Monthly Archives: April 2010


Bree-hee-hee

Jewel proclaims as he enters the real Narnia,

I have come home at last!  This is my real country!  I belong here.  This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now.  The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this.  Bree-hee-hee!  Come further up, come further in!

And it was at this passage that my voice cracked while I was reading the last few pages of  C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle aloud to my sixth graders.  I tried valiantly to remain unmoved by the thoughts of how delightful Heaven is, but even my best efforts were of no use by the time I had rounded the corner to the last remaining page of the book.  When I read of the hope that sprang up into Jill and Eustace’s heart when they thought they might not have to leave Narnia again and then I went on to read of Aslan confirming that there had indeed been an accident in England and that they were dead and would certainly be able to stay in the real Narnia forever, I could hold back the tears no more.  My sixth graders were thrown off a bit as they adjusted to the new choking sound my voice possessed.  I’m not sure what actually caused the tears, possibly the thought of how wonderful Heaven is or maybe I imagined what it must be like for my own mother who lives there now or maybe I was moved because I have a student who recently lost her mother as well and I understand the pain of loss.  Whatever the reason, I’m not ashamed that I was brought to tears while reading a great classic in front of the sixth graders that I adore!  As I love and instruct my students  in Latin, History and Math, I’m with the Unicorn as he proclaims, “Bree-hee-hee!  Come further up, come further in!”  Is your child’s teacher proclaiming the same?


Biology Corner: What is the difference between a centipede and a millipede?

Many people think the only difference between a millipede and a centipede is the number of legs. Since the Latin root centi- means one hundred and milli- means one thousand, centipedes must have one hundred legs and millipedes must have one thousand legs, right? Wrong. A centipede doesn’t even have fifty legs, and a millipede has nowhere near one thousand legs. Though, millipedes do have many more legs than centipedes.

There are some other notable differences as well. A centipede is flat and has only one pair of legs per body segment. A millipede is round and has two pairs of legs per body segment. A centipede is aggressive and fierce and is able to immobilize its prey with poisonous claws. A millipede is docile and slow. It eats vegetation and organic debris. And when threatened, it will roll up in a ball and hope its exoskeleton will be enough to protect it.

So, if you see a millipede, you have nothing to fear. But if you see a centipede, give it a wide berth. Its bite is painful to humans, though rarely dangerous.


Field Day, More Than Fun and Games

Next Friday will be Regents Academy’s  eighth annual Field Day. It is always a day filled with food, frolic, and fun. We have races. We play games. We eat hamburgers. And we even get to have a water balloon fight! But the thing I most enjoy about Field Day is the interaction between grade levels.

We have five seniors this year, and they are our team leaders. The rest of the students in the school have been divided up so that all the grade levels are mixed. And they will do everything together on that day. They will all assemble in the Great Room for a morning devotional and then it’s out to the flagpole to learn the team cheer. Once the teams have been gathered, the competitions begin!

I so enjoy this part. It is so touching to see a softer side of our young men come out. None of them hesitate to hoist a little one on their shoulders so he can see better. This is the day that the big ones forget about math assignments and papers and Latin and Herodotus and speeches and just enjoy those around them. Students at Regents Academy know how to work hard, but they also know how to play hard. And play is never more fun than when it is preceded by hard work.

The best example of what this day means to the little ones is found in the interaction between one of our senior boys and one of our first grade boys. The first grader knew that all the students would be divided up among the teams led by the seniors. So he went to his favorite senior and made a special request to be on his team. When the athletic director was finalizing the list, the senior approached her and asked if the little boy was on his team. He didn’t want to let him down.

When did it become a rule that all teenagers are rude and rebellious? Who decided that all teenagers are self-absorbed? The teenagers at Regents Academy high-five the little ones in the hall all of the time. Every day at lunch one of the little ones runs to one of our high schoolers and shares something important with him without fear of being rejected.

Field Day promotes these relationships. It is more than fun and games. Field Day is the day when those little ones get to spend the whole day with the big kids. And to one little boy, Field Day is the day he gets to spend with his hero.


Bugs, Bees, Butterflies, and Blossoms

School really bugged some Regents students yesterday.

Regents Academy kindergartners, first graders, and second graders participated in the 10th annual Bugs, Bees, Butterflies, and Blossoms on April 22, 2010, with lots of hand-on learning about God’s world. The event is sponsored by Stephen F. Austin State University.

Read all about it in the Daily Sentinel here. Pictured are Regents second-graders Gavin Griner and Philip Franke.


Ursa Major and Ursa Minor

Third graders are so amazing. We were making prepositional phrases with their new prepositions and they wanted to say “in front of a bear” in Latin. I told them the word for bear is ursus, ursi and we declined it to see which form we needed for our prepositional phrase. I remembered that they study astronomy in science and asked them if they had learned about Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (lit. Great Bear and Little Bear) which contain the Big and Little Dippers. Most of them were somewhat familiar with these so I asked them why it was ursa and not ursus. Hands went up. It’s because it is a mama bear with her cub. They figured this out because they know that the “a” ending makes it feminine. We also talked about Ursa Major and Ursa Minor being constellations. Since cum is one of their new Latin prepositions, we talked about the roots of the word constellation. When cum is used as a prefix it often means together. The Latin word for star is stella. So constellation literally means stars that are together.


Student Spotlight: “All the Good Things”

Regents Academy ninth grader Miranda Kunk recently presented a prose selection called “All the Good Things” by Sister Helen Mrosla at an Open House event. Miranda performed this piece at the TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) district competition, where she won first place. She went on to the TAPPS state competition and placed fourth.

Miranda’s piece spotlights the fine work all Regents Academy students do from day to day, but her piece especially displays the presence, poise, and excellent rhetorical skill endowed to students through the Regents classical program. Miranda is growing in both wisdom and, as evidenced in this video, eloquence.

Miranda’s teachers join her parents, Michael and Francesca Kunk, in congratulating her.


Grounded in the Good Things

“Our greatest inheritance, the very foundation of our civilization, is a marvel to behold and consider. If I tried to describe its rich legacy with utmost brevity, I should take the Latin word humanitas. It represents in the widest sense, the accumulated harvest of the ages, the fine flower of a long discipline of Christian thought. It is the Western mind of which we ought to turn our attentions to careful study.

“The now frivolously disregarded Trivium — emphasizing the basic classical scholastic categories of grammar, logic, and rhetoric — once equipped untold generations of young pupils with the essential tack and apparatus for a lifetime of learning. These are the very notions that once set acourse the great cultural flowering of Christendom over the past thousand years.

“Indeed, this sort of educational philosophy and methodology is that which steadfastly affirms that every student, every family, every community, and every nation needs to be grounded in the good things, the great things, the true things in order to do the right things.”

John Buchan (1875-1940)


Private Soccer

We are a soccer family.  My boys have been playing soccer with our city league for several seasons.  They have experienced several new team jerseys, first game-day of the season, awesome teammates, new coaches, numerous tournaments, new soccer cleats, bigger soccer balls and the list goes on.  Here at our school, you may join Regents Academy soccer team beginning in sixth grade.  This would include my oldest son.  The normal soccer season for schools is over, if you didn’t know, but we have some teams in the surrounding area that would like to get some Spring Soccer going.

Our coach just announced yesterday that we, Regents Academy, would be participating in a game this Monday and a small tournament at the beginning of May.  The first thing I heard out of my eldest’s mouth this morning, as his hair shot up in several different directions, “I can’t wait till Monday!”  Hearing words spoken with that much passion before 6 a.m. made my heart melt.  What others don’t understand about having your children in a Christian school is the sense of community and covenant that we share in this little school up on the hill.

Although our soccer team has come a long way, we are nothing compared to my son’s city league team.  His team from the city could whip our school kids even if we strapped all the city players together and blindfolded them!  The competition isn’t what it’s about!  (And my son is super competitive!)  The love, kindness, oneness in Christ and the encouragement is what my son thrives on while he plays soccer with his school.  My boys count down the days when Regents Academy soccer will start again, even the two that aren’t old enough to play with our school.  These are the rewards that far out pay the stresses of being here day in and day out.  My son’s words that anticipate his next game with the friends that really matter help me to shake the drowsiness that I am feeling at 5:45 a.m.  His words make what we are doing worth doing!   I love soccer!  I love to teach!


Obsessed with roots? Most definitely!

On February 26, 2010 I heard Bob Costas interviewing Joannie Rochette, who had won the bronze medal in the Olympic women’s figure skating the night before just four days after her mother’s sudden death. He offered his condolences. My mind immediately thought about the roots of that word- com- with + dolēre- to suffer pain (physical or mental.) It is my hope that all the students at Regents Academy of Nacogdoches, TX will learn to see the rich meaning of the vocabulary of our language.