Hayden Butler is an ardent student of Literature. He is passionate about the role of narrative as a cultural device, and believes that the careful study and enjoyment of story can make us deeper and more virtuous as Christians and as human beings. He recieved his B.A. in English Literature at Biola University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the Inez McGahey Award for Literary Scholarship. He graduated from the Torrey Honors Institute, attaining to the Order of Peter and Paul. Hayden’s academic interests include critical theory, metaphysical poetry, and philosophy of education. Outside of the classroom, he is a student of martial arts and oil painting, loves a good cup of tea, and owns an embarrassing number of Star Wars novels. He seeks to live an examined life in peace and beauty. He currently teaches AP Literature and Geometry at Capistrano Valley Christian High School and works as a waiter at a Victorian Tea House.
Who would have thought that an old French play could have contemporary relevance? And yet, Edmund Rostand’s seminal play Cyrano de Bergerac bears directly on our use and abuse of social networking media like Facebook and Match.com, warning us of the ever-imminent peril of losing ourselves to the... September 15th, 2010 | Art & Literature, Culture, Media, Technology | Read More
A melancholy expression, Ipod attached to skull, relentless sighing, the feeling of being deeply misunderstood: this is a day in the life of a teenager. And yet, according to Robert Epstein’s provocative book Teen 2.0, there is no reason for this. In his controversial review of anthropological, biological,... September 2nd, 2010 | Book Reviews, Culture, Education, Family Issues, Media | Read More
(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the end of Lost)
To no one’s surprise, the final episode of this cultural behemoth has sparked a flurry of dialogue and theory-sharing. One such theory was recently put forth by Joe Carter at FirstThings.com. His opinion, however, expresses a dissatisfaction... May 27th, 2010 | Other | Read More
A dark stage. Candles casting an ominous glow on faux-stone walls. A dejected actor in outdated clothing with a skull in one hand. This is Shakespeare.
While that’s true, in part, it remains a sad reality that our exposure to Shakespeare fixates on his tragedies and an occasional history. This... March 29th, 2010 | Art & Literature, Culture, Media | Read More
If Donald Miller does something well, it is the provocative marketing of storytelling. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years displays Miller’s roundabout style of making insights by emphasizing the power of personal narratives. Both punchy and meandering, the book demonstrates that which it demands... March 23rd, 2010 | Art & Literature, Book Reviews, Culture, Evangelicals | Read More
Alice in Wonderland offers a fanciful study in dreaming that provokes the question of whether Wonderland is merely a dream from which we may at any time awaken. What makes the film great, though, is the follow-up question as to whether it being a dream even matters. At its core, Alice in Wonderland... March 16th, 2010 | Culture, Film, Media | Read More
Reading is a conversation. Reading a good book or a good poem is like talking with someone who has thought things through and has managed to come up with something that is really worth saying. Our reading practices should reflect that reality. Just because there is not a person sitting in front of us... February 17th, 2010 | Art & Literature, Culture, Education | Read More
It is an often-overlooked truth that a mathematician is a good friend to have. In my case, I happen to have a best friend who has dedicated years of his life to the study of mathematics. We make quite a pair, and there is a unique quality to our friendship in that our conversations often dwell on how... November 20th, 2009 | Art & Literature, Education | Read More
There is hardly a student in the United States whose work remains wholly untouched by the influence of the Modern Language Association. Whether a fledgling upstart or a seasoned scholar, anyone doing academic work in the humanities has been guided through the massive collaborative effort of the MLA.... November 5th, 2009 | Art & Literature, Blogging, Education, Media, Technology | Read More
In Notes from Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky famously asserts the unpredictability of human beings against the determinist dogmas of his contemporary philosophical moment. Over a century later, his sentiments have been reincarnated in Check, Please, a novella by Robin Dembroff, a junior of the Torrey... September 28th, 2009 | Art & Literature, Book Reviews, Culture, Media | Read More