Trinitas Blog

How to Rule a Kingdom

Posted by Ron Gilley on Sep 13, 2020 6:46:12 PM

I am often asked to describe the difference between classical education and what we might call a progressive or modern education. Elements of classical education can come across as impractical while modern education sometimes seems more, well, practical. Perhaps a story best explains the importance of the impractical. This story is based on one told at this year’s Trinitas Convocation ceremony.

This is the story of a fantastical social experiment. It all began with two young men, Johann and Ned. Johann was brought up in a royal palace and Ned in a lawless slum. Johann was cared for from his birth by a loving family. He was taught from an early age that he would someday rule the kingdom. In preparation for his rule, Johann was given an education that went beyond training for an occupation. He learned to paint, to sing, to play the violin. He read the Greek philosophers and studied geometry and calculus. He learned to speak and write well and to debate important issues. Johann learned etiquette, that is, he learned how to treat other people in a way that dignified their humanity and made them feel loved and respected. He was held to a high standard of character and integrity. His conduct was expected to be honorable, a model for others to aspire to, and it was.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, True Education, Social Issues

Building Eulogy Virtues

Posted by Ron Gilley on Jun 16, 2020 10:58:07 AM

I met the most amazing young woman last week. She is a graduate of Baylor’s Honors College, specifically the Great Texts program, and is two years into her teaching career at Live Oak Classical School in Waco, Texas. It is not uncommon for classical educators to meet at conferences in the summer, but coronavirus has cancelled any such opportunities for the summer of 2020. Fortunately, this young lady is the niece of a Trinitas parent and was present at a social gathering to which I had been invited.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Parenting, Classical Education, Alumni, Christian Living

The Voices in Your Head, Part 2

Posted by Sean Johnson on Jun 8, 2020 8:00:00 AM

(Trinitas faculty member Mr. Sean Johnson addressed these comments to the graduating class of 2020 at Commencement Exercises on May 29, 2020.) 

You have been looking forward to graduation for some time, which means you have fairly well-formed ideas about what graduation is and what it will mean for your life. This is how anticipation works. If something is a complete mystery to us, it is very difficult to look forward to it with any great eagerness. Expectation grows with understanding;  I have been in the classroom with you for the last 36 weeks (most of them, anyway) and I know how fervently you have been looking forward to this day and what you think it signifies.

And that’s my cue.

There is something you may not yet understand about graduation. In this season you have heard a great deal of talk about goodbyes, about “the last” this or that, “the end” of this or that, talk about where you will be next year and advice about what you should remember and do when get there…  — and all this talk (I suspect,) has only served to confirm in your minds the belief that you are being graduated out of something. You are mistaken. While I cannot speak for the secret thoughts of your frustrated teachers on those dark days when you have been eating candy since 8:00 am, I can assure you it is generally true that graduating you out of Trinitas has never been our goal.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, Alumni, True Education

The Voices in Your Head, Part 1

Posted by Sean Johnson on Jun 1, 2020 9:57:34 AM

(Trinitas faculty member Mr. Sean Johnson addressed these comments to the graduating class of 2020 at Commencement Exercises on May 29, 2020.) 

"Good evening to the board of governors, faculty and staff, families of graduates, and to the 2019-2020 graduating class.

I have always wondered just what it would take for someone to ask me to give a commencement speech. I imagined myself much older, with a long career to look back on, several published books to my name, maybe an online cult following of homeschool moms and a few English teachers who would railroad their administrator into inviting me to speak to their graduates….
All it really took, though, was some poor unfortunate soul on the other side of the planet eating a bowl of tainted bat soup and sparking a global pandemic that would force all life and commerce in America to a grinding halt thus preventing the real commencement speaker from traveling to Florida. I feel like I should have seen that one coming…

Having said that, I am superlatively honored to be here, and I want to thank Mr. Gilley and the Board of Governors for the opportunity to address this class.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, School Life, Classical Education, Alumni, True Education

The Old Stories

Posted by Ron Gilley on May 18, 2020 11:50:53 AM

The “Preacher” in the book of Ecclesiastes is adamant about there being “nothing new under the sun” (Eccl 1:9). Yet, the whole of humanity, or so it seems, only sits up and pays attention at the promise of something new. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly are introduced to new i-phones with some regularity, and every fall without fail new car models are unveiled in Detroit. Fashions are renewed every season, and some of us can hardly wait to see each season’s new look on the runways or in stores. No, I think it is unlikely the wise Preacher doubted the progressive nature of invention; rather, he speaks of something deeper.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, True Education, Christian Living, Secular Education

In Pursuit of Vita Bona

Posted by Ron Gilley on May 4, 2020 10:57:08 AM

If we surveyed 100 Americans in the year 2020 for their understanding of vita bona, or the good life, we probably would not get 100 different answers. In fact, we would likely get an overwhelming consensus. Our popular conception of the good life, according to Francis Schaeffer in his timeless classic, How Should We Then Live, is peace and affluence. We desire to live in undisturbed comfort with every possible convenience at our fingertips. We have developed an uncanny ability (or maybe we were born with it) for justifying anything that helps us maintain peace and affluence. Change is not in our nature and especially if it means taking a contentious or unpopular position or diminishing our wealth. But Jesus came with a sword, not peace (Matt 10:34), and he commanded us to lay up treasures in heaven, not on earth (Matt 6:19-20).

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, Christian Living

How Classical are You?

Posted by Bobby McGee on Mar 24, 2020 10:29:09 AM

How classical are you? Take this quick quiz and find out!

Spoiler... there is no quiz; though, our recent forays into remote learning might tempt us to think that the work of classical education is as easy as an online quiz. And anyway, if we were to post an online quiz on remote learning, we would be far more interested in responses to the following question:

Has our experiment in remote learning been a success?

And the follow up question:

In what sense has it been successful?

One can imagine our returning to school, thoroughly thanking everyone for participating in this grand experiment, and calling remote learning a smashing success. But will it really have been a success if all we do is complete math lessons and history worksheets? If that is all it takes to constitute a successful classical Christian education, why do we even spend all day at school? Why not just keep the kids home next year and let them work through a history textbook on their own time?

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, Parent Involvement, Homeschooling

Season of Wonder

Posted by Ron Gilley on Feb 24, 2020 10:59:12 AM

Two chief goals of classical education are to help students become lifelong learners and to give them the tools they need be successful at learning for the rest of their lives. While a person may catch the bug for learning any time in life, there is no better season for inspiring that love of learning right down into a person’s bones than in the early years before he or she becomes a teenager.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, True Education

Get the Trinitas Viewpoint!

Each week we enter what has been called the Great Conversation, writing about issues important to classical education, parenting, and culture from the Trinitas perspective. We invite you to join us as we explore topics as diverse as the smartphone habits of teenagers, kindergarten readiness, and legislation that may affect the future of Christian schools.  

Never miss an update!

Recent Posts