Monday, March 30, 2009

Enter the Wild: Author's Note, Chapters 1 -3


In the opening pages of Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer's account of the journey undertaken by Christopher "Alexander Supertramp" McCandless, we are introduced to a young man who is in search of truth and beauty--something that he beleives can only be found in the unfettered existence and pure wilderness of the American frontier. At the end of chapter three, Krakauer does well to sum up the philosophy that inspired McCandless' break from the constraints of the "civilized world":

[...]The trip was to be an odyssey in the fullest sense of the word, an epic journey that would change everything. He had spent the previous four years, as he saw it, preparing to fulfill an absurd and onerous duty: to graduate from college. At long last he was unencumbered, emancipated from the stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstraction and security and material excess, a world in which he felt grievously cut off from the raw throb of existence.

Driving west out of Atlanta, he intended to invent an utterly new life for himself, one in which he would be free to wallow in unfiltered experience. To symbolize the complete severance from his previous life, he even adopted a new name. No longer would he answer to Chris McCandless; he was now Alexander Supertramp, master of his own destiny. (22-23)

In this way, McCandless voiced his protest against what he saw were the excesses of modern society, bound by an irrational reliance on money and business and industry and war and politics. Only when man ventured into the unknown, free of the illusions created by false ideals of fulfillment could he truly discover the human spirit, the God in everything.

That said, I would like you to, in a well-developed paragraph, share your initial thoughts upon reading the opening chapters of Into the Wild. Please be sure to quote the text as a way to illustrate any points you make in reference to the story. The format for doing is would be as follows: Krakauer writes, "...." (#).

This blog response is due by classtime, Wednesday, April 1, 2009.

Remember to place a heading at the top of your response:

Your Name
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
April 1, 2009

In the meantime, please continue reading through chapter seven.

Brother Supertramp, FSC

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Finishing Up: The Growing Years and Onward...

Ok Bros:

You made up the questions, now you answer them.

Please be sure to quote from the text for back-up. Remember that the format for quoting goes like this:

Leo Kirby, FSC, speaking in the voice of De La Salle writes, "Bro. Peach, FSC schooled Juwan Haynes in the freestyle rap battle this past Friday" (45).

Notice that the period goes after the parenthesis, which encloses the page number from which you pulled the quote.

You must answer in depth three (3) of the following questions. Pleas re-write the question and place your answer below.

Please be sure to indicate at the top of the page:

Your Name
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
March 24, 2009

Your blog response is due Tuesday, March 24, 2009, by class time.

God be blessed,
Bro. Peach, FSC

The Questions:

  • What is the legacy of De La Salle?
  • What were some of the problems from society he delt with on behalf of the Brothers? How did he deal with them?
  • How did De La Salle revolutionize, or change, the education system?
  • Why did De La Sale want the Brothers located in teh city?
  • How were the Brothers' schools different from the others in France at the time?
  • What aspects of the city, or city life, convinced De La Salle to put schools in Rheims?
  • What qualities attracted other people to De La Salle as a person?
  • How did De La Salle handle his health problems? How did his suffering help, or influence, his ministry to the poor and to the other Brothers?
  • Why do you tink other schools frowned upon De La Salle's schools for not teaching Latin?
  • What is the biggest difference between the beginning and end of De La Salle's life?
  • What was De La Salle's philosophy, or outlook, on life?

Friday, March 13, 2009

I, John Baptist de La Salle: The Seed Years


In Chapter Two of I, John Baptist de La Salle, entitled, "The Seed Years," we are given an account of de La Salle's radical sacrifice in which he gave up everything for the sake of educating the poor of France. Acting as St. La Salle, Bro. Leo Kirby, FSC, writes, "I gave up my salaried position to a poor pirest, and I gave away my money to feed teh hungry. From that time on, I got much closer to the children they taught. I could now truthfully say, 'We Brothers'" (25). Here, we get a sense of how important self-sacrifice is in the life of a Christian. Only when one "takes up his cross"--or dedicates himself to a cause greater than himself--can he truly begin to experience God's kingdom of love on earth.

That said, I would like you to discuss one theme (a unifying idea or subject of a given text) portrayed in "The Seed Years". Support your discussion with back-up from the text; use quotes and format them properly (as modeled for you above)! Notice above how I discuss the theme of self-sacrifice as being an important part of the Christian's call to duty and relate it to De La Salle's life using a quote from the chapter.

Please be thorough and thoughtful in your response. This blog should be at least one paragraph in length, but may very well exceed that length, especially if you get involved in your discussion of the theme you choose. Always ask yourself "how" and "why" when discussing the points you make about a particular theme. When you insert quotes, you must interpret what the author means by them.

This is due Tuesday, March 17, 2009 by class-time.

Brother Rob Peach, FSC

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Meeting a Saint: I, John Baptist de La Salle


In Chapter One of I, John Baptist de La Salle, entitled, "Roots and Wings," the author speaks in the perspective of De La Salle, telling us of his upbringing and the initial spark that led De La Salle from the "clerical" duties of the priesthood to the founding of something that he "wouldn't have touched the project with the tips of [his] fingers" if he knew where it would lead him (Kirby 21).

In a well-developed paragraph, due by classtime on Friday, March 13, I would like you to give a personal response to the beginnings of De La Salle's story. Questions to consider:
  • What are some observations about his early life that strike you as interesting or odd?
  • What defines "vocation" according to what you read of De La Salle's early life?
  • How does De La Salle experience God in his life according to the voice of Brother Leo Kirby, FSC, who wrote the essay in the persona of De La Salle?
  • How does De La Salle's early life and call to the priesthood and later to the mission asked of him by Adrien Nyel parallel an Old Testament story of God's call to a prophet? (be specific)
  • Why is De La Salle relevant to your own life today? From the little you've read, what about his life could you make relevant to your own?
  • What was the role of suffering in shaping De La Salle's knowledge of and approach to everyday life?

If you should at all refer to something in the text, please format as follows: Speaking as the person of De La Salle, Bro. Leo Kirby, FSC, writes, "Adrien Nyel, who later became a good friend of mine, was by experince and nature an originator of projects. I guess he was the spark; I was the bush he set afire. Together, I think, we made a pretty good team" (Kirby 21).

The above quote is placed in quotation marks with an introductory phrase (Bro. Leo Kirby, FSC, writes...) and is cited with the last name of the author and the page number from which you took the author's quote in parantheses, followed by a period.

In order to respond on this blog, you will click the header, Meeting a Saint: I, John Baptist de La Salle, "post comment" link at the bottom of this prompt. You will then type your response with a heading that is formatted as follows:

Your Name

Bro. Rob Peach, FSC

Rel 011.04

March 13, 2009