The South Campus Serials – 10.30.20

From your south campus principal, Grant Bickell

“We are to form, them, the perfect orator, who cannot exist unless he is above all a good man. We require in him, therefore, not only a consummate ability in speaking, but also every excellence of mind.”

– Quintilian, institution oratoria

What is rhetoric? As a subject we may think of it like the public speaking courses we took in high school and college. Does that adequately describe what we, as classical educators, are trying to accomplish? Why do we end the trivium with speaking? Let’s dive in.

As a student passes through the stages of Grammar and Dialectic they are taught a bunch of facts and then taught how to order those facts in any number of different ways and how to weigh and value them based on a given topic. In the Rhetoric stage, we want your student to advance to the point to be able to speak winsomely about the topic at hand. We want the student to be virtuous, to love that which is true, good, and beautiful and to be able to stand and give conclusions to such items in clear and concise language. The student in this stage begins to understand what they love and what they do not love. By this time, many students are beginning to see what they want to study in college and beyond.

But they must be good. According to Quintilian, the perfect orator does not, cannot, exist unless he is a good man. He goes on to say, “A bad man cannot be a consummate orator, as he is deficient in wisdom.”

Hmm. Let’s turn that on its head. To be a good orator one must be wise. This is interesting. Does Quintilian mean to say that to be good is to be wise? Yes, I think he does. He means to bring us to the door of his thoughts on education and in doing so get us to understand that the rhetor must be virtuous. They must call upon the knowledge they have been given but they must also live life in a many worthy of respect. They must earn the right to speak and when given the right, they must speak well.


We are Hiring! More information on all employment opportunities at The Academy can be found at https://theacademyok.org/employment-opportunities/

Final Exams at The Academy

This year we are reconfiguring the way we manage final exams for all Dialectic & Rhetoric classes. While students will complete the semester with some sort of assessment (project or test), this assessment experience will follow the same pattern of assessment procedures used throughout the semester. We are transitioning from intensive testing procedures that entail 1-2 hour exams and require a complete restructuring of the last week of school. We believe that students retain information best if it is built upon in a cumulative manner without the presence of stress-induced situations that force intensive cramming. Research fully supports that depth of learning and lasting retention occurs most when students gradually develop deepening knowledge with continual opportunities to strengthen conceptual memory. We believe this new assessment practice will provide healthier opportunities in the school culture to deepen memory retention and deepen understanding of knowledge. This shift also provides more opportunity for class instruction time at the end of each semester. If you have questions about this shift in practice, I welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you further.

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.

Calendar for the rest of the semester

  • November 2 Chapel. Formal Day.
  • November 2 Linking to Logic Parent Meeting. 8:15-9:30 in the Chapel. This is for our 5th grade parents to tell them what they can expect from Dialectic School.
  • November 2 Staff Meeting after School.
  • November 4 Spirit Day. House Meetings.
  • November 4 3rd Grade – Narnia Festival.
  • November 5 South Fall Fine Arts Night. 6:00 pm at South Campus. Dialectic students only – see email from Jamie Howell for more information.  This evening is a showcase event for our parents to see what their students have been doing in fine arts. The choir sings, drama performs, and visual art is on display. All 5-day students are required to attend. Three-day students that come up to participate in art or drama are also required to attend.
  • November 6 Francis House Feast. 11:30 – 12:30 in the Chapel.
  • November 6 ACADEMY AUCTION!
  • November 10 Chapel. Formal Day.
  • November 11 Moses Project 1 of 4. After Matins. Moses Project is a program to assist our grammar students in preparing for the Speech Meet in February.
  • November 13 Grammar Recitation – Traditional students only. 2:30 at the South Campus.
  • November 16 Chapel. Formal Day.
  • November 16 5th Grade Durin’s Day Festival.
  • November 18 4th Grade Harvest Festival.
  • November 18 PK Stone Soup.
  • November 18 Bake Sale – Irenaeus.
  • November 19 8th Grade Rising to Rhetoric. Eighth graders spend the day at the Rhetoric campus at Midtown shadowing the classes and getting an idea of the Rhetoric experience. Eighth grade teachers will not have their class this day.
  • November 30 Staff Meeting after School.
  • December 1 Chapel. Formal Day.
  • December 2 Spirit Day. House Meetings.
  • December 2 View Event. 9:00.
  • December 3 Lessons & Carols Rehearsal 7:30 am at Midtown. – Could be changed for COVID
  • December 4 Ambrose House Feast. Noon-1:00 in the Chapel.
  • December 4 Lessons & Carols 6:30-8:30 pm. – Could be changed for COVID
  • December 7 Chapel. Formal Day.
  • December 9 Moses Project 2 of 4. After Matins.
  • December 15 Chapel. Formal Day.
  • December 14 Christmas Feast. Formal Day.
  • December 16 Last Day for Blended Grammar.
  • December 18 Last Day of Second Quarter. Half day – dismissal at noon. (No lunch.)
  • December 21 – January 8 CHRISTMAS BREAK – NO SCHOOL
  • January 11 First Day back to School.
  • January 11 Chapel. Formal Day.