The Greyfriars Archer
Volume 3 No. 2 MAY 11, 2011
Last Day of Classes
GCA Board Meeting
SAT Preparation Course Begins
Greyfriars Students Celebrate the Arts
Students dressed for the "Celebration of the Arts," held Friday, April 29
Sounds of horn, violin, flute and harp mingled together with the echoes of voices as young men and ladies and their families recently gathered for a year-end Celebration of the Arts. The Greyfriars students entertained with Latin songs of rejoicing and lament, Shakespearean sonnets and monologue, recitation of Canterbury Tales, and the "Horse’s Bransle," a medieval dance. The guests enjoyed a feast of meat pies, roasted root vegetables, shortbread, and fruit tarts. The evening was a joyous culmination of the year’s study of Aesthetics: the Beauty of the Arts.
Board of Directors
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Christian education is indeed knowing the Bible -- of course it is -- but Christian education should also deal with all human knowledge. . . . presenting it in a framework of truth, rooted in the Creator's existence, and in his creation. Real Christian education, if we are going to protect our Christian schools, is not just the negative side, it is positive, touching on all human knowledge; and in each case, according to the level of the students, showing how it fits into the total framework of truth, the truth of all reality as rooted in the Creator's existence and in His creation. If the Judeo-Christian position is the truth of all reality (and it is!), then all the disciplines, and very much including a knowledge of, and I would repeat, an appreciation of, the humanities and the arts, should be a part of Christian education.
- Francis A. Schaeffer
Applications for 2011-2012
Junior Classical League
Several Greyfriars students traveled to Wake Forest University April 8-9 to take part in the statewide convention of the Junior Classical League (JCL). The North Carolina JCL is an organization that seeks to recognize "the magnitude and contributions of Ancient Greece and Rome" by "promoting the classics all across North Carolina and enriching the studies of North Carolina classics students through...fall and spring gatherings" (from www.ncjcl.org).
Greyfriars students constructed a chariot and participated in a race (the boys pulled the chariot). Students also designed and printed t-shirts around the Dr. Seuss theme for the convention:
"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere."
The following students received awards:
Latin Sight Reading: 1st Place--Eli Olson
Sculpture by Allison Vaught,
submitted at the JCL Convention
National Latin Exam Results
All Greyfriars students in the 9th and 10th grades joined over 149,000 Latin students throughout the country in taking the 2011 National Latin Exam. The 45-minute exam had 40 questions covering categories such as grammar, comprehension, mythology, life, history, derivatives, and translating a short passage in Latin. The following students scored above the national average and received certificates recognizing their achievements:
Magna Cum Laude: Latin I--Jeremiah Smith, Hannah Spear, Rachel Vaughn; Latin II--Brynn Willingham
SAT Preparation Offered This Summer
Starting Tuesday morning, May 24, Headmaster John McGowan will be teaching a 6-week SAT Preparation Course. Test-taking strategies for both the Critical Reading and Math sections will be covered, including how to pace oneself. The course will meet Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:30 to 10:30, as well as for four practice exams using actual, previous SATs.
Space is available for a few more students, including those not enrolled at Greyfriars (cost: $250). For more information, contact the school.
Latin Honor Society
In order to be inducted into the Latin Honor Society, a student must be a member of the Junior Classical League and have an "A" average in Latin. The following students were recently inducted:
9th Grade: Lydia Brandt, Jeremiah Smith.
Why Study a Dead Language Like Latin?
Oh! If only I had a flower for every time I heard this question; what a garden I would have! Although we rightly call Latin a “dead language” because people no longer speak it in everyday usage, we cannot even begin to understand how misleading this phrase is until we study Latin and the history of our own English language. Far from being a dead language, Latin is very much alive—within English. Even though English originally came down to us from the Germanic Old Saxon, it is now predominantly influenced by Latin. In fact, the structure and vocabulary of Latin are among the main foundations of Western thought. Churchmen, lawyers, scientists and intellectuals have spoken, taught, and written in Latin all over Europe and America from the days of Classical Rome until the 18th century. Did you know that Sir Isaac Newton wrote his magnum opus in Latin?
Perhaps you have heard the statistic that about fifty percent of our English words come from Latin, and this is true. More importantly, if you analyze all English words of three or more syllables, you will find that about ninety percent of them are derived from Latin. Therefore, if students know their Latin they can recognize the essential meaning of just about any large word they come across.
Though this is an imperfect analogy, imagine if you were given a fairly new Ford car to drive, and all you had to do was start it up and go down the road. But, at the same time, someone else was given an old Chevy that did not run at all, and he had to rebuild it from the engine all the way up to the steering wheel. By the time the other person drives that old Chevy down the road he would have a deeper understanding of what he was doing and how to operate a car, including practical matters such as why it is important to change the oil, etc. This is the difference between someone who just polished up his own native language, and someone who has worked to rebuild a fuller understanding of his language through the study of Latin. The working Ford is English, which our minds already know from learning it intuitively. Latin is like the old Chevy: it has to be completely rebuilt by our minds. When we learn how language works in this three-dimensional way, we will know how thoughts are built from words, put together into paragraphs, and developed into arguments. In short, we will understand how human language works.
Since the medium of thought is language, the verbal arts are the most essential subject for developing the mind to think well and deeply. Facility with language reflects good thinking—we can only think well if we have the language with which to do it. And so, Latin is a most valuable element of the curriculum, because it is such a powerful aid in developing the verbal arts. As I tell my students so often, "Latin is sort of like calisthenics for the verbal part of the mind."
Language is essential to any career or to any improvement in our society; it is also a gift that God has given human beings so that we can develop deep and lasting relationships. A depth of communication helps us to build Christian fellowship so that we can fulfill John 17:20-21: “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” If we cultivate our children's minds and give them great verbal understanding and dexterity, they will then be able to spend a rewarding lifetime of learning and applying the Word of God to any career to which they are called, but even more importantly, to the friendships and relationships with which God blesses them.
You Make a Difference!
The mission of Greyfriars includes providing an education for Christian families that is financially affordable. Our unique model (without full-time faculty or a physical plant to maintain) means that our tuition is well within the reach of most families. However, until we have added all four grades (9-12), keeping tuition affordable is much more difficult.
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Greyfriars Classical Academy
2701 Rice Road, Matthews, NC 28105
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