Summer Program Blog
Monday the students discussed Macbeth, asking questions such as, “Should we pity Macbeth, or is Lady Macbeth really responsible for their downfall?” They were also introduced to Euclidean geometry, discussing the principles and propositions. For the next five days students will be constructing and demonstrating propositions on the chalkboard. While this may be daunting at first, many students come to love Euclid, and even find that this becomes their favorite class.
The students were also given the opportunity to join Admissions Director Jon Daly and Admissions Counselors Scott Benigar and Louis Conklin for a brief admissions meeting. The students were able to have any of their questions about the application process answered. Mass followed, and after afternoon classes, some students headed down to the athletic fields, while others relaxed in the Commons playing guitars, singing, and continuing their classroom conversations.
Study hall found the students busily reading The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius and preparing the propositions for the next day’s Euclid class, before quieting their minds by praying the rosary. Finally, to end the night, there was the much-anticipated students vs. prefects basketball games. The girls’ game was first, followed by the boys’ game. Both were well-matched, intense, and a lot of fun, and the prefects managed to pull away for the win in each.
Below are two new slideshows from this weekend’s hike and trip to Santa Barbara.
Thursday morning found the students discussing a reading from Christian existentialist Søren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling. The work offers several scenarios of the story of Abraham in an attempt to determine whether or not his faith seems rational. Conversations were spirited, and the students were intrigued by the question of what faith is and what it entails, especially as modeled by our father in faith.
After Mass, study hall, and lunch, the students, prefects, chaplains, and a few tutors boarded three coach buses for Los Angeles and the Getty Museum. There they viewed world-renowned paintings, ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, and other works of art, including some by Monet, Van Gogh, and Renoir, as well as sketches by Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Students also found time to take plenty of pictures around the museum’s beautiful gardens, fountains, and outdoor patios.
After dinner at the Getty, the group went to the Hollywood Bowl — the L.A. Philharmonic’s outdoor concert hall — to enjoy a performance of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D Minor and Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World.” Listening to the beautiful classical music in the Hollywood Bowl’s outdoor amphitheater was a perfect way to end a day experiencing some of the culture offered in the greater Los Angeles area..
On Wednesday, after two days of literature and philosophy, the students finally dove into the Queen of the Sciences, sacred theology. They began their Scripture studies “In the beginning,” with the Book of Genesis. Reading all the way up through the birth of Isaac, they had plenty to contemplate in both the morning and afternoon classes as they considered Creation, man’s fall, Original Sin, and God’s covenant with Abraham.
Following afternoon recreation the students were treated to a talk by tutor Dr. John Nieto on the subject of art and beauty, in preparation for the following day’s trip to the Getty Museum. After explaining St. Thomas Aquinas’ definition of beauty, Dr. Nieto discussed the three aspects of beauty: integrity or wholeness, proportionality, and clarity.
Later in the evening, following the rosary, the students gathered in the Commons for a ballroom-dance practice, learning the steps to rumba, waltz, and basic swing. It was amazing to see how quickly they learned the steps, and it was delightful to witness their enthusiasm. Back in the dorms at curfew, the usual conversations began, with the students and prefects discussing the implications of beauty in music, stemming from Dr. Nieto’s talk.