The South Campus Serials – 11.7.20

From your south campus principal, Grant Bickell

“You should only read what is truly good or frankly bad.” – Miss Stein

– A Moveable Feast Ernest Hemingway

Join me, friends, as we spend the time until Christmas talking about authors from our canon. Many of these authors will be personal favorites of mine, but they are also all included in your standard classical school library. You may like some of the authors. For that matter, you may hate some of the authors. My goal is to invite you to read with me. Shut off your phone, buy a book, and read.

This week, we read Hemingway. Let’s begin.

Last week, my son Graeme ordered books off of a discount book site, and I added A Moveable Feast by Hemingway. When the package came, he opened it hurriedly and flipped over my book first. “Hemingway, do I get to read Hemingway yet?” he said as Joy lovingly took it from him and told him, “No.” This whole interchange got me thinking about why I love Hemingway. He is by far my favorite American author, and yet much of his content is interesting. Are the themes in his books any different than you will find in The Odyssey, The Iliad, or Gilgamesh? Not necessarily, but he has a way of describing things more vividly. To some of you, this may be blasphemous, but Hemingway was the key to unlocking the door of Tolkien for me. The words, ALL THE WORDS, in the Lord of the Rings, never appealed to me until Hemingway became accessible.

One of my favorite things about Hemingway’s writing style is the detail he takes to describe specific moments. As you read Hemingway, you will find that you can place yourself in his stories, or I find myself placed in them. All of a sudden, you swell with the agony of defeat as your marlin is eaten by the shark. You feel the drops of rain as the soldier walks away from the hospital after losing his loved ones. Heck, you can almost feel the last drops of vermouth pouring out of the bottom of the bottle to help the lost generation cope. Friends, my encouragement this week is to pick up your high school copy of The Old Man and The Sea and give it a whirl again.

Let me know if you read Hemingway this week with me by dropping me an email at gbickell@theacademyok.org.

We are Hiring!

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

Smart Watches

We will be having students with a watch that connects to a phone/internet for grammar students to leave it at home or turned off and leave in the backpack and for dialectic students to check it into the “phone motel” along with their phones at the beginning of the school day. The Academy Handbook supports this practice, and we are mirroring the Rhetoric campus enforcement of the policy. Due to the volume of students with Smart Watches it has become increasingly difficult to ask teachers to methodically manage internet access during classes while also teaching with the presence of mind. Thank you for your partnership and support for this matter!

Final Exams at The Academy

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 experience will follow the same pattern of assessment procedures used throughout the semester. We are transitioning away from intensive testing procedures that entail 1-2 hour exams and require a complete restructuring of the last 2 weeks 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 and long-term 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. Please contact me!

Rising to Rhetoric

Next week 8th graders from North & South Campuses will shadow at Midtown on the 10th & 12th. This is such an important and joyful time on campus! Rhetoric students are given the opportunity to experience off campus lunch on TUESDAY & THURSDAY! If costs are a factor and students desire to stay on campus during lunch, this option is available (as always).

There will be a View Event the evening of the 10th for parents who desire to learn more about the Rhetoric School.

House Verse

This month we are memorizing Colossians 3:15 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 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 – TRAD only. 2:30 at the South Campus.
  • November 16 Chapel. Formal Day.
  • November 16 5th Grade Festival. Durin’s Day Festival.
  • November 18 4th Grade Festival. Harvest Festival.
  • November 18 PK Creative Curriculum. 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 Dialectic Finals
  • December 16 Last Day for Blended Grammar.
  • December 18 Dialectic Finals
  • December 18 Last Day of Second Quarter. Half day – dismissal at noon. (No lunch.)
  • December 22 Semester Grades due in FACTS.
  • December 21 – January 8 CHRISTMAS BREAK – NO SCHOOL
  • January 11 First Day back to School.
  • January 11 Chapel. Formal Day.