Tuesday, June 11, 2024

cerro gordo

Greetings Starfighters,

Pardon my absence for the past couple of weeks. The closing of one school year is generally filled with preparations for the next school year, mostly comprised of meeting after meeting filled with lots of planning.

In my case, I’m also catching up on professional development hours. Taking a new position so close to the beginning of a school year and taking most of the year to find your footing in said position does little to help get those crucial PD hours in when you’re just trying to stay afloat.

But I’m back and should be bringing you regular updates again unless the galactic overlords play havoc with the latest beef shipment at Costco…

Anyhow, my brain is consumed these days with creating new professional development sessions for teachers and prepping for our annual Doc Week gathering with the Educational Leadership Studies doctoral students on campus at the University of Kentucky.

As our program is fully online, it’s the only chance we have to get together in person, share some laughs and stories, and commiserate on our struggles as we walk down the doctoral path. Ultimately, it’s about connecting with a tribe of peers, something that can help all of us get through whatever struggles we’re experiencing.

For now, on with the show…

Quote of the Day

“So many who were remembered already forgotten, and those who remembered them long gone.” (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

“So many who were remembered already forgotten, and those who remembered them long gone.” (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

Musical Interlude

Bruce Springsteen — No Surrender — Live in Dublin 2024

Long Read of the Day

In June 1944 the landings had been a long time coming. After a series of crushing defeats between 1939 and 1942, the comeback of the British Empire and the USA in World War II began in North Africa in 1942 and continued in Italy 1943. But, it was the landing in Normandy in June 1944 that were the decisive breakthrough. The destruction of the German forces in Northern France opened the door to the liberation of Paris and to the eventual meeting with the Red Army in Central Germany in May 1945.

We’re only a few days removed from the 80th anniversary of D-Day, and these reflections from Adam Tooze are a compelling read.

Video of the Day

One of my favorite YouTube channels belongs to Brent Underwood. Brent took up residency in Cerro Gordo, California, just as COVID broke out here in the US. Now, that may not sound all that interesting until you learn that Cerro Gordo is an abandoned silver mining town that some say is haunted.

Let the fun begin.

Brent has worked for the last few years to restore the town, even rebuilding the American Hotel for future travelers (he published a book about his journey recently). It’s not hard to look at all the Cerro Gordo restorations as one massive project-based learning unit, albeit far more expensive and lengthy than anything we could ever pull off in a school setting (but it sure would be fun to try, wouldn’t it?)

Last year, Brent hosted a race from the entrance of the Cerro Gordo road up to the town itself. Again, that may not sound all that interesting until you learn that the road is about eight miles long, mostly dirt and gravel, and achieves nearly 5,000 feet in elevation gain over those eight miles.

In other words, it’s a hell of a run. 230 people signed up for this year’s race on Memorial Day weekend. Here’s the recap:

Final Thoughts

My friend, Brian Rodman, is publishing his book, Memoirs of an Angel, on Kickstarter later this month. It’s a great blend of horror, spirituality, and good ol’ storytelling. From Brian,

It’s been almost two thousand years since the Final War destroyed planet Earth, and nearly a thousand years since The Grand Republic brought peace and order to an otherwise chaotic world. Every day, ordinary citizens of the Republic work, play and rest with the knowledge that utopia is well underway. But Jonathan Young knows better than to put hope in such things. For as long as he can remember, his entire life has been an ongoing battle. And once he comes face to face with Etrulia, the Witch of Endor tonight, that battle and his torment will end one way or another. Across space and time, two elohim race against the Dark Kingdom of the unseen realms to venture inside the mind of a demon-possessed boy, attempting to free him from the clutches of the diabolical Xexxus, Last of Legion. However, the further they progress on their mission, the more they realize this possession is much more malevolent than it seems. Mattia Bajuma, a Cleric of the High Council of The Grand Republic, flees to the witch-infested land of The Grey. Her mission: to find her old Mentor, Obadiah, and seek his guidance in a desperate bid to save her young client. This new world order, with its utopian façade, threatens to euthanize the innocent. But Mattia, with her unwavering determination, is willing to risk everything to save him. These lives will intertwine and crash together across the seen and unseen realms. They must learn to unite if they are going to prevent what is seemingly becoming inevitable…the undoing of the order of the cosmos; the destruction of The Cosmic Wheel.

If this sounds interesting, head over and get on the notification list.

memoirs of an angel

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Lessons for High School Graduates from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations

bust of marcus aurelius
Ra 61 b, Musée Saint-Raymond Toulouse

Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is a timeless collection of philosophical reflections from one of history’s greatest thinkers. As high school graduates embark on their journey into adulthood, they can glean valuable lessons from Aurelius’ wisdom. This article explores the teachings of Marcus Aurelius and how they can benefit young individuals transitioning into the next phase of their lives.

Understanding Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, born in 121 AD, was a Roman emperor renowned for his intellectual pursuits and leadership skills. His reign was characterized by political challenges and military conflicts. Amidst these responsibilities, Aurelius turned to philosophy and introspection as a means to find solace and guide his actions. Meditations, written as a personal diary, encapsulates his thoughts on a wide range of topics.

"Alexander the Great and his mule driver both died and the same thing happened to both. They were absorbed alike into the life force of the world, or dissolved alike into atoms." (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

Lesson 1: Stoic Philosophy and Virtue Ethics

Stoic philosophy, a central theme in Meditations, advocates for the cultivation of inner virtue and the pursuit of moral character. As high school graduates face an array of choices and uncertainties, adopting stoic principles can provide them with a robust framework for decision-making. By focusing on personal virtue, individuals can align their actions with their values, fostering a sense of integrity and purpose.

Meditations: A New Translation (Modern Library)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Aurelius, Marcus (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages – 05/14/2002 (Publication Date) – Modern Library (Publisher)

Lesson 2: Finding Inner Peace and Resilience

One of the key lessons from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is the importance of finding inner peace and developing resilience. High school graduates often encounter challenging situations, and cultivating resilience can help them navigate through setbacks and hardships. Meditative practices, inspired by Aurelius’ reflections, can aid in managing stress and fostering emotional well-being.

"To do harm is to do yourself harm. To do an injustice is to do yourself an injustice—it degrades you.  5. And you can also commit injustice by doing nothing." (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

Lesson 3: The Pursuit of Self-Improvement

In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius emphasizes the importance of continuous self-improvement. High school graduates can embrace a growth mindset and seek opportunities for personal and intellectual development. By adopting a proactive approach to learning, graduates can enhance their skills, broaden their knowledge, and adapt to the evolving world around them.

Lesson 4: Embracing the Present Moment

Marcus Aurelius encourages individuals to embrace the present moment fully. In today’s fast-paced world, high school graduates often find themselves preoccupied with the past or future. Practicing mindfulness, as inspired by Aurelius’ teachings, can help graduates appreciate the beauty of the present moment, enhance their focus, and reduce anxiety.

Lesson 5: Facing Challenges and Overcoming Obstacles

Meditations offers profound insights into facing challenges and overcoming obstacles. Marcus Aurelius acknowledges that life is filled with hardships and encourages individuals to develop resilience and perseverance. By adopting a positive mindset and employing practical strategies, high school graduates can tackle obstacles head-on and emerge stronger from adversity.

"To bear in mind constantly that all of this has happened before. And will happen again—the same plot from beginning to end, the identical staging. Produce them in your mind, as you know them from experience or from history: the court of Hadrian, of Antoninus. The courts of Philip, Alexander, Croesus. All just the same. Only the people different." (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

Lesson 6: Cultivating Gratitude and Perspective

Gratitude plays a significant role in Marcus Aurelius’ philosophy. High school graduates can benefit from cultivating a grateful mindset, which promotes well-being and perspective. Aurelius’ teachings remind us to appreciate the simple joys of life, recognize the interconnectedness of all things, and maintain a balanced perspective even in the face of difficulties.

Lesson 7: Building Meaningful Relationships

Marcus Aurelius emphasizes the importance of building meaningful relationships based on mutual respect and genuine connection. High school graduates can learn valuable lessons on fostering healthy relationships, nurturing friendships, and leveraging the power of social networks. Balancing online interactions with face-to-face connections is crucial in the digital age.


Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations offer timeless wisdom that resonates with high school graduates as they embark on their adult lives. The lessons derived from Aurelius’ philosophy encompass stoic principles, resilience, self-improvement, mindfulness, gratitude, and building meaningful relationships. By applying these teachings, graduates can navigate the challenges of adulthood with wisdom and grace, finding fulfillment and personal growth along the way.

Meditations: A New Translation (Modern Library)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Aurelius, Marcus (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages – 05/14/2002 (Publication Date) – Modern Library (Publisher)


1. What is the significance of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations? The significance of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations lies in its timeless wisdom and practical teachings. It offers guidance on various aspects of life, including personal virtue, resilience, mindfulness, and building meaningful relationships.

2. How can high school graduates apply stoic philosophy in their lives? High school graduates can apply stoic philosophy by focusing on personal virtue, aligning their actions with their values, developing resilience, embracing the present moment, and seeking continuous self-improvement.

3. What are some practical techniques for practicing mindfulness? Practical techniques for practicing mindfulness include deep breathing exercises, meditation, mindful observation of surroundings, journaling, and engaging in activities that promote focused attention and relaxation.

4. How can high school graduates overcome challenges using Marcus Aurelius’ teachings? High school graduates can overcome challenges by adopting a positive mindset, developing resilience, seeking perspective, focusing on inner virtue, and utilizing practical strategies for problem-solving and adaptation.

5. How can gratitude enhance the well-being of high school graduates? Gratitude enhances the well-being of high school graduates by promoting a positive outlook, fostering contentment, reducing stress, strengthening relationships, and cultivating a sense of appreciation for life’s blessings.

The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!

What You Control

Honor and revere the gods, treat human beings as they deserve, be tolerant with others and strict with yourself. Remember, nothing belongs to you but your flesh and blood—and nothing else is under your control.

– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Meditations: A New Translation (Modern Library)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Aurelius, Marcus (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages – 05/14/2002 (Publication Date) – Modern Library (Publisher)