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Thursday
Jan132011

February 26

“Why listen, lady,” he said with a grin of delight, “the monks of old slept in their coffins!”

“They wasn’t as advanced as we are,” the old woman said.

—“The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” by Flannery O’Connor

 

Dear Dixie,

I tell my scholars all the time if you don’t know the answer to a multiple choice answer … don’t come ask me what the answer is … just guess.  If it’s a question where you have to fill in the blank and you can’t remember the answer just give it your best shot and maybe you might get one of the words right or maybe even a letter.  Like I keep saying, if you don’t try you never know. 

Or something like that.  I think I might try too hard to convince them that trying feels good.

Anyhow, today’s the test on the Stealing Lincoln’s Body documentary we watched.  Fifty-seven questions pulled from all those fascinating facts.  At the end of the documentary, we got to see his tomb as it looks today … and up above the huge marble sarcophagus a message is inscribed on the wall … the words spoken by Secretary of War Edward Stanton when he died ... Now he belongs to the ages. 

Powerful words. 

In the tomb the passage is in all capitals, like this: NOW HE BELONGS TO THE AGES.  I like that better, because it is better looking.  In the test the scholars were asked what was written on Lincoln’s tomb wall above the sarcophagus.  You had to be paying attention to the TV screen when we were watching the documentary this week.  Of course, the answer was also on the study guide.

Anyway, they were asked on the test, What was written up there.  They all responded.  Most got it right. 

The ones who didn’t get it right got it marked as incorrect—I find myself more and more chuckling under my breath as I grade tests—but they got extra affection points for laying these four on me … 

  • A house divided in itself will not stand
  • Once chance by another
  • Here lies the man who changed times
  • Whatever you are be a good one

Well, they're all incorrect.  I know it and they probably knew it, but they tried.  They didn't leave it blank.

Funny, I really can't disagree with any of the four ... real wrong answers.

 

Next Entry ... March 1: First Sherman.  Now This