For months now I’ve been having a running conversation with my daughter about what the word “good” means. I often say things like “that’s good Emily,” and she responds like any rational 11yr. old and challenges what she perceives to be a very lackluster response. She often requests more exuberance and expression, to which I respond, with effort to define the richness and depth of this word….one of the three transcendentals. The Cambridge Dictionary defines the word good as “very satisfactory, enjoyable, pleasant, or interesting”. This is a noble first attempt when viewing the word through a finite lens. When attempting to offer Emily a transcendental lens for the word good, I started at the beginning of God’s word – in Genesis. I set the stage for how amazing creation was, how magnanimous these moments of sheer art and beauty were when God spoke form and life into being. I reminded her that God’s response to this transcendental formation He crafted was summed up with these words: “and God saw that it was good”. What if we lean fully into the good our hearts were made to crave? What if we also fully craved the true and the beautiful? How would our hearts be shaped…..with finite desires or those with transcendental purposes? Peter Kreeft attempts to explore and respond to these same questions in an excerpt from “The Three Transcendentals”.
“The Three Transcendentals” by Peter Kreeft
There are three things that will never die: truth, goodness, and beauty. These are the three things we all need, and need absolutely, and know we need, and know we need absolutely. Our minds want not only some truth and some falsehood, but all truth, without limit. Our wills want not only some good and some evil, but all good, without limit. Our desires, imaginations, feelings, or hearts want not just some beauty and some ugliness, but all beauty, without limit. For these are the only three things that we never got bored with, and never will, for all eternity, because they are three attributes of God, and therefore all God’s creation: three transcendental or absolutely universal properties of all reality. All that exists is true, the proper object of the mind. All that exists is good, the proper object of the will. All that exists is beautiful, the proper object of the heart, or feelings, or desires, or sensibilities, or imagination. (This third area is more difficult to define than the first two.) …..We are head, hands, and heart. We respond to truth, goodness, and beauty. We are this because we are images of God. Each of us is one person with three distinct powers.
A Few Logistics
1. Hoodies & Shoes – Today I offered students a gentle reminder about our outerwear uniform policy and shoe policy. Midtown classrooms vary in temperature. With the desire for students to be comfortable while learning, I have allowed our “Griffins” hoodie/sweatshirt to be worn in class. Other than this allowance, all outerwear worn in class is meant to have an Academy crest on it. I offered a reminder regarding the types of shoes that align with uniform standards. With all the choices available for women, this can be tricky to navigate. I’ve noticed multiple students wearing tennis shoes and Birkenstock slip-ons, which don’t align with uniform standards. I love partnering with you all and therefore want to keep you in the loop regarding information I share with your children. Our students do an amazing job respectfully dwelling together in our school community. I’m not concerned about this lapse in uniform standard. Honestly, this lapse is on me. Students know that I want them to be comfortable in classes. Our female students know I care about them wearing comfortable shoes. I’ve encouraged soft canvas shoes that align with our uniform guidelines many times. I believe the gentle reminder I offered today will help everyone better understand our community standards. With healthy communication as a goal, please encourage your students to ask me or Mr. Kelley questions about uniform standards if they are confused about anything.
Women and ankle boots: As we enter October, female students may begin wearing ankle boots. Booties can be worn through February. Ankle boots can be solid colors; brown, black, gray, or navy blue. Flat heels or low heels are acceptable. Ugg style boots have not been approved as a winter uniform standard.
2. PSAT & SAT – The sign-up deadline for Sophomores and Juniors is September 30th. Please refer to the the instructions from Mrs. Vishanoff if you desire to sign up.
3. Midtown Kickball Tournaments – This is a HUGE Midtown event, full of House spirit and competition! Our first kickball tournament is next week on October 1st. All students wear House shirts and school uniform bottoms on these days. Students may bring shorts or athletic pants to change into at lunch time. Students are also encouraged to bring swag and other apparel items to show House Spirit. House Leaders will guide students on how to prep for these days as well.
Parent Teacher Conferences – October 29th & 30th
Mr. Kelley’s informational email and electronic sign-up options will come out early October by grade. Important tips about conferences are below. Mark your calendars for Thursday afternoon/evening and Friday during the school day.
· We desire for parents of Freshman and new students to sign up for conferences.
· If you your student is failing a specific class 2 wks. prior to conferences, the teacher of that class will reach out and ask you to sign up for an individual conference.
· Parents of upperclassmen are welcome to sign up to meet with your teaching team.
· When you receive the sign-up form, sign up for 1 slot, which will include a rotating schedule that includes your entire teaching team.
· If you desire to only meet with 1 teacher, contact that teacher directly to make an appointment.
· If you desire to meet with 2 to 4 teachers, but do not need to meet with the entire teaching team, contact Mr. Kelley directly. He will create a modified appointment slot for you.
Upcoming Calendar Events