Unlock the secrets to nurturing articulate communicators in a tech-driven world with our latest Basecamp Live episode featuring Andrew Pudewa, the esteemed founder of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Together, we dissect the enduring necessity of eloquent writing and speech, even as our culture gravitates towards brevity. Our conversation explores ‘ancient future education’ and its pivotal role in fostering thoughtful, compassionate leaders of tomorrow. As we navigate the complexities of modern communication, Pudewa joins us to shed light on the challenges of internet safety, emphasizing the cultivation of a love for truth, goodness, and beauty as our strongest safeguard.
This episode is a treasure trove of wisdom for parents, educators, and anyone passionate about classical Christian education’s power to arm young minds. We delve into the transformative power of reading aloud to children and the timeless technique of memorization, drawing inspiration from the educational practices of luminaries like Shakespeare. Discover how the study of Latin and a deep appreciation for language can shape our cognitive abilities, preparing us to engage in and contribute to democratic discourse thoughtfully. Prepare to be inspired by the insights and strategies shared by Pudewa, as we affirm the critical role of articulate communication in shaping a future that’s as bright as the minds we are nurturing today.
Biography: Andrew Pudewa
Andrew Pudewa is the founder and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing and a father of seven. Traveling and speaking around the world, he addresses issues related to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity, insight, practical experience, and humor. His seminars for parents, students, and teachers have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students’ skills.
Although he is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan and holds a Certificate of Child Brain Development from the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, his best endorsement is from a young Alaskan boy who called him “the funny man with the wonderful words.” He and his beautiful, heroic wife, Robin, have homeschooled their seven children and are now proud grandparents of fifteen, making their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
0:00:09 – Davies Owens
Writing and speaking well is quickly becoming a skill that is harder to find these days and is seemingly less valued in the broader culture. Technology, so the argument goes, is going to make it less necessary to write so well and speak well. Our thoughts and an idea of social media posts. Yet these core academic skills, which our schools still hold up as just basic expectations, are in fact, the variabilities that will be even more in demand in the future. Join us for this conversation as we rediscover the joy and value of writing and speaking well Mountains.
0:00:44 – Tim Dernlan
We all face them as we seek to influence the next generation. Get equipped to conquer the challenges, some at the peak, and shape exceptionally thoughtful, compassionate and flourishing human beings. We call it ancient future education for raising the next generation. Welcome to Basecamp Live Now your host, Davies Owens.
0:01:05 – Davies Owens
Welcome to Basecamp Live Davies Owens. Here we are on this journey of raising up the next generation and along the way we look at issues related to really kind of the world of parenting Parenting 101, classical school 101 and the basic issue of culture 101. We actually do a little 202, maybe some 303 level stuff as we go along the way, but we all need to be encouraged and we are all part of an amazing journey of people that God is raising up all over the world to come alongside young people. There’s a lot of bad news out there but there’s also a lot of good news and we get to celebrate that every day and the work that happens in this journey of raising up our generation through classical Christian schools. Thanks for reaching out to me Again. I always tell you how much it means to me just to take a second and send over an email. I know that’s old technology but I still get it. It still works. Info at basecamplivecom.
Emily Harrison reached out this week and she said hey, thanks to you and Keith for the latest episode as you continue to talk through these important issues. She says I have a tagline for you. She says it is the internet is not a playground for our children. Emily, you’re absolutely right. Maybe we’ll get that put on a t-shirt at some point and hopefully folks are not letting their kids out to internet playground land. It is a crazy technology world we live in and we believe that the best antidote is raising up children that love, truth, goodness and beauty, as we do that through our homes and our churches and through our schools. This is the place to be, to be encouraged today, and I appreciate again all of you. Keith and I are continuing to lean in, to collaborate, to work on resources a lot more coming. We would love to come and be a part of your school at a parent education event or gathering that you’re having there. We’re going to be combining forces for this roadshow next year. All those details and more are at the Basecamp Lab website. You can just check under the speaking and training tab and learn a lot more about that. We also have a special website coming up with even more details on all of those things. I want to say thank you to the couple of our sponsors Classical Learning Test and America’s Christian Credit Union. Thank you for your partnership and your support.
This conversation today with Andrew Pudewa was very encouraging. Andrew is another one of those great leaders in this movement. He has been actively involved for many decades in the world of classical Christian education. He’s the founder and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing and Father of Seven. He travels and speaks all around the world addressing issues related to teaching writing, thinking, spelling and music and helping folks understand how to do so with clarity and insight. He has such wonderful practical experience and even humor he will be telling a joke that’s. One of the things he’s known for is his great sense of humor. His seminars for parents and students and teachers have helped transform many reluctant writers and have equipped many educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students’ skills. Although he is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan, he holds a certificate of child brain development from the institutes for the achievement of human potential. That’s a mouthful.
In Philadelphia, pennsylvania. He is, at heart. A young Alaskan boy called him this. He said the funny man with wonderful words. I think that’s well put. He is blessed to have a heroic wife, robin. They have homeschooled their seven children and they’re now proud grandparents of 15, and they make their home in Tulsa, oklahoma. Without further ado, here’s my conversation with Andrew Pudua. Andrew Pudua. Welcome to Basecamp Live. Thank you, davies. It’s good to be with you. It’s an honor to be with you, andrew. I was trying to recall. I think it’s probably been at least eight, 10 years ago. We were together at the Ambrose School in Boise. You came out to do the amazing work you do and training up educators and the Institute for Excellence in Writing. It’s good to finally be back with you.
0:05:03 – Andrew Pudewa
I remember the beautiful library at that school. That is the one thing that sticks in my memory most is what would it be like to be able to come to a school like this every day and just be in this room.
0:05:17 – Davies Owens
Yes, it’s a gift when the building architecture can reflect the philosophy of education, and that school definitely has that figured out. Andrew, you’ve got going on three decades, or three decades plus, of being in this space of education and helping to raise up the next generation. I would love just to start out with some perspective. Anything for three decades. You get perspective and what are you seeing today? Some of the challenges that modern families are facing, even those who are committed to classical Christian education. What are some of the observations you have with your spans of three decades?
0:05:53 – Andrew Pudewa
Well, not to start off on too negative of a tone, but I would say the three most significant differences are a lowered vocabulary. In almost all the kids I meet, whether they’re in school, homeschool, public school, private school, wherever I go there just isn’t the kind of richness of vocabulary that I was used to encountering for so many years during that, really the first decade, say, from 95 to 05. And I think there are some reasons for that. We could get into it. A second thing I would guess is that the shortened attention span of most everyone and this would include us as well as adults.
I know that I have to struggle to just put screens away, go to a completely different room, don’t pick up the phone and concentrate for 30, 40, 50 minutes. That used to be a very normal, easy thing and I don’t think it’s age, I just think it’s the ubiquitousness of screens in our life and I think, if that’s affecting me, who did not grow up with screens other than a pretty highly monitored, regulated television, but certainly not like what we see today with children and young children, I worry about what that’s doing cognitively and intellectually to the young children that I see it used to be you’d go somewhere and kids. If they were bored they’d pull out a book and read it, and now it’s pretty much always, you know, they’ve got a phone, a tablet, a screen of some sort playing some kind of dumb game like a babysitter, and so I’m worried about that. And then the third thing I think we went through essays, which is very good for me personally in terms of Institute for Excellence in Writing, especially in schools, around 99, 2003, 2005,.
Even to the end of that decade, there was a tremendous emphasis on teaching language arts, teaching writing in particular. People still valued that tremendously and I see that while there still are some people who value that, the general education population is kind of looking that as more of a secondary thing to, perhaps you know, things like technical skills or STEM or overall literacy of current things. I mean we could get into the lack of understanding of the structure of language, lack of historical context. You know we could go anywhere with that. Those are the, you know.
Those are probably the three biggest changes I’ve seen On the upside. The last few years in particular have caused an explosion of opportunities in alternatives to public schools, the explosion of classical schools, particularly in the charter world, with groups like Great Hearts and Hillsdale getting involved very energetically and a lot of parents becoming aware that they really do need to be involved in their children’s education if they want to have any say in what goes on. You can’t just send your kid off to a building and assume that they’re going to get everything they need. So that’s kind of on the upside, I would say, and that happened a little bit before the COVID years, but it was the COVID years that really solidified for so many parents. Hey, I have got to be in this with my kids here.
0:09:48 – Davies Owens
Yeah, and that’s really kind of the drum beat that I. I guess the drum I beat at Basecamp all the time is that you know, even in a classical Christian school, we have to be careful not to take that outsourced mindset. And you know we think, oh, we’re not homeschooling, I paid somebody to do this education, but no, you, the you know, the effectiveness of the education is absolutely tied to what’s happening at home, which is part of this podcast was like how do we help you when you get home parallel what’s happening in school. So those are, those are really good perspectives, andrew, and I think you’re spot on and, and you know we call it the 301 problem here on Basecamp, which is we kind of control technology from 745 to three in our schools we should be all the time, all the way, but at 301 Cyclops, the one eyed screen monster pops out and you’ve got a different narrative that these kids are getting throughout the rest of their day, which is really detrimental and difficult. So I’m sure you’re seeing that.
0:10:44 – Andrew Pudewa
Yeah, we are. Fortunately, you know, we are able to exert, you know, a minimal amount of positive influence in that world, and the more you know, the more we have discussions like this, like what you’re doing with Basecamp and a lot of people involved, on all aspects, and it’s it’s not even a political thing anymore. What interests me is how many of kind of your classical, like freedom loving, liberal types are now very concerned about the narrowing of what’s going on in terms of, you know, in terms of information coming to people and it’s like everybody’s more and more living in a bubble. And to the degree that we in education can try and point that out and help people gain the perspective of history, the perspectives of true diversity of culture, the perspectives that literature gives to kids, I see that as almost the only hope against this, this narrow, bubble minded, tribal, harmful way of looking at the world.
0:11:56 – Davies Owens
Yeah, well, and I think you’re. You know, I think if we recorded this podcast 17 years ago, you know, we probably would talk about things like moral relativism, which is completely there, but it’s so much beyond. Just things are immoral to the point that now you’ve got a generation of students that are that don’t know how to think, and I mean it’s extremely scary. I mean, you know, you look around the world at places like Rwanda, or Genocide broke out, and I’ve been there and I’ve studied. You know why did that happen? And it’s tied to the education system. It’s tied to people not being able to understand history in the world and know how to think. Well, I mean, that’s, that’s. This is like the gloves are off. This is the real deal. This isn’t just polite education, it’s survival education. I believe.
0:12:36 – Andrew Pudewa
I like that. That would be a good name for a second podcast. Someone could do Survival education. There we go, all right, you know we’ll come.
0:12:43 – Davies Owens
Well, let’s work on that. I think that I think it would be well received today because it certainly feels like, you know, the gloves are off and it’s no longer just interesting philosophical conversations about better forms of education. Now this is like your kids are, you know. It is a real serious issue and to your point I would agree wholeheartedly. I think in some ways this is the last best hope. I mean, certainly Jesus is the last best hope. But you know, somewhere not too far from there is our schools coming alongside Christian families to prepare the next generation With that, and again, you and I could banter on about the problems.
But you know, when I look at the work you’ve done, in particular in the area of really teaching students to write well and to read well, I mean in many ways it’s the core essence of what classical education has always been about, this idea of rhetoric, writing and speaking well. But you know, in terms of it kind of being an antidote, I certainly see it that way. I mean, if a young person shows up today into the world or graduates and they can write well and reason well and speak well, I mean you not only will you get a job, but you might actually not get duped by the narrative all around you. So set this up a little bit. I know we’re going to unpack a little bit more, but why is this so important to you? Writing and speaking well?
0:13:59 – Andrew Pudewa
Well, I think we have a mutual friend in Andrew Kern. Yes, and I’ve spent a lot of time with Andrew. In fact, I think when I came to Boise we were there together doing our two Andrews seminar that we did, that’s right. I don’t know five, six cities. We probably did 30 cities in five years time.
But he said something once to me that just really stuck in my brain. He said if you cannot read or write a complex sentence, then you cannot think a complex thought. That’s good, and if you cannot think a complex thought, please don’t vote, which you know has a humor element to it and I don’t think we would take it literally. But you know, we are looking at the simplification of thought through the shrinking of vocabulary, through the less complex prose, through the machine generated prose, through the quick, you know, ad bites that are used to manipulate and control the desires of people. And it really harkens back, I think, to Orwell in 1984, which is a book that everyone should read.
I used to say read it every 10 years and see, you know how it sets them.
I think maybe read it every five years now, but one of the things that struck me so powerfully about the book the last time I read it was this intentional shrinking of the language, the shrinking of the Newspeak dictionary, so that it would get down to a point where thought crime, ie having an idea that was counter to that of the big brother, the party, the state, would be impossible.
And isn’t that really? You know, the dream of those who would like to control everything and everyone is to make it impossible for anyone to challenge, mentally even, let alone you know, verbally or physically, you know what they want to do. So that shrinking of thought through the shrinking of language is something that I feel like you know. In my small, tiny, little humble way, I am working against, because we’re always talking about vocabulary and the whole writing programs, about how do we help kids learn to use and understand and skillfully deploy more complex sentences and paragraphs and analytical thinking. But you have to have the words to do it in, and that probably is the most bottom line thing that I have learned in 30 years is you cannot think of thought you don’t have the words to think it in.
0:16:44 – Davies Owens
That is absolutely correct. And, again, very much I am struggling with words because now you’ve said the importance of words, but no, the challenge is certainly in front of us right now with students today, that you know, a big response to what you just said would be that’s cool stuff, you know. I mean we really need to learn to think well and articulate well again ultimately, so that we have the resilience to go up against all of the narratives and the stories that are being told around us, and I think Brave New World is a great reference point. That. Why don’t we take a quick break? I want to come back because I think, you know, there’s certainly one of the things we hear a lot today is why do I need to? Why is writing and speaking and rhetoric in general so critical, especially in a world where you’ve got everything your fingertips and now AI is actually producing, you know, pretty impressive written statements and things? I mean is this are we going in the right direction? It seems like maybe the world is looking at us more and more as the antiquated educators, but in fact, I think we’re going the right direction and I want to hear your response that, when we take it, come back from the break.
As schools and families, we engage with businesses every day and, unfortunately, many of them are increasingly embracing more progressive ideologies and practices. That’s why Basecamp Live. We’re proud to partner with America’s Christian Credit Union, a banking institution that only serves and invest in kingdom causes. So, whether you’re managing a school, a home, a small business, accu can meet your banking needs while upholding biblical values. Find out why tens of thousands of families and ministries across the country, including Basecamp Live, have chosen to bank with ACCU by going today to americacristiancucom. Andrew, we classical people get blamed for being a little backwards, looking maybe a bit omish or something. You know, we’re nostalgic, we like the old, hard ways, and here we are advocating that one of the antidotes to the current cultural moment is reinforcing this classical idea of teaching, communicating well, writing well, speaking well. I assume this is the right direction to be going in, and why in light of the cultural moment.
0:18:55 – Andrew Pudewa
Yeah well, I came across a quote from one of my favorite people. He’s kind of like the Confucius of the age. I’m sure you know of him maybe you’re a fan as well Jordan Peterson, and this is an excerpt from an interview he gave in 2021, which I think really concisely underscores what we’re talking about here. Quote there is no more exceptional form of the capacity to be dangerous than to be articulate. One of the things that shocks me is that young men in particular are never taught this Do you want to be competent and dangerous or do you want to be vague and useless? Those are your options. I don’t care what your job is. If you’re a plumber and you are articulate, you can negotiate with your clients, you can introduce your coworkers, you can make a case for your employees, you can advertise your services. You’re firing on all cylinders. And what’s the alternative? You want to be inarticulate? You want to say uh and like and mmm, and pause and stumble. You would choose awkwardness over grace. It’s beyond foolish. Yeah well said Jordan Peterson.
0:20:06 – Davies Owens
0:20:07 – Andrew Pudewa
I can’t really do better than Peterson, even when he’s just off the cuff. But you know, I have often said to you know, kids, when I’ve been traveling around the country and teaching mostly teenagers and I’ll meet a lot of boys in particular, a lot of kids, and they don’t like writing and they don’t see why they have to come to these classes and do this I said to them it doesn’t matter what you do, whether you go into you know engineering or the military or garbage collecting if you can speak and write ideas well, you will rise up in that field. The best engineer remains an engineer, because that’s what he’s good at. It’s the good engineer who can communicate engineering ideas effectively that attains positions of leadership and influence. And you know, most of the kids I meet are in the Christian world and I think to some degree they believe they have a mission other than to figure out a way to grow up and be comfortable. And when you hit them with that and say God needs you to be articulate so that you can help bring truth to people who are in desperate need of it and increasingly in desperate need of it.
And to do that you’ve got to prepare yourself. It’s, you know, it’s like preparing for a sports game or a war. You can’t go into a fight or a game or a battle without the strength and the skill to do that. And if we are really living in a world where ideas are the battleground and it seems very much like it is right now then what’s the best training for you? Well, we look back and we don’t have to redesign this.
We know what the best training is. We can go all the way back to ancient times and, just like they figured out gymnastics and it hasn’t changed very much since then they figured out rhetoric training and how to understand and use grammar and logic and win some persuasive communication to affect things in the world. So if you’ve got someone who will agree with you that truth exists and it can be known and communicated, you can make progress. If you’re dealing with people who just don’t believe that truth even exists anymore and everything’s a matter of opinion, then I would say knock off the dust from the shoes and go elsewhere. Yeah.
0:22:36 – Davies Owens
Well, one thing that you just pointed out that I emphasize often on the podcast because I think it’s so important, and I say this somewhat provocatively, but I think often in our K-12 schools, the most neglected population are our students when it comes to them really understanding the vision for this type of education. I think we’re probably pretty quick to sit them down and begin teaching rhetoric but not really give them that vision of like. If you were to learn this and lean into this education, here’s where you would be that sort of savvy that Jordan Peterson so well articulated. And I think that’s probably not at the front of the minds of a lot of our teachers too, because we’re so into the mechanics of teaching it. And then you can get, I think, easily disillusioned with this idea. Well, ai is coming. Why do we need to spend so much time putting these tedious Senate structures together when the computer can do it for us? And if we don’t catch that big vision of changing the world and being resilient, then I don’t blame them for being a little disillusioned.
0:23:37 – Andrew Pudewa
A few thoughts come to mind right there. The first one is I think that almost all of us and I’m even guilty to this to some degree, but I think the vast majority of well-meaning parents and well-meaning teachers are looking at the purpose of education for the promulgation of wealth and comfort. The reason you get a good education is so that you can get a good job, so that you can get a good income, so that you can have a happy family. That is just a completely disordered way of thinking about the purpose of life. Until we can unravel that a little bit, I don’t know how we make a lot of progress. Part of it, I think, connects with this next idea, which is what is the relationship between a human and technology.
Technology is nothing new. I mean, you, I’m sure, have heard the story of how Plato, in one of the dialogues, talks about the king of Egypt and the great god Thoth, who said I will give you writing as a gift. And the king said well, okay, we’ll take your gift, but it will be a double-edged sword, because it will let us write things down, but then we won’t rely on our memories. So even writing itself is a technology that will begin to atrophy the skill which it replaces. Now we’re seeing that kind of thing on Uber steroids. But one of the things I try to talk to parents about is you want to establish the right relationship between the human, your child, the human or yourself and the machine. Who’s telling who what to do? Are you controlling your technology so that you can better accomplish your objectives and missions in the world, or are you allowing technology to derail that to some degree, whether it’s through entertainment or distraction or confusing information or atrophy of skills? So if we can use AI to better accomplish our goals, then there’s a potential upside. But what we, I think, have clearly seen just given the volume of traffic on the internet, is that the vast majority, the super majority of all information that transfers between people through internet and through screens and machines is at worst porn and at best doom scrolling, and so much of it is just not purposeful.
There is an interesting upside to this world of AI, and I heard a term not long ago I don’t know if you’ve heard it, davies, but I heard this term prompt engineer as actually a new career category, so the idea that certain careers are going to be eliminated by AI, which will do much of the programming of bottom line programmers and do much of the writing of bottom line commercial writers and all that. But who’s going to get that out of the AI? It’s going to be the prompt engineers. And so now that’s interesting to me because that requires the skill of asking very good questions, which in a way, is another way we might define critical thinking, asking very good questions.
And I have long tried to communicate to people that the basic skill of writing, after you get past the mechanics of the grammar, once you move into the logic and rhetoric zone of writing, it’s really about can you ask yourself good questions, can you ask others good questions? Because the quality of the questions you ask will determine the quality of not just the writing you do but the life that you will have.
0:27:51 – Davies Owens
Yeah, and that’s such what a great reminder. Again, I again, you know, emphasize this all the time that this is definitely not, as somebody said, kind of a sentimental, fusty old education. This is actually the best way to prepare for an AI technical world, and I had not heard that idea of who has to sit there and come up with the prompts. But you’re absolutely right, it’s only the responses, only as good as the inputted question. And if you’ve been trained with classical rhetoric and you can speak and write well, you might be the first person that gets hired there at you know techcompanycom who may be doing the hiring.
Well, Andrew, why don’t we take another quick break? I want to come back and just get again a lot of directions we could go, but just some quick advice to parents and to educators and just best practices that you’ve seen over the years when it comes to excellence in writing and speaking, and we’d love to hear that from you. And then I do hear that you are a pretty serious jokester, so I would be ashamed to not get a joke out of you before we end the podcast.
So we’ll promise that here in the third section as well, we’ll be right back with Andrew Pudawa.
0:28:56 – Karen Elliot
What does Athens have to do with Africa? Would you like to be a part of the global classical Christian movement? The Rafiki Foundation is providing classical Christian education across 10 countries in Africa to underprivileged children. We provide preschool to high school education, Bible study two meals a day. We like to say the best education for the least of these. Rafiki provides opportunities for classical Christian schools, educators and families to participate in this movement, either by helping children, providing scholarships for children to go to these classical Christian schools in Africa, or by going yourself for two weeks, two months or two decades. Find out more at the Rafiki Foundation website or the Rafiki Foundation podcast. Thanks, I’m Elliott, the executive director.
0:29:54 – Davies Owens
Andrew, you spent 30 years traveling around the world encouraging educators and parents. If you had just a few minutes in a room with a group of parents and thinking about the importance of writing and rhetoric and speaking, well, what just some best practices, encouragement you give to parents? And then I’m going to ask the same question, just kind of with educators to the rim.
0:30:18 – Andrew Pudewa
I’m not sure I would talk about the importance of it, because if they’re not sold on that, they’re not going to hear anything else. So what I would say and I think almost all parents and teachers would agree yes, I would like this. If what you want 20 years from now is a person who can read and listen and speak and write in their language skillfully, then the most important thing for you to do every day right now is read aloud to them in huge quantity, as much time as you can spare and this should start essentially at birth, which is easier if you’ve got older kids and a family than the infant just grew up in that environment. But as soon as you can, you start reading aloud to children every day and never stop reading aloud to them. Even when they start reading on their own, you continue to read to them at a level above their own decoding skills. That’s what grows comprehension and that gives you shared context for conversations. It builds historical literacy, builds vocabulary.
If you’re reading things that are kind of increasingly complex, if you’re willing to read things that are 50, 80, 100, 200, 1,000, 2,000 years old, you’re bringing that child into this world of language, which really is the word. It’s not accidental that in the beginning was the word, and I would argue that it is in language, the way in which we are most made in the image and likeness of God, that we have this phenomenal capacity to access truth through language and language through an experience of truth. And the fundamental way that that has been done through all of history really just up until 40, 50 years ago, with the advent of ubiquitous television in everyone’s life was the bedtime story culture, the read aloud to the family. What do we do when we can’t go anywhere? We sit down and read books together. That was just universally done in all literate cultures and that’s my greatest fear is that we’ve lost that in the homes today. So that would be my one biggest bullet point.
0:33:00 – Davies Owens
And I think to that, just to emphasize it’s not. I think most folks listening are like, yeah, that’s a great thing to do with your grammar scholars, but high schoolers they’re on their own reading. You would disagree with that, I know, and say, no, you should read, Even they should read on their own. But you should also read as a family, and that’s I know. Our family did that and some of the best memories have been books that were read aloud in the home during high school years. So they’re never too old, yeah, never too old.
0:33:29 – Andrew Pudewa
Secondly, if I can put in a plug for memorized language, this is another thing that’s been at the core of primary and even higher education. For as long as history records, people memorized huge chunks of poetry, of scripture, of excerpts of the beautiful rhetoric that had gone before, of historical speeches. It was a way that we would internalize in a very real way my mother, who was a music teacher. She never used the word memorize. She always said you have to learn by heart, learn the piece by heart, learn the poem by heart, and there’s something so true about when you memorize something you take it into your soul in a very powerful way, a way that you really can’t do any other way, and I would love to see this restored. I think classical schools really are on the forefront of helping people understand the value of cultivating the memory as a human faculty and furnishing the mind with good and true and beautiful language. But I would like to see it much more universally understood and appreciated by the more general population of parents.
0:34:47 – Davies Owens
Well, and I think that again is a. I’m glad you’ve put an emphasis on that, because I think it’s too easy today to not only assume you don’t need to memorize because it’s coming to you on your device, but that it’s just as adults. I think most of us think anything memory oriented is tedious and difficult and therefore undesirable. And yet we all know our grammar school kids in particular memorize anything, whether you ask them to or not, and they love doing it. So why not lean into that? And I just that’s, that’s beautiful. I think that makes a lot of sense. So reading memorization, anything else kind of as a quick best practice, you would encourage.
0:35:25 – Andrew Pudewa
Well, you know, there’s sometimes a question of why do Latin right? You know, the classical school world, you know, and people are like nobody uses Latin and it’s not practical, as though everything that we had to learn had to be practical. I’m going to recommend a book to you personally, davies. If you haven’t read it, I guarantee 100% you will love this book. It’s called how to Think Like Shakespeare by Scott Newstock. Okay, brilliant, brilliant books, tremendous wordsmith. This guy, he’s a Shakespeare scholar, so likely, okay, yeah, and it’s really. It’s really about the type of education that Shakespeare had, and so this value of language and rhetoric and honing and refining. And the funny thing is, shakespeare never took an English class. What did he do? He spent his entire childhood in school. Basically, you know reading and translating. Latin.
And that gave him the X-ray vision into the language that made him the phenomenal wordsmith that he is. And I could go on and on about that book, but you know he might be a guy you’d like to talk to at some point.
0:36:37 – Davies Owens
I appreciate that recommendation Absolutely and I think, again, it’s easy to go. Yeah, you know he’s just in that one percent or super genius guy. You know he just is like no, no, no, no, no, wait a minute. How did he read? He studied Latin, he worked hard and that’s part of the output. Well, there’s a lot more we talk about. Thank you for just again, just a fresh reminder that the work that we’re doing as parents and as educators every day is really not just, again, a plight, it’s survival, education, as we talked about earlier, and really important work. And so thank you for all that you’re doing with the Institutes for Excellence in Writing and just championing this important work that we’re doing. Thank you for that. But again, we’d be remiss if we don’t get a joke out of you, because I know that that’s a part of I guess that’s part of rhetoric is being able to tell jokes.
0:37:21 – Andrew Pudewa
Andrew Kern said to me one time the whole purpose of a great education is so that you get every joke. Yeah. Here’s one of my All right, go ahead. Here’s one of my newer favorites. So there’s a woodsman out in the woods and he’s chopping down trees and he’s about to chop a tree and the tree shouts out stop, stop, don’t chop me, I’m a talking tree. And the woodsman says, yes, and you will dialogue.
0:37:54 – Davies Owens
You will dialogue. That’s really. That’s great. Did you make that one up? That’s pretty good. That’s pretty creative.
0:38:00 – Andrew Pudewa
No, I didn’t make that one up, but I locked right onto it.
0:38:04 – Davies Owens
That’s a great one. Yep, yeah, you will. Dialogue, see, these are. This is why I love jokes and we need more jokes Well thought through jokes, well developed jokes. So I do hope you’ll write a joke book someday. I think everyone would love that. Andrew, it’d be great. So we’ve talked about a lot of things. There’s a lot of great resources. By the way, I admire you as a fellow podcaster. You guys are. What just celebrated your 400th podcast, I think, is that, yeah, that’s a lot of talking but a lot of good content, and I want to encourage people. So Arts of Language is your podcast and you guys are over on, is it IEWcom? Is that the best place for folks to find you?
0:38:38 – Andrew Pudewa
Yep, and then any of your podcast delivery methods, Spotify or Apple iTunes, whatever you use, carrier, pigeon, podcast, whatever’s out there.
0:38:50 – Davies Owens
Now, that’s right, that sounds great. Well, andrew, it’s always a joy to get to chat with you, to reconnect with you and look forward to further conversations. Thanks for all you’re doing for parents and education in the next generation.
0:39:03 – Andrew Pudewa
Thank you, davies, it’s been great.
0:39:06 – Hannah Brusven
Hey there, basecamp Live listeners. This is Davies daughter Hannah here, and I want to congratulate this amazing podcast on almost five years of incredible content, enriching interviews and over 200 episodes. So that has brought so much encouragement to people and thank you for being a part of that. Thank you for supporting this message, this mission, and there are a couple ways that you can help in sharing that message. First of all, please leave a five star review on whatever app you are using to listen to this podcast. You can also share it with a friend. That’s a great way to get the message out about Basecamp Live and, of course, share your story with us at infoatbasecamplivecom. There will also answer all your questions and more and any topics that you’d like to hear too. Please send them there, to infoatbasecamplivecom. We’ll see you next week, everybody, bye, bye.