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Academy Highlights | Session III, Week 5

Grammar School Highlight | Physical Training Classes With Coach Aguilar

In addition to the soccer enrichment during Session III, Grammar School Physical Training Classes also focus on preparation for a Fitness Test which will be during week 7. We have focused on form and control as we perform push-ups, sit-ups, and running. Each grade level is tasked with meeting a certain amount of reps within these areas in a certain amount of time and students partner up as a way to support each other. My hope is to build their character and provide opportunities to show support and encouragement for others in tough situations.

Students are encouraged and challenged as they learn how to display self-control with their physical bodies. It has been amazing to see their form improve each week. I also love watching their fun manifest in playful competitiveness! Over the next few weeks, we will record their reps to see their progress.

Upper School Highlight | Rhetoric Alive With Mrs. Mammen

We all know this scenario—you get to grocery store, wind your way through the aisles, fill the cart, head back home, unload the bags, and suddenly realize you forgot to grab the one thing you went to buy in the first place.

We write this off as a common failure of memory, but Augustine of Hippo might have called it a failure of the soul. In his Confessions, Augustine wrote, “Great is the power of memory, a fearful thing, O my God, a deep and boundless manifoldness…”

In the classical tradition, the art of Memory is one of the Five Canons of Rhetoric— a skill that gives credibility to speakers and allows the mind (and soul) to be so soaked in truth, beauty, and goodness that it becomes imprinted on a level much deeper than mere recitation.

In Rhetoric this session, students studied something called a Memory Palace. It’s a classical method of training our minds to remember. We practiced building Memory Palaces by creating elaborate scenarios in our minds. As I gave them a grocery list, they ordered the items in an imaginary room with outrageous circumstances. The broccoli sat upon a neon unicorn, fairies used a loaf of bread as a pillow, a cartwheeling jester juggled eggs. A week later, I asked the students to repeat the grocery list in order, and they returned to their memory palaces, walked through them in their minds, and remembered every single item on that grocery list.

Those with the richest capacity for memory are those who choose to see with deepest intention. Augustine went on to write, “..even when the mind doth not feel, the memory retaineth…” We need students to know their capacity for memory so that when they are in a sacred position of persuading others toward truth, beauty, and goodness, it is not merely based on changing feelings or a disconnected glance at a prepared statement. They will speak from a place of memory that exists on a soul-level.

And next time you need a reminder to buy syrup for Saturday morning’s pancakes, ask a Rhetoric student to help!

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