Book Review (Kind Of): In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

So, a piece of info about your blogmistress that probably won’t surprise anyone: I don’t normally buy books without reading reviews of them first, because I don’t want to end up paying money for something that looked good but turned out to be deficient or substandard in some way. I made an exception for In the Heart of the Sea when I found it at the front of Books-a-Million last month, for a few reasons. One, it was a mass-market paperback so it didn’t cost too much; two, Nathaniel Philbrick is a well-known historian with a good reputation; and three, flipping through it, I realized it would give me an opportunity to expand upon a topic I’d already discussed here at Scarlet Letters. And on that note, if you’ve seen the In the Heart of the Sea movie that was recently made, you’re probably wondering what a book about whaling and survival at sea has to do with the usual fare here (Christian gender issues and patriocentricity). Continue reading

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Hester Takes the Gen2 Survey

In December, my mother, who is still on several homeschooling mailing lists even though she’s officially retired from support group leadership, got a notice in her inbox about Brian Ray’s Gen2 Survey. Neither of us had heard of it, though apparently word had been circulating for several months (that’s what you get, I guess, for finally withdrawing, in large part, from the homeschooling community). Ray is the founder of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), and as you might expect has released many studies of homeschoolers in the past, almost all of which have been criticized for methodological flaws (see here and here). Continue reading