Because life is a series of edits

Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

Redeeming An Ambiguous, Adaptability-Demanding World

In Parents, Students on May 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Graduates (low res)I gave my first official Head of School commencement charge tonight to our two graduates, Faith and J.C. The ceremony went swimmingly and took all of 34 minutes from the first to the last sound of live bagpipes (always a plus). Here's what I said (give or take a word) in my seven-minute talk:

Before I offer a charge to our graduates, I would first like to offer thanks to our faculty for their part in our success. Staff, would you stand that we might applaud your efforts this year?

This is a significant moment in the history of our school. After eight years, we are graduating our first official senior class. In saying this, I mean that Faith and J.C. are the first students who, having started at Veritas in the early days of its existence, stuck things out – not everybody did. Now as 12th graders, they have completed all academic requirements set forth by our Board of Directors for receiving a diploma. You are to be commended for your perseverance. Well done.

This is a significant moment for our graduates and their families as well. Throughout these past eight years, Faith and J.C., along with Brian and Christie and Curt and Carla, have had to adjust to a school coming into its own, not always smoothly and rarely perfectly. Our graduates and their families have been through location switches, administration transitions, first versions of curriculum, a merry-go-round of teachers (sometimes within the same semester), and a dozen other complications – and yet they have pioneered faithfully to this point, mostly without complaint, and we celebrate them this evening as a result.

As much as I, as Head of School, would like to say and believe that you have received the perfect education at Veritas Classical Academy, I cannot do either. At times we have fallen short in figuring out all that it takes “to provide an exceptional classical Christian education serving the Oklahoma City metro,” which is the vision we see, but only in glimpses so far. Because you are our first two graduates, you have borne much of the brunt of our attempts and you have probably felt our growing pains of progress as much as anyone.

And yet in doing so – and I can only say this with the comfort of a Sovereign God – perhaps this has been the perfect education to prepare you for a world that is far from perfect. While neither is formally in our curriculum scope and sequence, learning to live with ambiguity and responding with a spirit of adaptability will serve you well. You have learned these abilities – you have had to! – as God, in his infinite wisdom, has chosen this for you from before time.

Faith and J.C., in considering our Veritas portrait of a graduate, by God’s grace, I believe you know you are Christians and that you know your place in the world. You know you still have much to learn, but I know you know how to learn and desire to discover it. You have witnessed firsthand that insight and creativity take time, but you have also learned how to take the basic facts of multiple disciplines, make sense of them, and communicate meaning using them – accurately evaluating the world’s work as well as your own.

Most importantly, you know how to think Christianly (though whether you choose to or not is up to you), and as a result, you know the Lord’s call to act and lead on behalf of the broken and marginalized. I believe you love and believe that God is sovereign over the entirety of your lives, not just because the Bible tells you so, but because of all you’ve experienced in this eight-year experiment known as Veritas Classical Academy.

We love you and pray God’s best for you. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with each of you. And may you love and live well in this ambiguous, adaptability-demanding world so desperately in need of God’s redemption.

Advertisements

The Sock

In Family, Movies, Young Ones on May 21, 2012 at 7:26 am

I'm afraid my out-of-town absences the past two weekends have negatively affected my girls in some very creative, strange, and violent ways.

Have Biblical Imagination, Will Travel

In Calling, Church, Friends, Musicians, Places, Theologians, Travel on May 18, 2012 at 6:28 am

Off again this weekend, this time to Willowick, OH. Here's a new video with Mike filmed at March's Biblical Imagination conference in Normal, IL, for a peek at what this is all about.

Us (A Poem for Mother’s Day)

In Friends on May 13, 2012 at 7:40 am

IMG_0342

A lot seems our lot in life these days.
Would you change it if you could?
Could we change us if we should?

I wonder what you think when you wonder what I feel.
Or is it "if" I feel, "if" you think – what's our deal?
And yet somehow we work.

Us.

Did you think it would be this hard?
Could you do it again, or do I not want to know?
Would you say if I asked, or should I just let it go?

I doubt you will say, but then you say, "Without a doubt."
You doubt I believe you, but I believe there is some doubt.
And yet somehow we work.

Us.

But it's not us – at least not only.
Wouldn't we say we work in Him as He works in us?
If both and either ended, we could/would not keep trust.

I sense that you agree and agree that this makes sense.
The "one" of you and me requires the One of Three.
And this is how we work.

Us.

Senioritis Rapture

In Students on May 11, 2012 at 10:14 am

One of our seniors welcomed me with this message at the beginning of class last week. Though our eschatological views differ, I understand his desired outcome.

IMG_0343

A Discipline Imposed from Outside the Mind Itself

In Pedagogy on May 4, 2012 at 9:31 am

Ann Taylor, our new Central Grammar Campus Principal, sent me this excerpt from the late Richard Mitchell's Underground Grammarian newsletters:

"The mind is a rudderless wanderer blown here or there by any puff of breeze. If I mention watermelons, you must think of watermelons; if giraffes, giraffes. The very rare genus can keep his mind on course for a while, perhaps as long as a whole minute, but most of us are always at the mercy of every random suggestion of environment. We imagine that we sit down and think, but, in fact, we mostly gather wool, remembering this or that and fantasizing about the other. In our heads we recite some slogans and rehash the past, often repeatedly. Even in this foolish maundering, we are easily distracted by random thoughts, mostly about money or politics but often about sports or sex. Left to its own devises, the mind plays like a child in a well-stocked sandbox, toying idly with trinkets and baubles and often doing the same thing over and over again until some slightly more interesting game presents itself.

If we want to pursue extended logical thought, thought that can discover relationships and consequences and devise its own alternatives, we need a discipline imposed from outside of the mind itself. Writing is that discipline. It seems drastic, but we have to suspect that coherent, continuous thought is impossible for those who cannot construct coherent, continuous prose (pp. 39-40)."

Yet another argument for why writing is important…and why we (and our students) need to do more – not less – of it here in the 21st century.