There are moments where my administrative hat and my parent hat merge, and I am simply overwhelmed at what God has done, and what these children (including my own) get to experience. Not perfect, but oh so good. And far better than I could have imagined. Yesterday was one of those days.
The familiar clip clop of horse feet sounded outside my office. A horse tour passed down the alley just as I was perusing an article on living “life under compulsion,” discussing the ways we tend to destroy the humanity of children. Sounds depressing. But that scene, set by the background of clip-clopping horses, transported me in time. Reading the article, sitting in an historic former jail, hearing horse feet – a simpler time of slower lives entered my imagination.
The rest of the morning kept me there in that simpler time. I enjoyed morning Chapel at Gould Cottage. Jimbo Bass led the children in “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” a familiar, yet still oh-so-relevant hymn from 1680. Introduced just two weeks ago, children sang worshipfully and proudly with gusto and heart.
A few moments later, as Grammar School dismissed and Logic School entered, Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. Beaty, and I recognized the all-too-familiar “Leaving on a Jet Plane” as Jimbo and David Duckworth played in the background. The three of us sang and danced for a moment, and Ava Hall and Hannah Hill joined us old folks in a pre-Chapel dance to Peter, Paul and Mary.
Twenty minutes later I sat in 10th grade Chemistry class. Mr. Manley captivated the thirteen 15-and-16-year-olds for a full hour. And I again remained transported in time. I haven’t taken Chemistry since 10th grade, but I have no recollection of it being this interesting. I asked questions and learned – much – formaldehyde, ions, and valence electrons. (Manley said I could take the quiz on Friday.) I certainly wasn’t the only one. Every student was engaged. Every student asked questions. Every student loved the learning.
I added to that my own joy in teaching my 10th graders’ Rhetoric, where they continue to surprise me with their depth of thought and engagement. And I added to that what I knew was happening across the hall in Mr. Welch’s theology class. I could hear his familiar teaching: societal myths lead to societal metaphors, lead to societal principles, which produce our societal propositions (or statements of fact about reality). My own child was enraptured with this idea last year.
I sat simply overwhelmed at the goodness. That kids from the youngest of ages to the most awkward of ages sing with worshipful abandon. That young people and old people work together in relationship discovering everything from deep truth to a simple moment of lighthearted fun. And that all of this is accomplished in the midst of a normal school day, where learning is always at the heart. Ions and atoms and equations and lines and shading and notes and running are combined with philosophy and theology and speaking and writing.
It is quite simply why I love what I do. At its foundation, it is idyllic.
– Angie Copetillo