A letter from The Director
Dear BCA Community,
Recently, I had a conversation with my dad about the 100-year memorial of World War I. It made me think about how desperately people hope and pray for the gift of peace during war. Yet, here in Boise, Idaho, we live in relative peace, and it’s easy to take that peace, and all the gifts we currently enjoy, for granted.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Christian theologian who resisted the Nazis during WWII. He lived during a time of great suffering and persecution, and was ultimately imprisoned by the Nazis and killed for his beliefs. During this time of hardship, he wrote: “It is easily forgotten that the fellowship of Christian brethren is a gift of grace, a gift of the Kingdom of God that any day may be taken from us... It is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren.”
One of the greatest gifts in my life is fellowship. At BCA, most of the people I work with are also close friends; our team of teachers and administrators is a close-knit group of comrades. Most of our meetings include a healthy dose of laughter, and almost always end with heartfelt prayer. It’s easy to enjoy the company of people who have shared interests in teaching and travel and art and God. And yet, it is also easy to take such fellowship for granted if I don’t take time to acknowledge my gratitude for these people. (This letter is good motivation to do so!)
In this time of relative peace and prosperity, without harsh persecution, I want to be intentional about being grateful for the Christian fellowship in my life: with the community at BCA, with the Boise Church of Christ, and with my family. As we prepare for another holiday season, I pray that we can all rejoice in the good and perfect gifts “coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who never changes.”
Benjamin Brandon, Director BCA
One Glorious Book Club
An Interview with Peter Leavell
You may not be the only person in the world who started out thinking they wanted to get a history degree and ended up both an award-winning Historical Fiction novelist and a ninth-grade literature teacher, but you’re the only one we know. Tell us how that happened.
Schools teach writing in harmony with other subjects, so I long believed I could learn how to write as I learned what to write. I studied fiction on the sly while getting my history degree. After finishing my degree and my books were published, my novels were far more popular than I ever dreamed. I refocused my efforts. The women and men I respect in fiction all worked famously in literature, teaching and studying. So now I’m getting my Masters in Literature. I did try teaching history for a time, but found I made up many details, more like how history should have happened.
What is your favorite thing about writing? Teaching? Are they sort of the same thing?
My entire day, from waking up and teaching literature to taking graduate classes, from ghost writing and working on my own fiction, from my homework to grading students’ papers—my day is one glorious book club. I talk about novels, I read them, I write them. In my mind, the work is seamless. When I worked a day job, all I did was wait on customers who needed me to bail them out of problems of their own making. So my entire day is my favorite. What I didn’t guess was how amazing the students would be, and they are fast becoming the favorite part of teaching.
We know this is sort of like asking who your favorite child is, but what is your favorite book (or favorite author) of all time and why?
C.S. Lewis is my favorite nonfiction, and J.R.R. Tolkien is my favorite fiction. They are so amazing, I’ve thought of changing my author name to P.R. Leavell. I’m rereading the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for a game I’m playing with the 9th grade Lit students, and now that I’ve some literary master’s work under my belt, my appreciation for the novels is almost unending.
You mentioned you write, ghostwrite, teach at BCA, are getting your Masters Degree, do public speaking, and will add teaching at Boise State to your work. How do you fit it all in?
I don’t watch TV.
If you could go back in time and give one historical figure advice to change the course of history, who and what would it be?
I’ve long wanted to tell President Lincoln to duck. His policies would have been a powerful blow against some of the racism that we’ve seen to this day.
Announcements and Events
Thanksgiving Break - NO school, Nov 19th - Nov 23rd
Finals - Friday, Dec 14th / Monday, Dec 17th
Festival Day - Wednesday, Dec 19th - Parents / Siblings participation welcome
Winter Break - NO school Fri, Dec 21st - Jan 6th
Semester 2 begins on Mon, Jan 7th
Hey, you...yeah, you!
A regular feature where we all get to know each other...
Paige Baker, 9th Grade
For what are you most grateful today? A school that cares.
If you could win an Olympic sport, real or fake, what would it be? Jousting.
Adin Goetter, 9th Grade
What’s your favorite word(s)? Silly Goose.
Of what are you most afraid? Spiders. They want to end all human life.
Beni Gee, 10th Grade
One thing you’re looking forward to in 2019? To focus more on acting.
What’s the best costume you’ve ever had? My big ball gown. It is brown and it is big.
Jacob Nettles, 11th Grade
What’s your hidden talent? I can operate a bail wagon pretty well.
What’s one thing your mother/father taught you that completely changed your life? To walk.
Many of the Seniors and Juniors have stepped forward this year and shown true servant leadership at our school. They have helped to include the younger students in Guild activities, such as the Paint Powder battle that we had a few weeks ago. (https://youtu.be/PG1t_WHcaFE)
The leaders initiated the younger students into the guild through activities by painting their faces and, in one case, sticking on fake mustaches. After the powder battle, Mr. Brandon crowned the victors: Shannon and Isaiah, and asked them what it meant to be a King and Queen. Shannon replied that a true leader is one who acknowledges authority, and grabs hold of their peers saying: “come, follow with me.”