Copywork for High School

To the student:

You can choose your own copywork from your reading, or you can work on copying the quotes below on Fridays ( I have other sources for other days, but again, these are back-up.  The first choice is for you to select your own quotes).

Copywork is part of your school because it helps the copier (that is you) to do several things:  learn to recognize quality writing, recognize punctuation, internalize the pattern of good writing, improve spelling, and more.

You must copy phrase by phrase (or word by word if you can’t do phrase by phrase), not letter by letter. It’s important to see the original in your mind’s eye and focus on larger chunks at a time, so you get the full context.   The way to do to this is to focus your full attention on a word or phrase, then cover it up and write from memory on your paper.

Set the time for fifteen minutes and work as fast as you can while still making sure your writing is legible.  Stop.  Check for accuracy. Fix mistakes.  Show it to me.  The next time you need to continue copying where you left off. 

Make your copies on lined paper.  Keep the pages in the binder with the originals.

Always credit the source, include the title and author of the original source of your copywork on each page (even better would be with each quote).

Ideally, you should choose a notebook to keep your quotes, something you will want to use again and again and can keep track of. Many people call this a Commonplace Book.  The quotes should be in your best handwriting.  When you choose them, choose the quotes that are meaningful to you.  The suggested work below is offered only to help you on days you don’t feel like making a choice. 

From John Muir’s Our National Parks:

Of the four national parks of the West, the Yellowstone is far the largest. It is a big, wholesome wilderness on the broad summit of the Rocky Mountains, favored with abundance of rain and snow,–a place of fountains where the greatest of the American rivers take their rise. The central portion is a densely forested and comparatively level volcanic plateau with an average elevation of about eight thousand feet above the sea, surrounded by an imposing host of mountains belonging to the subordinate Gallatin, Wind River, Teton, Absaroka, and snowy ranges. Unnumbered lakes shine in it, united by a famous band of streams that rush up out of hot lava beds, or fall from the frosty peaks in channels rocky and bare, mossy and bosky, to the main rivers, singing cheerily on through every difficulty, cunningly dividing and finding their way east and went to the two far-off seas.

Glacier meadows and beaver meadows are out-spread with charming effect along the banks of the streams, parklike expanses in the woods, andinnumerable small gardens in rocky recesses of the mountains, some of them containing more petals than leaves, while the whole wilderness is enlivened with happy animals.

Beside the treasures common to most mountain regions that are wild and blessed with a kind climate, the park is full of exciting wonders. The wildest geysers in the world, in bright, triumphant bands, are dancing and singing in it amid thousands of boiling springs, beautiful and awful, their basins arrayed in gorgeous colors like gigantic flowers; and hot paint-pots, mud springs, mud volcanoes, mush and broth caldrons whose contents are of every color and consistency, plash and heave and roar in bewildering abundance. In the adjacent mountains, beneath the living trees the edges of petrified forests are exposed to view, like specimens on the shelves of a museum, standing on ledges tier above tier where they grew, solemnly silent in rigid crystalline beauty after swaying in the winds thousands of centuries ago, opening marvelous views back into the years and climates and life of the past. Here, too, are hills of sparkling crystals, hills of sulphur, hills of glass, hills of cinders and ashes, mountains of every style of architecture, icy or forested, mountains covered with honey-bloom sweet as Hymettus, mountains boiled soft like potatoes and colored like a sunset sky. A that and a that, and twice as muckle’s a that, Nature has on show in the Yellowstone Park. Therefore it is called Wonderland, and thousands of tourists and travelers stream into it every summer, and wander about in it enchanted.

 

  1. The springs of the Yosemite Park, and the high Sierra in general, though many times more numerous, are comparatively small, oozing from moraines and snowbanks in thin, flat irregular currents which remain on the surface or near it, the rocks of the south half of the range being mostly flawless impervious granite; and since granite is but slightly soluble, the streams are particularly pure. Nevertheless, though they are all clear, and in the upper and main central forest regions delightfully lively and cool, they vary somewhat in color and taste as well as temperature, on account of differences, however slight, in exposure, and in the rocks and vegetation with which they come in contact. Someare more exposed than others to winds and sunshine in their falls and thin plumelike cascades; the amount of dashing, mixing, and airing the waters of each receive varies considerably; and there is always more or less variety in the kind and quantity of the vegetation they flow through, and in the time they lie in shady or sunny lakes and bogs.
  2. The first crop of snow crystals that whitens the mountains and refreshes the streams usually falls in September or October, in the midst of charming Indian summer weather, often while the goldenrods and gentians are in their prime; but these Indian summer snows, like some of the late ones that bury the June gardens, vanish in a day or two, and garden work goes on with accelerated speed. The grand winter storms that load the mountains with enduring fountain snow seldom set in before the end of November. The fertile clouds, descending, glide about and hover in brooding silence, as if thoughtfully examining the forests and streams with reference to the work before them; then small flakes or single crystals appear, glinting and swirling in zigzags and spirals; and soon the thronging feathery masses fill the sky and make darkness like night, hurrying wandering mountaineers to their winter quarters. The first fall is usually about two to four feet deep. Then, with intervals of bright weather, not very cold, storm succeeds storm, heaping snow on snow, until from thirty to fifty or sixty feet has fallen; but on account of heavy settling and compacting, and the waste from evaporation and melting, the depth in themiddle region, as stated above, rarely exceeds ten feet. Evaporation never wholly ceases, even in the coldest weather, and the sunshine between storms melts the surface more or less. Waste from melting also goes on at the bottom from summer heat stored in the rocks, as is shown by the rise of the streams after the first general storm, and their steady sustained flow all winter.
  3. The Big Tree (Sequoia gigantea) is Nature’s forest masterpiece, and, so far as I know, the greatest of living things. It belongs to an ancient stock, as its remains in old rocks show, and has a strange air of other days about it, a thoroughbred look inherited from the long ago-the auld lang syne of trees. Once the genus was common, and with many species flourished in the now desolate Arctic regions, in the interior of North America, and in Europe, but in long, eventful wanderings from climate to climate only two species have survived the hardships they had to encounter, the gigantea and sempervirens, the former now restricted to the western slopes of the Sierra, the other to the Coast Mountains, and both to California, excepting a few groves of Redwood which extend into Oregon. The Pacific Coast in general is the paradise of conifers. Here nearly all of them are giants, and display a beauty and magnificence unknown elsewhere. The climate is mild, the ground never freezes, and moisture and sunshine abound all the year. Nevertheless it is not easy to account for the colossal size of the Sequoias. The largest are about three hundred feet high and thirty feet in diameter. Who of all the dwellers of the plains and prairies and fertile home forests of round-headed oak and maple, hickory and elm, ever dreamed that earth could bear such growths,–trees that the familiar pines and firs seem to know nothing about, lonely, silent, serene, with a physiognomy almost godlike; and so old, thousands of them still living had already counted their years by tens of centuries when Columbus set sail from Spain and were in the vigor of youth or middle age when the star led the Chaldean sages to the infant Saviour’s cradle! As far as man is concerned they are the same yesterday, to-day, and forever, emblems of permanence.

5. No description can give any adequate idea of their singular majesty, much less their beauty. Excepting the sugar-pine, most of their neighbors with pointed tops seem to be forever shouting Excelsior, while the Big Tree, though soaring above them all, seems satisfied, its rounded head, poised lightly as a cloud, giving no impression of trying to go higher. Only in youth does it show like other conifers a heavenward yearning, keenly aspiring with a long quick-growing top. Indeed the whole tree for the first century or two, or until a hundred to a hundred and fifty feet high, is arrowhead in form, and, compared with the solemn” rigidity of age, is as sensitive to the wind as a squirrel tail. The lower branches are gradually dropped as it grows older, and the upper ones thinned out until comparatively few are left. These, however, are developed to great size, divide again and again, and terminate in bossy rounded masses of leafy branchlets, while the head becomes dome-shaped. Then poised in fullness of strength and beauty, stern and solemn in mien, it glows with eager, enthusiastic life, quivering to the tip of every leaf and branch and far-reaching root, calm as a granite dome, the first to feel the touch of the rosy beams of the morning, the last to bid the sun good-night.

6. Perfect specimens, unhurt by running fires or lightning, are singularly regular and symmetrical in general form, though not at all conventional, showing infinite variety in sure unity and harmony of plan. The immensely strong, stately shafts, with rich purplish brown bark, are free of limbs for a hundred and fifty feet or so, though dense tufts of sprays occur here and there, producing an ornamental effect, while long parallel furrows give a fluted columnar appearance. It shoots forth its limbs with equal boldness in every direction, showing no weather side. On the old trees the main branches are crooked and rugged, and strike rigidly outward mostly at right angles from the trunk, but there is always a certain measured restraint in their reach which keeps them within bounds. No other Sierra tree has foliage so densely massed or outline so finely, firmly drawn and so obediently subordinate to an ideal type. A particularly knotty, angular, ungovernable-looking branch, five to eight feet in diameter and perhaps a thousand years old, may occasionally be seen pushing out from the trunk as if determined to break across the bounds of the regular curve, but like all the others, as soon as the general outline is approached the huge limb dissolves into massy bosses of branchlets and sprays, as if the tree were growing beneath an invisible bell glass against the sides of which the branches were moulded, while many small, varied departures from the ideal form give the impression of freedom to grow as they like.

Except in picturesque old age, after being struck by lightning and broken by a thousand snowstorms, this regularity of form is one of the Big Tree’s most distinguishing characteristics. Another is the simple sculptural beauty of the trunk and its great thickness as compared with its height and the width of the branches, many of them being from eight to ten feet in diameter at a height or two hundred feet from the ground, and seeming more like finely modeled and sculptured architectural columns than the stems of trees, while the great strong limbs are like rafters supporting the magnificent dome head.

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Shopping in Davao

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Meaning

From the Meaning of Life, by Jerry Solomon:
Meaning: Gods Gift
Think of all the wonderful gifts that God has given you. No doubt you can come up with a lengthy record of Gods goodness. Does your list include meaning or purpose in life? Most people wouldnt think of meaning as part of Gods goodness to us. But perhaps we should. This is because “only a being like God–a creator of all who could eventually, in the words of the New Testament, work all things together for good–only this sort of being could guarantee a completeness and permanency of meaning for human lives.”{19}So how did God accomplish this? The answer rests in His amazing love for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Consider the profound words of Carl F.H. Henry: “the eternal and self-revealed Logos, incarnate in Jesus Christ, is the foundation of all meaning.”{20} Bruce Lockerbie puts it like this: “The divine nature manifesting itself in the physical form of Jesus of Nazareth is, in fact, the integrating principle to which all life adheres, the focal point from which all being takes its meaning, the source of all coherence in the universe. Around him and him alone all else may be said to radiate. He is the Cosmic Center.”{21}

Picture a bicycle. When you ride one you are putting your weight on a multitude of spokes that radiate from a hub. All the spokes meet at the center and rotate around it. The bicycle moves based upon the center. Thus it is with Christ. He is the center around whom we move and find meaning. Our focus is on Him.

When the apostle Paul reflected on meaning and purpose in his life in Phillipians 3, he came to this conclusion (emphases added):

7…whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Did you notice how Christ was central to what Paul had to say about both his past and present? And did you notice that he used phrases such as “knowing Christ,” or “that I may gain Christ?” Such statements appear to be crucial to Pauls sense of meaning and purpose.

More here

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The Limitations of Knowing Logical Fallacies

Knowing logical fallacies has its limitations.  Also here.

What this information is good for:

Examining your own beliefs and why you hold them.

Composing a logical statement.

Winning formal debates.

Sifting somebody else’s argument or statement to understand it and judge if it [the argument] is reasonable or not.
Note: this doesn’t tell you whether their conclusion or premise is correct or not.  People can use logical fallacies in support of something true or false, they can be right yet still have gotten there by accident, it doesn’t tell you whether what they say is true or not. It only tells you how well they are arguing a particular point, and perhaps how logical they may or may not be.

 

What it is not good for:

 

Changing somebody else’s mind

Making people like you

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Using the 1911 Enclopedia Britannica in a Course of Study

http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/
“Search over 40,000 articles from four encyclopedias, including the original, classic Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Edition.

 

The 1911 and 1889 versions of Encyclopedia Britannica are published here as a community project where anybody can edit/correct articles and add comments about the original encyclopedia articles. Thousands of corrections have already been posted and hundreds of user comments have been published. Thank you for your support and contributions.

This Online Encyclopedia was originally based on the 11th Edition Encyclopedia Britannica, first published in 1911. This historically significant reference work is, arguably, the last general encyclopedia to offer articles in such extreme depth. Over 320 historians, 250 ministers, and many diplomats, theologians, scientists, and government officials from around the world personally wrote this encyclopedia’s articles, totaling more than 44 million words!

Read more: Online 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/#ixzz4uUwIl9Ft

You might enjoy skimming through one of the courses of study recommended in this supplemental volume to the Enclopedia Britannica, published in 1911:

The plan has been to direct each individual how to draw from this great storehouse of knowledge that which will cover with all desirable completeness the line of work in which he is most interested, thus assisting him in the knowledge of his particular business, and aiding him in its prosecution.

It being recognized that the Britannica contains a great deal of interesting and profitable matter for boys and girls, the first part of this GUIDE is directed to young people. By the aid of brief but graphic text and copious references, the youth is led along pleasant avenues of research, and thus aided in acquiring a habit of reading and of investigation that will continue through life, and add largely to his chances of success.

The second part is especially designed for students. The scholar who is desirous of some means whereby to supplement the work of the school or the college, will find here the very thing that he is seeking. The earnest, ambitious young man or young woman who is being self-educated, because unable to secure the aid of instructors, will find here a teacher that will point the way to the acquirement of a thorough knowledge of almost every branch of science or art. Numerous courses of study are outlined, which may be pursued independent of schools; many profitable lines of research are suggested, and the best ways of obtaining a fund of general information are pointed out.

The fact that fifty-two text-books used in our leading colleges and universities have been drawn from the Britannica emphasizes its value to students.

Through our excellent system of common schools, every boy or girl in the land is furnished with the rudiments of an education. But in the school, the child is only started on the way ; the best that can be done is to provide him with a few essentials, and give him some slight impetus that will keep him moving on in the right direction. If he continues his studies beyond the public schools, he may be conducted a little farther — but it is only a little. No one’s education was ever finished in a university. We are all, to a greater or less degree, self-educated. A great deal of what the schools have foisted on us as knowledge has proved to be worthless to us, and is allowed to drop from our minds as soon as we are left to ourselves. The better part of our education is that which we acquire independently — through reading, through observation, through intercourse with others — -an ever increasing stock of what is called general information. It is the aim of this GUIDE to help, not only students, but everybody else, to gather this information in an orderly way, without unnecessary expenditure of time and labor.

The third part of this volume is devoted to the busy world at large. Its object is to help the busy man, no matter what his business may be, to pick out from the Encyclopedia Britannica just that kind of information that

will be of the greatest value to him in his calling. There is hardly a trade, industry, or profession in the civilized world that is not noticed somewhere in this department. A mere glance at the various chapters will indicate their practical value.

On the whole, it is confidently believed that the plan of using the Encyclopedia Britannica, as presented in this GUIDE, will fill a gap and perform an important service in our system of education. It should be a very material aid. not only to those whose schooldays have been of limited duration, and who wish to continue their studies without the guidance of a teacher, but to people of every class and condition in life — to students, merchants, farmers, mechanics, housekeepers, and professional men of all sorts. It should enable boys, girls, men, women, and whole families to spend their leisure hours pleasantly and profitably with the great Encyclopedia, thus realizing one of its most important aims by making it the most powerful aid to home culture or self-education that the world has ever known.

 

 

THREE COURSES OF READING IN HISTORY. ” History is philosophy teaching by examples.”Bolingbroke.

The entire history of man, from the earliest times to the present, will be found in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Many of the articles on historical subjects are chiefly valuable for purposes of reference, while others are extremely interesting when read in course, and if taken up and studied systematically will give to the student a mastery of the subject which he could not well acquire from any similar work.

It is proposed in this chapter to indicate three distinct courses of reading, any one of which can be pursued independently of the others. In laying out these courses the aim has been to select from the great abundance of material in the Britannica such portions as are essential to an understanding of the march of events, and to pass lightly over those periods of history which have been unprolific of events of general and permanent interest.

  1. AMERICAN HISTORY.
  2. ANCIENT HISTORY.

In indicating the following course of reading, an attempt will be made to cover all the more important periods of ancient history, and at the same time not to mark out more than can be mastered within a reasonable length of time. It is possible that the reader will enlarge it at many points by reading entire articles, of which only parts are here indicated; but, whether he does this or not, In: should find himself at the end of the course possessed of a good general knowledge of ancient history, of its leading characters, and its more interesting Oriental scenes and incidents.

 

This course of reading embraces in the aggregate about 150 pages of the Britannica. By reading an hour or so

regularly every evening, one may complete it in a short time ; and there is no doubt but that the reader will obtain from it a far more satisfactory view of ancient history than can be gained from any of the so-called ” Universal Histories.” The reason is obvious. Here the subject is presented as in a painting, with a distinct background, and the foreground appropriately filled with lifelike figures. It is no mere catalogue of events that you have been studying ; it is history itself.

III. MODERN HISTORY.

Mohammadan Empire  The first part of the article, Mohammedanism, XVI. 545, relates the story of Mohammed and the first four caliphs. Read this part carefully. Then proceed to .the second part, XVI. The Arab 55, which gives an account of Moslem Conquest, quest and dominion down to the capture of Baghdad by Jenghis Khan, A. D. 1258. The most important event for us during this latter period is the conquest of Spain, a full account of which may be found in the article SPAIN, XXII. 3 1 2-3 1 5.

Continental Europe from a. d. 476 to a. d. 1454. A. D. ” The period of ten centuries which intervened between the fall of the Western Empire and the capture of Constantinople by the Turks may be briefly studied. The Franks invade Gaul, IX. 528; the Goths and Lombards establish themselves in Italy, XIII. 467; the Visigoths gain

control of Spain, XXII. 308; anew empire is established by CHARLEMAGNE, V. 402. This brings us to the year 814. From this point to the close of the period only a few events need be noticed. The rise of the feudal monarchy in France, IX. 536; the Hapsburg dynasty, X. 491, and III. 124; the house of Brandenburg in Germany, XX. 4. Now read the account of the Hundred Years’ War between France and England, IX. 545-551. This prepares us for the study of the article on Feudalism, IX. 119, and the various notices of CHIVALRY indicated in the Index volume, page 96.

The chief events of this period are connected with the Crusades, which are the subject of an interesting and important article, VI. 622. In connection with the above-named articles there is room for a good deal of collateral reading. Study the following articles…

 

It could be an interesting and instructive exercise to choose a handful of articles from the 1911 encyclopedia and compare and contrast them with information on the same topic in Wikipedia and a recent print encylopedia.

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