April Newsletter

A Letter from Mr. Brandon:

The students are well aware that we are in the home stretch of school and summer is on the horizon. Students, parents, and teachers are beginning to think of summer plans: jobs, projects, and vacations! The students understandably look forward to days free from the rigors of reading epic poetry, thousands of verses long, and solving quadratic equations.

And yet, the point always comes in summer when we will look back on these days in class nostalgically, reminiscing of the sharks and books we have dissected, the artwork and the speeches we have created. Summer is a time when we can look back and appreciate all we have done. Teachers and students have the opportunity to feel a sense of accomplishment every year, a sense of finality and closure when summer arrives. Completing a year of school is not unlike playing an epic sports game, such as ultimate Frisbee, especially one that has run into overtime. The athletes are exhausted, they want nothing more than to end the game in victory. They count the seconds until the final play. Though, once the game is over, the athletes who “fought the good fight” will be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment whether they won or lost.

Paul uses a similar sports analogy for our spiritual endeavors: “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Cor. 9:25-27.)

Paul teaches that true athletes exercise self-control: the Greek word is egkrateúomai which means “ to exercise self control" – literally, "exercising dominion, from within." This athlete is one who is controlled from within, one who governs his body with authority. Paul uses some strong language to explain his point; when he says that he “disciplines” his body, the word is hypōpiázō: to strike under the eye, i.e. giving someone "a black eye." He gives himself a black eye! He has just made a reference to boxing, and he seems to be suggesting that he is training himself to withstand blows. Students may understand these blows to be difficult homework assignments, demanding projects, or even challenging relationships with classmates (or teachers). And yet, after receiving such blows, Paul can proudly say: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:7)

Our prayer is not that we avoid discipline, or even “black eyes,” but to learn from them, even rejoice in them, “knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Rom. 5:3-5).

We often have a lot of fun as we learn at BCA, there is an abundance of laughter and joyful conversations. There are also some “black eyes” and late nights as we fight a good fight and strive for the victory wreath. I believe that our students, families, and teachers will look back on this year as a victory, one that produced character and hope.

A glimpse into the classroom...

Snippets from the BCA teachers about their classes.

Biology

Dissections have started! Students have successfully dissected snakes, sharks, and rats, and are loving the hands on experience if not the odor.

Physics

The progress in physics has grown stable over the past month with the class taking more time for each module to fully understand the complex use of formulas and conversions.  The students finished designing and building their own catapults and now are starting on solar panel ovens! 

Spanish

The students had a productive month in March and class has gone really smoothly.  Students are beginning preparations for their final oral exams and skits.  Many of the students have been using Spanish more in their free time, which has been helpful for them in class and has helped them become more comfortable with the language.

Rhetoric

Shakespeare scenes were a smashing success, with students putting excellent work into memorizing lines, costumes, set, and staging. Students are working hard on their thesis papers, now in the revision stage, and are learning about how to listen for the context of an argument.

Aesthetics

We just finished an overview of music history, while discussing why it is that music moves us so powerfully.  We took a side journey into the realm of sound science, learning about the relation between sound and movement as well as cymatics.  Students also learned basic music theory, and then put it into practice with a jam session!

Literature

Literature students finished Plato’s Republic by writing their own allegories, modeled after Plato’s allegory of the cave.  Now we are transitioning to our last epic of the year: the infamous Aeneid.

Ask Abby!

By Abigail Renk

Dear Abby, How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

A woodchuck’s arms are too short to chuck wood. I suppose they could try kicking it or picking it up in their mouths to toss it, but they don’t. I’m not even sure that they like chucking or wood.

Dear Abby, What are your thoughts on dabbing?

I happen to have a friend who dabs. Dabbing is fine, just as long as you don’t do it too much. Teachers can become annoyed believe it or not.

Dear Abby, Why did the chicken cross the road?

The chicken was mindlessly pecking around for food when it found itself on the road with a truck coming, so it panicked and hurried to the other side. I have seen this happen many times, since I have a neighbor who has chickens, like me, but does not keep them penned in.