In this issue: Why Shakespeare Matters, Introducing Prof. Parlin, and more!

Taking young minds seriously

115 Victory Place
PO Box 389
Marietta, Ohio 45750
(740) 885-2033

April 15, 2016
All the World's a Stage: Why Shakespeare Matters

Many iconoclasts who shape public discourse in academic circles today argue that Shakespeare is outdated, unintelligible, and unnecessary.  Why, then, do some schools (certainly classical schools) insist on teaching such "antiquated dribble" as described by some.

English is the most important language in the world today, but until the second half of the sixteenth century, it had little influence in world affairs.  For several centuries it was nothing more than a mishmash of Anglo-Saxon, Gaelic, Breton, Welsh, French, and Latin. The Renaissance was late to bloom in England, being separated from the continent by the English Channel, It wasn't until the second half of the sixteenth century that England began to rise in power, wealth, and status, and with these developments came a flourishing of culture. England's influence and its nascent linguistic features, spread to every corner of the globe.  The evolution of the English language was never more richly shaped during this period than by the pen of William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare took the words, expressions, and features of the dialects and languages spoken and written at the time and crafted out of his brilliant mind thousands of new words with which the world began to (and still does) speak, think, write, sing, express, and convey every facet and emotion of the universal human experience.  The English language is rich and its palate colorful thanks to the genius of Shakespeare, and it is vital that we study the origin of our shared linguistic heritage if we are to master it ourselves. 

By studying Shakespeare's works we learn more than the virtues of the English language as encapsulated in its grammar, vocabulary, and expressions. Perhaps more importantly, we learn what it means to be fully human - our frailties, tragedies, great loves and great losses, the full panoply of emotional depth and breadth, euphoria and misery, friendship, courage, wisdom, humor, and truth - all of which transcend cultures and time. If a school is charged with forming human minds and spirits, then we cannot ignore one of our greatest teachers and sources of inspiration to aide us in that task.

Spring into Shakespeare is next weekend.  We hope you will join us for what promises to be a truly delightful evening of entertainment with The Bard! For more information or to reserve your seat,   please click here .
June 6-10
Open to students ages 5-17
To register,  please click here.
Kids and their Kidneys

Over the last several weeks the students in Miss Sorensen's class have been studying the human anatomy.  Imagine one parent's surprise when his 5th grader daughter brought home her drawing of kidneys with all their attendant veins, arteries, and other details.  The students have, thus far, also studied the bones of the body, muscles, and various diseases. Their drawings of the body have been inspired by Leonardo DaVinci's own extensive drawings of the body.  DaVinci was the original "anatomical artist" but perhaps we have some budding medical masters in our own midst at the Academy.  Well done, students!
Introducing Dr. Melissa Parlin

Veritas Classical Academy is pleased to welcome to the faculty this fall Melissa Parlin, PhD.  Dr. Parlin will be teaching Literature and Composition.  She earned her B.A. in English from LaGrange College in Georgia (1996) and her M.A. in British and American Literature from Marquette University (1998). In 2010, she received her doctorate in English, specializing in Victorian Literature, from Ohio University.  Dr. Parlin has taught in a variety of secondary schools, colleges, and universities, including Ohio University and Marietta College.

Prof. Parlin has followed the development of the Academy since its inception and is enthused to be joining the faculty.  "Veritas Classical Academy's entrance into the Marietta community was bold and inspiring. As a professor, I longed to be at an institution unafraid to stand up to cultural relativism. When a literature position became available, I knew I could feel right at home at Veritas," stated Parlin. 

When asked why she believed that a classical curriculum is the best tool with which to form young minds, she responded: "I became a literature professor, in part, for the same reason I homeschooled my children with a classical curriculum. To truly "profess" about a piece of literature, one must have a full understanding about all aspects of a work including the cultural and historical details that inform and enrich it. Those details make literature more captivating than would otherwise be possible. Similarly, classical education eschews examining subjects in a vacuum and instead crafts an intricate mosaic of connected parts. A study of botany without a sense of where mathematics comes into play makes a pinecone just a repository of seeds and not a complex geometric vessel beautifully designed for optimum dispersal. Try teaching the poem "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" without teaching art history and Greek mythology and watch the eyes and souls of students go dim. Classical education underscores the beauty and richness of humanity for students by valuing the subjects that have shaped our civilization. Classical education strives to impart those subjects in a manner that reanimates their essence thereby affirming their importance to our very being."

Dr. Parlin is looking forward to "witnessing the intellectual and moral formation of her students. I look forward to being part of the community of teachers and parents who will work together to see that all students flourish not only in their scholarly lives but also in their characters."

Parlin resides in Marietta with her husband and their four children.  In her "spare time" she enjoys studying art history, learning about plants, dreaming about international travel, and cooking.  Please help us welcome Prof. Parlin to our school community!

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