The Hot Gates

Miscellany: the students have their first test of the second semester next Friday, February 5. They have received a study guide. Please encourage them to make good use of it.

“The worth and value of a man is in his heart and his will; there lies his real honour. Valour is the strength, not of legs and arms, but of heart and soul; it consists not in the worth of our horse or our weapons, but in our own. He who falls obstinate in his courage, if he has fallen, he fights on his knees (Seneca). He who relaxes none of his assurance, no matter how great the danger of imminent death; who, giving up his soul, still looks firmly and scornfully at his enemy—he is beaten not by us, but by fortune; he is killed, not conquered.

The most valiant are sometimes the most unfortunate. Thus there are triumphant defeats that rival victories. Nor did those four sister victories, the fairest that the sun ever set eyes on—Salamis, Plataea, Mycale, and Sicily—ever dare match all their combined glory against the glory of the annihilation of King Leonidas and his men at the pass of Thermopylae.” — Michel de Montaigne



More Whole and Half

Whole and half steps are arranged in common patterns, and these form modes. They have been practicing creating them. There is a test on Thursday (7A/7B) or Friday (7C), and it is over half steps, whole steps, and modes.  

Studio Art

First two weeks of the second semester we’ve been working on two soft pastel projects: landscape with sunset sky, and landscape with night sky. Students learned the technique of color pastel drawing.

This week we are starting our calligraphy projects. First we’ll learn some of calligraphy terminology, its history and some basics. Then we’ll learn about Italic alphabet, its history, its letters and the way and technique of writing it.

The Third Declension and Indirect Statement

For the past couple of weeks in Latin I, we have been reviewing past information about grammar and translation, as well as adding new information to our knowledge of Latin.

In Chapter 6, students learned how to conjugate the verbs sum  and possum, which translate as “I am” and “I am able.” They also learned how to translate complementary infinitives in phrases like, “I am accustomed to live in Rome,” or, “I want to walk with my friends.”

In Chapter 7, so far we have learned how to decline the third declension of nouns, which contains more Latin nouns than each of the other four. We have begun to use these nouns in translation.

During this upcoming week, we will continue to work with the third declension and will also begin to learn about the use of indirect statements in Latin in order to translate phrases like, “Vergil says that fortune favors the bold.”

Edgar Allan Poe

We begin our Edgar Allan Poe text this week.  We will be reading aloud each day in class while students mark the text and look for vocabulary words important for understanding.  The student’s word lists will be used to create the week’s vocabulary study and quiz on Friday.  We will also continue to review adverb and adjective clauses before introducing noun clauses on Friday.

Beginning this week, Monday afternoon tutoring will be offered for all new students and those who would benefit from reviewing the grammar and diagramming content from the beginning of the year.

On Sparta

There were two poleis (independent city-states) of ancient Greece that had the most significant influence on the socio-political history of the region: namely, Athens and Sparta. Of the two, it is Sparta that has most captured the imagination of subsequent generations. The reason for this is fairly straightforward: the Spartans, all Spartans, oriented their entire lives around producing elite warriors. Spartan officials inspected newborn males at birth. Those with physical defects were left to die on a nearby mountain. Those with no physical defects lived with their parents until the age of seven, at which point they were entered into a mentally and physically demanding state-sponsored military training program called the agoge. It was within the agoge that boys were indoctrinated with Spartan ideals—obedience, discipline, conformity, solidarity, and absolute fidelity to the state—and learned martial skills. At the age of twenty, those men who completed the agoge became official members of the military to fight and die for the glory of Sparta.

Geometry – 3D Figures

Last week the students finished up their unit on graphing and took their unit test on Friday. They will be getting their test back at the beginning of next week (please be on the lookout for it and ask how they did on it).

This coming week, the students will be starting their unit on geometry with respect to 3D figures. We will be reviewing how to find area of shapes and applying that to find surface area of 3D figures.

Logic Wall Problem Answers:

Problem #1 – Special Date (1/4/16): Solution #1 – multiply by 4 each time; Solution #2 – all square roots; Solution #3 – 1 and 4 are both factors of 16; Solution #4 – 4^0=1; 4^1=4; 4^2=16

Problem #2 – Game of 24: Solution #1 – (1+5)*(9-5); Solution #2 – 4*5-5+9



Whole or Half

Hopefully the sound of recorder is filling the house. They have one piece to learn, and will be getting the others soon. Outside of recorder, they have learned about whole and half steps. Whole and half steps are both the smallest distance and the building blocks of Western music.

Literature & Composition

Students begin this week by sharing their narrative stories with one another.  This is a great opportunity for the students to listen and complement their peers, practice presenting to a small group, and enjoy the creative ideas expressed through narrative writing.

Students will continue the week with grammar and diagramming review of adverb clauses and move into adjective clauses.  This includes a review of  the relative pronoun and what to do with WHO, WHOSE, and WHOM, words that often give us trouble in both speaking and writing.

Edgar Allan Poe, A Collection of Stories will begin Monday, January 25.  Once again, please ensure that your student has the correct text with him/her in class on that day.  The ISBN number is 978-0-8125-0455-2

Panhellenic Games

The eighth century BC saw the rise of religious sanctuaries and festivals that were not merely local but panhellenic (“all Greek”), attracting worshippers from all over the Greek world. These celebrated and reinforced the idea that Greeks everywhere belonged to a single cultural group sharing the same heritage, language, customs, and religion. These panhellenic religious functions offered opportunity for rituals and sacrifices, but they also offered competition in athletic games. The biggest attractions were the athletic games in honor of Zeus at Olympia (hence Olympic games) and of Apollo at Delphi. During the Olympic games, a sacred truce banning war throughout the Greek world was declared for the month in which the games were held. Events tested speed, strength, dexterity, and endurance, the qualities desired in a Homeric warrior. Of the foot races, the most prestigious was the stadion, an all-out sprint of about 210 yards—just over the length of two football fields. Other events included wrestling, boxing, the pankration (comparable to today’s mixed martial arts), the pentathlon, a track-and-field event combining five events, and chariot racing.