I’m at home sick today and drinking tea (third cup is at my elbow right now) while Elizabeth gets some extra sleep. For most of the day so far Nessa has been a dog whose father was a collie and whose mother was a dalmatian. This makes her very good at rescuing people from fires and herding sheep. On top of all this, her family grew up in China and she speaks both Chinese and “people language.” She plans to raise her puppies to speak two languages too. This was just the stuff that she informed me of while I was doing dishes…

I’ve been getting feedback on the first chapter of my rhetoric text (currently entitled “Becoming a Rhetoric Student”), and it is encouraging. I’m going to push on and keep drafting a couple more chapters before revisiting chapter one. I never would have thought that writing a rhetoric text could be fun. 🙂 Hopefully future teachers and students feel that way about reading it!

Here are a couple favorite quotes that I worked into chapter one:

For all a rhetorician’s rules
Teach nothing but to name his tools.

[From Englishman Samuel Butler’s Hudibras–a long satirical poem directed against Puritanism (pt. I [1663], canto I, line 81)]

John Witherspoon, one of James Madison’s professors at Princeton, had a favorite maxim when it came to teaching rhetoric: “Ne’er do ye speak unless ye ha’ something to say, and when ye are done, be sure and leave off.”

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