A common defense for teaching Latin in schools hinges on the utility of the language. Arguments in this vein offer explanations such as: “Latin is the root of all other romance languages. Latin helps you think critically. Latin helps you understand inflected languages. Latin helps you understand grammar. Latin will help you understand English since there are so many derivatives.” These arguments are all true. Great as the number of these arguments is, very few apply exclusively to Latin, and those that do turn out to be weak anyway. I would like to suggest that we quit arguing for Latin based on its utility. My new thesis: Latin is useless; get over it.
Last week, we shared ten practical tips for achieving enduring success and experiencing the wonderful fruit of classical Christian education at Trinitas, This week, we have ten MORE practical tips we've assembled from our teachers which we hope will benefit your family.
The best things in life are often also the hardest things in life, and classical Christian education is no exception to this truism. To help Trinitas parents and students achieve enduring success at Trinitas and experience the wonderful fruit of classical Christian education, we've assembled these ten practical tips for success at Trinitas taken directly from our teachers. Simple, practical, but sometimes a bit pointed, we hope these steps are received in the spirit they are offered and are helpful to you.
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?”
Trinitas has a long and tasty history with barbecue. You might even say it's an integral part of a Trinitas education! Back in the early days of the school, our founding headmaster, Ken Trotter’s father, Grandpa Trotter used his meat-smoking prowess to bring school families together for picnics and community-building events. Even Grandma Trotter pitched in with her famously delicious, but always secret sauce. Though the Trotter family has all passed on from our school, the tradition of sharing good barbecue with friends and family still remains - particularly in connection to the annual Trinitas Junior/Senior Aesthetics trip.
It's easy to assume that because classical Christian schools like Trinitas are not publicly-funded, government schools, they must be substantially the same as other private Christian schools of which there are many in our area. This understanding, however, is fundamentally flawed. Since its inception in 1999, Trinitas has maintained a commitment to a classical approach to Christian education which has resulted in the school being accredited by the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS). To aid in understanding the differences between traditional Christian schools and classical Christ-centered schools like Trinitas, consider the following indicators of a classical approach to education.
Routines help to define a people. A group of market traders begins combing the news even before the trading bell rings at 9:30 a.m., hungry to get an edge on making the right move at the right time. A covey of construction workers share donuts and coffee before hitting the site for the day’s labor. A pack of public school kids rise from their seats to recite the pledge of allegiance and hear the crackle of morning announcements over the intercom. Routines do not require much attention to the routine itself—routines become second nature, an involuntary way of being in the world. Because we know that routines have the power to shape our orientation to the world, Trinitas starts the day with our own routine to orient and shape our way of being for the day ahead.
Thank you so much for that kind introduction. Before we begin, I would like to express my sincerest thanks to the administration and to all the senior class parents for providing me the opportunity to speak to these graduating seniors before you all tonight. And I would be terribly amiss if I did not congratulate you, seniors, on the many accomplishments that have brought you to this very place on this momentous evening. My purpose this evening is two-fold and somewhat paradoxical in nature. On the one hand, my job is to remind you that all of this evening is about you. On the other hand, my job is to remind you that none of this is about you, at all. Like I said, somewhat paradoxical. But there is a method to this madness, and I hope to demonstrate as much over the course of the next few minutes. There are many things I could say to you this evening; in truth, there are many things that ought to be said to you this evening, but that’s what all these good people are for. Lord knows I’ll need the backup. Yes, there are many paths we could tread, but I thought it best to stick to one rather familiar to you, and to me as well. Our progression this evening will follow a sort of timeline: First, we’ll revisit the past, taking great pains to put a very fine point on just what it is that you have been doing here at Trinitas for the past 6, 8, 10—and for some of you—13 years of your life; next, we’ll pause and ponder the precise precipice upon which you are perched, at present; and finally, we’ll look to the future, daring, even, to prescribe what must be next. So, let’s roll back the clock.