Have you ever bribed your children to eat broccoli? I know, I know, some moms are bragging right now about their children loving vegetables from the womb. Sure, we can argue that some do, but many do not, and so getting them to eat their broccoli is all about cultivating their taste.
Something new and exciting debuted at Trinitas this fall. All logic and rhetoric school (grades 7th-12th) students and faculty members gather together during first hour on Fridays to learn, discuss, and pursue wisdom together across a broad range of topics. Even parents are welcome to participate in what we are calling Schola Seminar.
In his book Norms and Nobility, David Hicks advocates for a return to a dialectical approach to education. Especially effective in the context of teachers and students learning together, dialectical education requires learners to commit to certain positions in order to test those commitments against experience, established wisdom, and ultimately, the truths of Scripture. Often utilizing primary sources and Socratic questioning, this approach to learning fosters moral and intellectual growth in participants.
There is a great scene in Margery Williams’s 1922 children’s story The Velveteen Rabbit. The titular character begins questioning the old “Skin Horse” about the process of transforming from a mere toy into something more real. As the Horse explains:
“It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
I always think of this conversation when I asked my opinion on writing in books.
One hundred twenty-eight years ago, the United States Congress officially recognized the social and economic impact of American workers by, ironically, giving them a day off. Since that time, the first Monday in September has been a federal holiday often celebrated with parades, fireworks, and backyard barbecues. Acting as the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day might also represent the end of lazy summer living and the start of the demands of a new school year. Yet for the thoughtful Christian, even a secular holiday such as Labor Day should be cause for contemplation.
Have you ever tried to quote someone, but ended up having to spend more time explaining how you’re probably getting it wrong from the outset? Has a conversation ever provoked a memory for you of something you once heard, and you’re certain it is relevant to the moment, but for the life of you, the words will simply not come when called? Such gaps in memory are a normal part of the everyday experience for most of us. And in the heat of the moment, we’re often tempted to turn to the nearest search engine, sometimes a bit chastened by having to rely on such an outside source. And it is this last part that might make you wonder, “what did people do before Google?”
As Trinitas enters its twenty-fourth year this fall, there are a number of new faces on our campus. In addition to sixteen new families, we are welcoming several new faculty members to the Trinitas community. We thank God for his blessings on our faculty and are eager to introduce these fine folks to you.
Graduation is such a special time in the life of young adults. In the present age, it has become arguably the most important rite of passage into adulthood. Eighteen-year-olds across the nation stand on a threshold: thirteen or more years of compulsory schooling is behind them, and the whole world lies ahead. Education, career, marriage, everything is ahead of them, and finally, they get to make their own decisions about where to go and what to do.
Each school day morning, Trinitas students stream into our building without taking notice of the two memorials that flank the entrance of the school. On the east side stands a flag pole upon which the 5th graders raise the American flag each morning. On the west side, however, stands a less understood and often overlooked memorial. A pile of smooth stones called the Trinitas Ebenezer. Both images are intended to trigger memory and evoke emotion.