The South Campus Serials – 10.9.20

From your south campus principal, Grant Bickell

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the best men of past centuries.”

– René Descartes

One of my favorite parts of flying is when the pilot comes over the PA system and lets you know that we have reached our cruising altitude and tells you which direction we are going and how fast. I love being in the window seat for this moment because you can look out, and if it is clear, you can see so much of the ground. The beautiful square miles of field all of the sudden bursting into houses and skyscrapers in a city and just as quickly passing on. This is what education in the grammar level is like. We are letting your students have the window seat to all of Western Civilization. They are given the lay of the land and told later we will teach you what to do with this.

Last week we talked about Dorothy Sayers three stages of development in broad strokes. Today we get into the nitty gritty of Grammar Stage or as Sayers calls it the Poll-Parrot stage. The Poll-Parrot stage is defined by a great desire for parroting the teacher. This stage is summed up with the Latin phrase, repetitio mater memoriae, or repetition is the mother of memory. We make the students memorize Bible verse, history songs, catechisms, and so much more. But why? To store it away for later. By focusing in on memory work, we give children the very blocks with which we will in the logic and rhetoric stages sort out and speak on.

Your children are wired to learn and to love repetition. Think back to when you were in grade school. What are the things that stick out? You may remember certain friends or big life events but I guarantee there are a few songs and chants you learned. Whether about the A, B, C’s, the Fifty Nifty United States, or anything else you learned it, and you loved it. Although many technologies have changed, children have not. They want to read their favorite book over and over. They even want you to sing them the same songs each day. Enjoy that. Live that. Think about that. If they want to memorize things, shouldn’t we use tools to help them to do so? Yes, the answer is yes. Engage your Grammar student this week by asking what they are memorizing. Ask your dialectic kids what they loved from Grammar stage.  Listen to the beauty of The Duke of Plaza-Toro, the truth of Psalm One and the goodness of the single letter phonograms.

Special Note: Each year we ask for Grammar and Dialectic Parents input on how long homework and home days are taking you. See below for the links:

  • South Trad: https://bit.ly/3n9H0Py
  • South Blended: https://bit.ly/3l2JwVN
  • South Dialectic: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd6acZUkfYYdOUM3EgNjhy-LPt9pfMSXfe6ZSLqXW0KAMZWsw/viewform?usp=sf_link

All surveys need to be turned in by October 14.

Next Few Weeks:

  • October 9 JCL Cartaman. District-wide at Midtown. JCL is the Junior Classical League and is the Latin Club for our dialectic and rhetoric students. The club meets on a regular basis through the year and competes in a couple of tournaments. This is an “in-house” tournament for JCL members from within our school district.
  • October 13 Chapel. Formal Day.
  • October 14 Mornings with Mom. Hosted by Culture and Events (Rachel Cole), mothers of students will come to the school with their student before school starts (starting at 7:15) and have breakfast with their students and other moms and students. Hosted in the gym. If you are a mom at the school, you are encouraged to go have a treat with your student at the early end of this event so you can be in your classroom as your students arrive.
  • October 14 Last Day of First Quarter.
  • October 15-16 FALL BREAK – NO SCHOOL.
  • October 19 Chapel. Formal Day.
  • October 19-22 Standardized Testing Week. Stanford 10 National Tests. Details and instructions will be given prior to the test week. NO HOMEWORK
  • Notes:

House Verse – This month we are memorizing Romans 12:12 as part of our yearly study on the Fruit of the Spirit. If they memorize it and recite it to Mr. Bickell, they will receive 5 House Points.