesterton is like getting a degree, only more so, as the variety of subject matter is much broader than the usual degree. I do believe that I could read Chesterton for the rest of my life, and be content.

    The Apostle and the Wild Ducks? And here we've had the Apostle and the Wild Goose. Wild Goose, if you're reading this, welcome. Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with us here.

  4. I think Dr. Thursday was presenting a GKC quote that essentially says what I said, only better. Which is not exactly a stretch for GKC. :-)

    Can there really be any diplomas from Chesterton University, however? You can never really graduate, because there is always something more to learn.

  5. Au contraire, Chestertonian. I see that Dr. Thursday is taking umbridge with the use of a derrogatory term for a college degree, and the slight tossed off that a degree is a "piece of paper", not to mention that anyone with such a "piece of paper" is described as a "loser" (myself included).

    Chesterton, via Dr. T., is saying, "it is idle to complain of schools and colleges..."

    Therefore, I believe that contrary to your conclusion, Chesterton was contradicting your statements about the worth of college and schooling in general. School and college are worth something. Studying Chesterton is worth something. These two are not mutually exclusive, and one who has a degree is not a loser, nor uneducated...and especially not if he continues his education based on the precepts of Chesterton University.

    Although naturally, as I am sure you would agree, just because someone has such a degree does not ensure he is properly nor fully educated (is anyone?), but one certainly shouldn't complain about college graduates just based on the fact that they graduated. That is an accomplishment. Now what they do with what they've (and we've) learned remains to be seen.

    And no, thus far, no degrees are conferred at Chesterton University, as far as I know.

  6. Nancy, as one who holds two degrees, a BS and an MS, and as one who does not think of himself as a loser, let me just ask if one is allowed to use hyperbole around here.

    In no case will a college ever teach the important things. For before a man is twenty he has always learnt the important things. He has learnt them right or wrong, and he has learnt them all alone.

    That is the same thing that I said, merely expressed more eloquently.

  7. Nan, your News Years' resolutions list with links was brilliant! Brava!
    ~ J.P.

  8. Hey, Nancy,
    I just recommended the scholarship contest to another college student. What are the odds that yet another person I told about it will win? One of my former students won the first college level one a few years back. Do you suppose I've hit the jackpot again?? One thing I know is that it may get another person reading more Chesterton. Of course that was my main goal in the first place, although a little scholarship help would be good too. I'm waiting with baited breath to see if he takes up the challenge.

  9. Liz: I sure hope so, since obviously you can pick winners! Thanks for recommending the scholarship, and I believe that is its purpose, secretly: to get younger people reading Chesterton, thinking Chesterton (and the money motivation might help). Thanks, and I hope your student wins!

  10. Chestertonian:
    Hyperbole is allowed, for the millionth time! It's just that, with print media, one can't see the smile (or smirk) on your face. Or the degrees in your pocket. A thousand pardons.

    See, on the stage, you'd hold out a rolled up degree-looking piece of paper, shaking it rigorously in the air, and shout those words to me, the brilliant (according to John Petersen) author of the Best New Year's Resolutions List Ever:

    Who needs a goramn college degree? Just do everything on this list and you'll be much smarter than some loser with a piece of paper in his hand.

    and we would quite obviously know that hyperbole was meant. And the applause would be deafening (although the Bravas would be for me and me alone, the roses, the whistles, the calls for encores, the gold coins, the offers for millions to play the part of Narcissa in Movie Six............(hyperbole) ;-)

  11. Looking longingly at #9 and hoping I can actually make it this year. I'm currently listening to last year's conference CD's and it's left me with a question. Are previous conference tapes (from earlier years that is) available anywhere? I'm anticipating wanting more when I finish this set.

  12. Liz: While you're waiting, you could always watch the Apostle of Common Sense Videos/DVDs. They are all excellent, but season 3 is really good.

  13. Liz, tapes from previous years are available. Write the American Chesterton Society for details. One note: this year was the first year the talks were recorded on CD. I do not know if there are plans to transfer tapes from previous years' conferences to CD.

    Nancy, I have suggested to you before to have emoticons for the comboxes in this blog. ;-)

    If you get the part of Narcissa, then I want to be Horace Slughorn.

  14. Thanks for the info about the tapes. It took Theresa awhile to get back to me, but when she did she was very helpful. I ordered 21 tapes from previous conferences on Friday. That should keep me with things to listen to for a long time! Now I get to catch up with the people who actually got to go to the conferences. I am so hoping I can perhaps go this year myself, but Minnesota is such a long way from Vermont...


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