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Friday September 4, 2020

Friday September 4, 2020

– Full Moon Phase  – illumination, realization, fulfillment, shadow, relationships, experience

– Moon in Aries

– Sun in Virgo 

– Retrograde Planets:  Saturn, Jupiter, Pluto, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus

– Black Moon conjunction with Eris and Mars

– Black Moon Days September 3 – 5

– Best Days (from the Farmer’s Almanac) – September 3rd -4th – Dry Fruits and Vegetables, Cut Hair to Slow Growth, Mow to Slow Growth, Pick Apples and Pears, Quit Smoking, Perform Demolition, Wash Wooden Floors, Start Diet to Lose Weight, Slaughter, Kill Plant Pests

– Gardening tips  (from the Farmer’s Almanac) –  September 3rd – 5th – A poor time to plant.

– Aspect of the Aeon Sophia: (Wisdom): All goddesses on board

– Aspect of the Aeon Thelete: (Will/Desire): Kathe, God of the South, God of Experience

– Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Month – New moon in Leo: “Daybreak — the luminescence of dawn in the eastern sky” (& Earth An ancient pottery bowl filled with violets)

– Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Year: “A Triangle with Wings”

SUN:  13 Virgo: A powerful statesman overcomes a state of political hysteria

EARTH:  13 Pisces: A sword used in many battles in a museum

 

Defense Against The Dark Arts – Choosing Your Teachers

Within the Harry Potter novels, we are introduced to a wide variety of teachers and instructors at Hogwarts School. And there are things about each of them that I love so much – (or at least I might love to hate them).

Some teachers we see throughout the series as a constant guiding and positive Force – like Professors McGonnigal, Flitwick and Sprout) – in charge of Transfiguration, Charms and Herbology). Snape (and later Slughorn) offer us Potions. Throughout the movies, there are not many others (Trelawney for Divination and Hagrid for Care of Magical Creatures). Nut the books offer us many more interesting and unique Characters.

But it is Defense Against the Dark Arts that give us the greatest variety of instruction.As you find, the job is cursed. And no instructor stays for more than a year. And for DADA at Hogwarts, We see the Good, the bad and the Evil.

For Good, we had Professors Lupin and Mad Eye Moody. Both tried and succeeded to teach the fundamentals of their subject (despite the fact that Mad Eye was an Evil imposter. And then, of course, there was harry taking over in The Order of the Phoenix (who Fred and George agreed had been their best DADA teacher)

For Bad, There was Snape, Quirrell, and Gilderoy Lockhart. Lockhart was just a self absorbed moron who knew and taught nothing. Quirrell, of course was Evil and possessed by Voldemort. But as a teacher was a bumbling fool – probably on purpose to cover his evilness. Snape I put as bad, because, as I will discuss another time, was just a bad teacher. Gifted and powerful wizard. But lousy teacher.

And then there were the Evil. I considered putting Snape here, but on the contrary, he seemed to teach the right things without holding back. But he was so full of his hatred for Harry that it clouded his ability to actually teach the subject. For true Evil, you had The Carrows. They actually taught how to perform the Dark Arts and perform curses on each other. And of Course, Professor Dolores Umbridge.

Unbridge is one of those characters who I will never forget. EVER! Evil. Nightmare evil. the kind like Pennywise the clown that I still have nightmares about. That is Umbridge.  Below its the scene for which she exposes her evil as a teacher. Because there is no subtlety to her evil. It’s right there. And in this

 

The Government (the ministry) is in Control – and you will do what you are told.

Dissent will not be tolerated.

In this speech, the book and the movie, while not exactly the same, were both on point. And from the movie, the line:

“It is the view of the ministry that a theoretical knowledge will be sufficient to get you through your examinations, which after all is what school is all about.”

This line always stuck with me after hearing it (I know that I saw this particular movie before reading the book).

This movie came out in 2007 – long before they implemented Common Core in US Education system. But the dumbing down of curriculum had begun long before. Soft sciences have become the norm over hard science. Much of the curriculum I see my kids learning now feels like the readers digest version of what I learned back in the 70’s and 80’s. And even back then,  I was always sure the writers left a hell of a lot out.

The Harry Potter series does a great job at making an example of this. And with the subject of The Dark Arts, this is readily apparent.

  • After Voldemort, The Curriculum changed from Teaching “Dark Arts” to a Defense against the Dark Arts.
  • Harry began his training in curses in order to help him with The Triwizard Tournament – but never taught directly by teachers.
  • When Umbridge would not teach even Defensive spells, Harry had to make an illegal class to teach those interested.
  • The highest levels of Government did their best to interfere with the actual education of the students.

Education in the Era of COVID

I am not personally a fan of Homeschooling. I am not a teacher – nor did I ever have aspirations to do so. While I hate the idea that my kids are being force fed the Common Core Curricula in public schools, I pay my taxes and they have a right to be there.

Now they are learning at home. And we must sit with the younger kids to make sure they understand what they are doing and supervise their progress. We are charged with understanding all of the ins and outs of each grade’s electronic devices.  We have  live action learning – where the kids are on Webex and Zoom meetings with the class. And then there is “Asynchronous learning.”

Here is where we get to the Advice in the age of Darkness

In our 2020 version of Defense Against the Dark Arts, we must have some advice about how to fight the misinformation and miseducation of our children.

For me, classes being at home make this easier. We get to see first hand what they are trying to do. And have the opportunity to undue that which is bad and reeducate where we can shed light on darkness.

So

  1. There are Good Teachers out there – We need to get to know who is teaching our children. Having this much close contact helps to identify what is going well. We need to pay attention to them.
  2. There are also some pretty bad ones – Paying attention is important here too. Are they lazy? Are they simply drones teaching straight out of a book. Are they evil? All relevant questions.
  3. “Never Trust Anything that can think for itself if you can;t see where it keeps its brain.” – This is n admonishment from Arthur Weasley to Ginny after he hears that she had been writing in Riddle’s Diary in The Chamber of Secrets. This speaks directly to my Asynchronous Learning problem. The teachers have been tasked with sending the kids to online courses. These courses are a combination of videos with probing questions afterwards. This is the Anything Without a Brain that we have to watch for. It is history and science lessons, all prepared carefully to offer a very specific frame of reference about its subjects. Consider it like Wikipedia. Everyone says to not trust it, as anyone can change what is there. All you really have to do is read any political issue or person and you will see the artwork of propaganda in motion. If you want to have some fun, look up The Clinton Foundation or Global Warming on Wikipedia.

 

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