Hello BCA Community,
Welcome to the initial edition of the BCA Newsletter! We hope this will increase communication with the families in our community and allow us to share the day-to-day happenings at BCA.
The last few weeks we have been studying Plato’s Republic together. It has been a challenge to sort through the dense dialectic, but the students have proven their tenacity and engaged in thoughtful conversations about what it means to be human, to seek virtue, and to live justly.
While these conversations have certainly been fruitful, I keep pondering Paul’s words in I Corinthians 1:19-21: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent. So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe."
This is tricky! With such an assertion, how can we justify studying the world’s philosophers, scholars, and brilliant debaters? What good is there to be found in the endeavors of their minds?
In Book 3 of The Republic, Socrates uses disciplined reason to conclude that God must be good, true, and beautiful. These are right conclusions, of course, but they were ideas unfamiliar to the audience he spoke to: the pantheon of Greek gods were known to be only sporadically good, true, and beautiful at best. But a divinity that was Good, True, and Beautiful by nature and necessity? It was a deeply profound suggestion, and one that arguably paved the way for the Greeks to understand the God of the Jews when they were introduced to Him centuries later through the teachings of Paul.
So what do we do when Paul — the same Paul who taught the fertile Greek minds prepared for him by Plato — says that “God, in his wisdom, saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom”? Paul’s answer is that we know God because He reveals himself to us through His Spirit. Without the Spirit of God we cannot understand Him, even with the greatest human minds to guide us. It is the mind of Christ, given to us by God, that allows us to see that He is revealed through Plato or anyone else.
The path before us, and the path we guide our students to walk, is instructed by Paul: “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (Romans 12:2) As we study Plato and the other great minds throughout history, we trust that they will be used by God in his work of transforming our minds.
May the mind of Christ be ours, and may we know God more everyday!
A MONDAY MORNING at BCA
By Lori Hancock
Sunday nights I set my alarm clock a bit earlier than usual. My goal is to leave home five minutes early on Mondays since I pick up Molly and Cathleen for carpool to BCA. Unfortunately, I’m not a morning person. Even though Roger, my husband, generously makes breakfast for me, scrapes the frost off the car windshield, and feeds the chickens when he’s home, those five minutes are a thing to reckon with.
Getting my own indolent bones out the door is nothing next to the heroic efforts BCA students’ parents make every day to keep their families running in the right direction. Kudos to all Boise Classical Academy folks, teens and parents alike, for getting to classes each morning. It seems it would be a simple assignment, but I know it’s not.
I pull into my favorite parking space (second spot, to the right of the church entrance, assuming Mrs. Jodi Miller hasn’t arrived ahead of me and snagged it!) to find a small gaggle of early-bird boys grouped at the church entrance waiting for the first door key to arrive.
Once the church doors are unlocked, the students stream into the dark foyer. While the staff unlocks office and classroom doors, Jake Hess hits the lights, Noah H. cranks up the heat, and Jost sets up the projector and speakers. The students have favorite spots on the pews lining the walls of the sanctuary –BCA “lockers,” if you will – where they place their book bags. As if on autopilot, they glide to those slots and plop down their stuff for the day. I have always wondered how the kids choose their locations; once adopted, they don’t change all year long.
At 8:45 a.m. sharp, or maybe 8:46, or 8:47 . . . I summon the students to Morning Assembly. Our morning gatherings are modest but useful affairs. Not unlike a family meeting around the dining table, we touch on announcements regarding the week, share news, congratulate and commiserate accordingly, etc. After business is attended to, I present the students with a suitable homily – anything from a humorous story to a Bible verse to an inspiring YouTube video. And then we close in prayer.
BCA has its own version of “It’s not over until the fat lady sings.” We call it, “No dismissal from assembly until Mr. Ririe yells, ‘Scamper off, ye!’” I kid you not. Early last year this somehow became a sacred ritual. No matter how thoroughly finished with assembly we are, until Mr. Ririe can be rousted from the print room or office - or wherever he might be lurking - and holler out the Scamper directive, the students will not budge from their seats. A few weeks ago he stayed home to recover from an injury, this precipitated a petite crisis, as we couldn’t quite figure out how to get the day started!
It is one of my joys to see the students happily greet one another each morning. It is gratifying to watch them dig in their bags for their necessary books and wander off to first period with an air of amiable contentment in the company of their comrades, ready to start the day in mind and spirit. At this point, resentment towards my faithful alarm clock is long banished from my mind. My heart is glad I got up and out the door, and I’m glad all the BCA parents and students did too.
By Abby Renk
*Dear Abby, What question should I ask?
That is an excellent question! Ask Abby was designed to give advice to anonymous students in need, but I also accept other queries that would be enjoyable to read in the newspaper. I appreciate respectful questions, but besides that you can enter requests for advice, riddles, a pun/joke, or anything funny. You are also encouraged to sign under a false name. By respectful questions, I mean school appropriate or related topics that do not normally name and never seriously make fun of another student or teacher. Thank you once again for asking!
*Dear Abby, Where is point c?
The location of point C may vary from problem to problem.
*Dear Abby, Wut?
Precisely! The long road to pondering something begins by asking the simplest questions! Well done! Also, I wrote down the name you signed, only as read left to right. Up-and-down take up too much space. Sorry.
*Dear Abby, What would you do for a Klondike Bar?
I am not certain if I have ever had a Klondike Bar before, so I do not know what lengths I would go for it.