Some of my conservative friends that I’ve talked to recently think that America in particular and the world in general is in a moral decline. It is common for them to compare America with ancient Rome. “We’re heading the same way as Constantine,” a Republican colleague said to me a few weeks ago.
As an educator who teaches in a rural school district, I find the call for arming teachers and administrators following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut both wrongheaded and counterproductive. Schools are supposed to be places of peaceful learning. I can’t imagine what it would be like to teach knowing that I or my colleague had a loaded pistol in the desk.
On Tuesday, Encyclopedia Britannica announced that it would no longer be printing its encyclopedias, but will only be offering its thousands of articles through computer or iPad app. While I have nothing against the electronic versions, they can never replace the feel of the actual books as I grasp them carefully by the spine to take them off the shelf and open their covers to find the universe contained within.