Monday, March 7, 2011

Proud of STH!

Well, this is shaping up to be a banner year for St. Thomas across the board. Let me just give you a rundown so far. We won state titles in wrestling and basketball and came in runner-up in cross country. We had a football team with a winning record by the end of the season. Baseball is still undefeated besting Strake at their place. The rugby team knocked off Dallas Jesuit, the defending state champions. We won the TAPPS Academic District competition for the second year running. We set a new record for Round-Up with $379,603 raised for students on financial assistance. We qualified our first debate team for the TFA State Tournament in years AND our first team in school history for the NFL National Tournament in Dallas this June. Concert Band, Jazz Combo, and String Ensemble have all advanced to the state music competition. The Drama Department is preparing what will surely be a memorable performance of Shakespeare's Macbeth. We have nearly completed work on a new parking garage, and money is coming in to build a new athletic center and science classrooms and lab space. The crazy thing is there are probably a number of accolades that I have forgotten. There is a great vibe at STH these days. Magic seems to be in the air! Eagle Fight Never Dies!

Friday, March 4, 2011

An Elegy for Karol Wojtyla

My English I students were required to write an elegy after reading and reviewing Al-Khansa's moving tribute to her sibling in "On Her Brother." I promised to participate as well. Here is the simple poem that I wrote this morning for Pope John Paul II who played no small part in my faith life as a young man.
           On Karol Wojtyla

Who would have thought that manliness
And gentleness could live in bliss?

Who would have thought that manliness
And tenderness could coexist?

Who would have thought that manliness
And holiness would be so missed?

His boundless energy bounded
And rebounded beyond the bounds

Of life. He smiled much from the Sun's rays
And much joy and much hope filled his days.

His zeal for the commonweal
Bespoke the love within the seal

Of his heart’s nature, and the flame
Of Nature’s heart would brook no blame,

Nor besmirch his kindly soul with
Ill thoughts or sinful deeds forthwith.

Truly, this was a saintly man,
A man who loved to serve in God’s plan.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

University Resources at our Fingertips

I am rather curious how many educators out there are taking advantage of the increasing range, diversity, and quality of university resources available to us in our classrooms free of charge. For many years, I have referenced and incorporated Harvard's Chaucer page when covering The Canterbury Tales and Princeton's Dante Project and UT's Danteworlds when reading The Divine Comedy. I have also availed myself of one OU professor's materials on mythology.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Augustine's Political and Theological Realism

One of my colleagues at work, Judy Granberry, is making her way through selections from St. Augustine’s magnum opus, The City of God, with her Adv. English I students. She sent me the following question and what follows is my response to her inquiry:
Adam - What is Augustine suggesting about free will when he asserts that one community of men is "predestined to reign eternally with God, and the other to suffer eternal punishment with the devil"? Is this contrary to his argument that by living rightly we may obtain the supreme good and escape the supreme evil?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oscar Wilde: Harbinger of Matrimony's Decline

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.”       (Matthew 7:15)

Jesus’ words ring especially true of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, for this memorable play is most definitely a wolf masquerading in sheep’s clothing. The mood of the work is light, witty, satirical, even playful, yet it engages in the most deliberate and determined subversion of traditional mores and values of the Victorian age and our own. It is no wonder that George Bernard Shaw penned a scathing review denigrating Wilde’s work as “real degeneracy.”