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Summer Progam 2017 group photo

If this morning was any indication, this year’s students are acclimating well to the schedule and pace of the High School Summer Program. After a busy and eventful evening last night, they woke up bright and early, arriving at breakfast as soon as it opened. “I got my food and went to go sit down at a table,” admits one prefect, “only to discover the students had already all finished eating!”

At the morning class students discussed Sophocles’ Antigone, whether the title character deserves her fate, and tensions between loyalty to the state, to family, and to the gods. How does one order one’s actions around these three duties, and when they conflict, how should they be prioritized? The students seem to be taking well to the Discussion Method, learning how to work together to achieve a better understanding of a text and derive the truths it contains. “A lot of students are speaking up,” says one prefect. “They seem very motivated and interested in the conversations.”

At Thomas Aquinas College, the Discussion Method works via sections, groups of about 17 students who, for the duration of the academic year, take all their daytime classes together. Because the method depends on open discourse — which, in turn, relies on trust — it is important for students to come to know each other well. By taking nearly all of their classes together, the members of each section achieve a sense of intimacy and come to rely on one another in their shared pursuit of the truth.

Classes in the Summer Program are also arranged by sections, and the slideshow below features photos of each of this year’s sections — all eight of them! — taken after this morning’s class:

  • High School Program 2017 Sections
    Slideshow: Summer Program 2017 sections
  • High School Program 2017 Sections
    Slideshow: Summer Program 2017 sections
  • High School Program 2017 Sections
    Slideshow: Summer Program 2017 sections
  • High School Program 2017 Sections
    Slideshow: Summer Program 2017 sections
  • High School Program 2017 Sections
    Slideshow: Summer Program 2017 sections
  • High School Program 2017 Sections
    Slideshow: Summer Program 2017 sections
  • High School Program 2017 Sections
    Slideshow: Summer Program 2017 sections
  • High School Program 2017 Sections
    Slideshow: Summer Program 2017 sections

After the photo shoot was Mass in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel, followed by an orange-chicken lunch in St. Joseph Commons. Then it was off to the day’s second class, about the pre-Socratic philosophers. Recreation today will likely be heavy on sports once more, plus there will be auditions for Friday’s dramatic readings of select scenes from the works of William Shakespeare.