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TRIVIUM SCRIPTA TRIVIUM SCHOOL

LANCASTER, MASS.

VOL. X

Fall 2004

REFLECTIONS AFTER TWENTY-FIVE YEARS

OUR LADY, MOTHER OF GOD AND SEAT OF WISDOM

Dr. William Schmitt

Alan Squires, Esq.

Everyone delights in receiving a gift. UsuThis year Trivium School celebrates its 25th ally we think of a good gift as one that is anniversary. The first day of school was Ocpractical and useful in that tober 25, 1979, the feast it saves us time and of St. Crispin. Since that worldly expenditure. This opening day, Trivium summer Trivium received has grown in size and a gift that in that worldly developed in purpose. sense is just about useless. Many things have All you can do is simply changed, but the inspigaze at it, wonder and be ration has remained the inspired to raise your heart same; the purpose of the and mind to God in praise School is as pertinent and thanksgiving. now as it was then. Mounted in the center As someone who wall of Center Hall is an was there at the beginItalian marble bas-relief of ning, I can say that things the Christ Child standing in have changed quite a bit. Mary’s lap. This remarkable We began with only two work of fine art is in the seniors and about classic style of della Robia, twenty-five students. I probably carved in Italy in remember Mr. Kelly on the nineteenth century, meathe first day of School suring about two feet by introducing us to Latin three, and weighing about in the Dante. The room 240 pounds. This is the clasdid not have a name at sic image of Mary, Mother the time and it was (Continued on page 2.) The bas-relief of Mary, Seat of Wisdom of God and Seat of Wisdom, who is Christ Himself. Cardinal Newman explains, “Mary has this title ONTENTS in her Litany, because the Son of God, who is also called in Scripture the Word and WisReflections After Twenty-Five Years 1 dom of God, once dwelt in her, and then, Mary, Seat of Wisdom 1 after His birth of her, was carried in her arms and seated in her lap in His first years. Thus, Commencement 2004 2 being as it were, the human throne of Him The Third Five-Year Plan 4 who reigns in heaven, she is called the ‘Seat of Wisdom.’” New Tutors 4 Shortly after it opened in October 1979, Student Events 5 Trivium School was dedicated to Mary, A Winning Season 6 (Continued on page 5.)

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COMMENCEMENT 2004

Senior parents Erik and Amy Mitchell enjoy the Commencement luncheon.

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The twenty-fifth Commencement Exercises of Trivium School took place at the end of May. Sixteen seniors received their diplomas at the end of a short ceremony. The Commencement day events began with the celebration of a votive Mass, asking the Holy Spirit to bless and guide the students as they went on to higher studies or the world of work. The Mass was celebrated by Matthew Lamb, formerly a professor of theology at Boston College and the recently appointed head of the theology department at Ave Maria College. In his homily, he spoke passionately about the love of God that is beyond our comprehension. The Commencement Exercises were preceded by an exhortation by Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, president of Christendom College. Dr. O’Donnell, with familiar references to Scripture and the saints, spoke of the mission of Christians to join in the glorious cause of Christ and restore creation to the Father. The events were a fitting conclusion to years of intellectual and artistic efforts by the students. Many of them had slept little after the play and the cast party the night before. Joseph Lawler, representing the senior class, made reference to their academic accomplishments. For the students and tutors who came back after the summer, however, these seniors will be loved and remembered for much much more.

Dr. Timothy O’Donnell inspires and exhorts the Class of 2004 at Commencement.

(Reflections: continued from page 1.) still evident that it had been the old billiard room of “Crownledge,” because the bar stools and the bar were still there. We especially liked to sit on the red leather seats and lean over the counter instead of sitting at the table. Mr. Kelly on that first day had us read some Latin. Two phrases that I remember were, “Vox clamantis in deserto” and “Agnosce Christiane dignitatem tuam.” The first is the cry of John the Baptist in the desert and the second is what I take to be the mission and motto of Trivium School: “Acknowledge, Oh Christian, your dignity,” from St. Leo the Great. Mr. and Mrs. Schmitt and several other parents launched the School with the immediate concern that their own children receive the education that they deserved and that they as parents were obliged to give. I was one of those children and was very aware of


their concerns. I had gone to public schools all of my life and had just finished my junior year at Westlake High School in southern California. It was a big school of about 1,500 students, newly built on the slope of a hill. There were glass windows everywhere and several large parking lots for the students. I remember never mentioning Christianity in our large classes, taking pictures at basketball games, and sneaking out at lunch time to walk around town. When we moved to Lancaster, I attended Nashoba Regional High School for a few weeks because Trivium had decided not to have a senior class. For me, the weeks of September passed slowly after an adventurous summer working at an Arabian horse stable in Sisters, Oregon. The cinder block hallways of Nashoba were hardly inspiring. The students at Trivium were having all the fun. I decided to come and we found another classmate to make two seniors. I hardly knew what I was getting into and only in hindsight realize how this choice determined so many things that followed in my own life. The first thing that someone sees at Trivium is the community of like-minded people, seeking the truth and supporting each other in it. Previously, I had not known any other Catholics at school. None of my friends ever gave a second thought to the purpose of life. Most of them came from divorced families and had few brothers and sisters. Each of us was merely an individual. At Trivium, things were different. I remember the old rule that if you did not do your homework, you were exiled from the room because you had no right to enjoy the privilege of being part of the class – and you were “sponging” off the others. Each student mattered; everyone had something to contribute; every moment was to be directed toward learning. The second thing that was immediately apparent was the freedom we had. All of the restrictions — the hall passes, the tardy slips, the automated bells, and intercom announcements — were reduced to one rule: “Do what is right!” Now some of this was a convenience because of size; some of it was a lack of funds, but all of it forced each of us to realize that we were suddenly responsible for the success or failure of our own educa-

tion. Freedom has a purpose. Rules remind us, but too many rules make things go like clockwork and encourage passivity. We built fires in the fireplaces, discussed things in and out of class, and stepped up the pace of our classes by our enthusiasm. I remember the frigid chapel, which was in Lucy back then, when the holy water font

Please Join Us at the 25th Celebration On December 17, we are going to celebrate Trivium’s 25th with a party at the School. Over 150 invitations went out. The evening will begin with a choral concert in the Arts and Athletic Building, followed by a short historical presentation by Mr. Schmitt. Parents, friends, and alumni are then invited into the main building for hors d’oeuvres and champagne while the students host a dance. If you did not receive an invitation – and would like to come, please call and then join us for a wonderful evening!

would freeze. Every obstacle seemed unimportant because of the people who were there. Even more than the community or freedom of those days, what stuck with me was the Intellectual History class. We read excerpts from an old book that is still on a high shelf in the library. I remember discussing the relativism of Kant, and tackling the question that I still like to ask: if you walk around a tree and there is a squirrel hiding on the other side of the tree watching you – circling, but always facing you – then do you walk around the squirrel? We read Cicero on natural law, Darwin on evolution, Mill on liberalism, and many other things. But the reading that stayed with me was Cardinal Newman’s Idea of a University. Newman set forth the fundamental truth that education has knowledge as its object. Suddenly I discovered the pearl of great price. For most of us, school is what we do between the ages of six and eighteen; it has no real purpose. I remember Larry Bound, standing up in the middle of a class at Westlake and saying, “Mr. Sanford, why are we learning math?” He was joking, but the problem of purpose is something that every student comes upon sooner or later. Newman, with his clear and eloquent style, offered an answer: Man has a purpose, a meaning, a goal, and education is the attempt to reach it.

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As I look back on the early days of Trivium and think about our education, I marvel that we students could have grasped something so fundamental. The purpose of a liberal education and the purpose of Trivium School are simple for someone who has eyes to see. Liberal education is criticized for being undemocratic, impractical, and unscientific. But each of these reduces it to a field of study. The best argument for liberal education is simply that we are not born men and we need to become men. Liberal education is that change from being a child to becoming an adult. If we limit this change to the body and imagine that maturity is automatic, then we will be small-minded, stunted, and irresponsible. Before a man is a biologist, an engineer, a lawyer, or an artist, he must first become a man. It’s really that simple. Emerson’s famous quip, “Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist” should instead be, “Whoso would be a man, must be liberally educated.”

ments. The new five-year plan calls for particular goals and strategies to improve the quality of teaching and learning (tutor and pupil), of method and content (text), and to develop a more beautiful learning environment in the buildings and campus (the log!). It also calls for generating support beyond the ordinary revenues of tuition. To this end, the Institutional Advancement Committee has been established. Such an endeavor is not solely the work of a committee. We are all in on this – parents, alumnae and alumni, individuals and families, and friends in the larger Trivium community – to make Trivium the best possible school, graduating young Catholic ladies and gentlemen of character already informed and practiced in the ways of what is good, true and beautiful.

NEW TUTORS BRING EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE TRIVIUM ‘S THIRD FIVE-YEAR PLAN

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Every five years, the Trivium School Board of Trustees approves a five year plan. The first was a modest proposal that led to the transfer of the property worth nearly $2,000,000 from private ownership to the School Corporation. The second plan saw the construction of the Arts and Athletic Building, the roof renovation, and other developments. Now the Board is working on a third five-year plan. No large scale capital projects are foreseen. The Board is developing the ways and means of raising, improving, and refining the quality of what Trivium does best. The educator, Mark Hopkins, is said to have remarked that the essentials of teaching are a tutor at one end of a log, a pupil at the other and a text between. Perhaps that is too simple, but it emphasizes the basic ele-

Therese Cross has been involved with Catholic education for the past twenty-five years. She taught and was acting principal at Our Lady of the A n g e l s School in Wisconsin; she organized and taught summer school in Manangogh, West Virginia, and was junior high coordinator and teacher at Seton School, Manassas, Virginia. She taught art at St. Charles Borromeo School in Bloomington, Indiana, and taught CCD in various parishes throughout these years. She holds a B.S. in Education from the University of Wisconsin. Mrs. Cross is married and has five children, whom she has home-schooled over the past fourteen years. Mrs. Cross teaches seventh grade theology.


Thomas G. Hardy has over fifteen years experience teaching high school mathematics and science primarily at independent Catholic schools. He was an original faculty member at Northridge Preparatory School in suburban Chicago, and eventually became the assistant headmaster. He has been the headmaster of two other independent Catholic schools. His undergraduate studies were conducted at Cornell University and Roosevelt University, where he earned a BS in Chemistry in 1975. He is presently working on a physical science textbook for eighth and ninth graders. He has also worked in the construction industry and for two high tech firms. With his wife Jan, he has nine children, five of whom have attended Trivium School. Mr. Hardy teaches Pre-Calculus. Eric Maurer is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College. He returns to teaching at Trivium School after a three year hiatus, during which he worked as a financial analyst in Ohio. While in Cleveland, Eric was one of the founders of The Lyceum, a Great Books school that is modeled after Trivium. He brings to Trivium an enthusiasm for politics and Socratic discussions. Catherine Ruth Pakaluk joins Trivium this year with great enthusiasm for teaching math and science, and most especially for her students. She holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in mathematics and economics, and an MA from Harvard Uni-

versity. She is currently a PhD candidate in economics at Harvard, where she has spent two years teaching sophomores at Harvard College. Mrs. Pakaluk teaches AP Calculus and Chemistry at Trivium. She is married to Michael Pakaluk, and they have five children at home. Besides academics and mothering, Mrs. Pakaluk is the President of Visitation House, a home for single mothers in Worcester. She also serves as a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. Joseph A. Prever, a graduate of Trivium School, received his Bachelor’s degree in Literature from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. He teaches Composition and Literature 7, Theology 8, Science 9, Algebra 2, and G-Group music. Mr. Prever’s many talents and unflagging enthusiasm make him a favorite with the G-Group students

(Seat of Wisdom: Continued from page 1.) Mother of God and Seat of Wisdom. At long last, the School now has a most appropriate and ever present image to celebrate Our Lord and His Mother. All who visit the School should stop a moment before this image and allow the Holy Spirit to inspire them to give glory to God.

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STUDENT EVENTS

Andrea Kaulbach (’04) delights everyone as Katisha.

The students at Trivium are always busy with co-curricular events. At the end of the school year, the R-Group dazzled a full theatre with their rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. Director Amy Mitchell’s intimate understanding of the dynamics of the comic opera, together with the enthusiasm of the actors produced a delightful evening. Molly Smillie’s relentless singing practices gave the students beaming confidence. James Brehany directed the orchestra. Every Class at Trivium wants to set its mark; the Class of 2004, with its leading roles in The Mikado, might never be surpassed!

The Mikado cast receives a standing ovation – as the orchestra plays on.

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Alumni from the Class of ’04, John Pakaluk, Joseph Lawler, Nathaniel McGarry, and Will Brennan after singing a barbershop quartet for candidate David Shnaider and Governor Mitt Romney.

During this election year, many Trivium students helped out with the campaign of David Shnaider, a member of Trivium’s Institutional Advancement Committee, who was running for the Massachusetts state senate. Trivium seniors also had a chance to go to a presidential rally in Manchester. They left about noon and waited for hours but had the excitement of being in the front and being able to greet President Bush. This year’s events have included an All Hallows’ Eve party and dance. The costume party, ostensibly in honor of Mr. Schmitt on his birthday, had gone back to the older tradition of becoming not only a dance but a talent show too. Every student came in costume, all of them imaginative. They introduced themselves to Mr. and Mrs. Schmitt, who were dressed as a king and queen. After songs, skits, and musical p e r f o r mances, the students moved to the gym for dancing. At the end of the first trimester, the LGroup pro-


duced two Moliere plays: The Would-Be Gentleman and That Scoundrel Scapin. Sometimes these comedies are stiff. But the LGroup, with their talent for humor, filled the Arts and Athletic building with laughter and applause.

Brianne Gyra and Kirsten Goodman at the All Hallows’ Eve party.

A WINNING SEASON Rebecca McGarry (’05), Emma Marr (’05), Ellen Turner (’05) In August the Trivium Girls’ Soccer Team began practicing for the upcoming season, keenly aware of the loss of older, more experienced seniors that graduated last year. The season was expected by many of the girls to be abysmal. However, a group of new girls, beaming with energy and potential, surprised everyone. After tedious drills, numbing exercises, the endurance of abnormal heat and cold (thanks, New England!), the season began. The girls won their first game against Worcester 9-0, and they went on to have a stellar season: winning six, losing only three and leaving one at a tie. Coach Cheffers never saw it coming. He expected mediocrity, which granted, he witnessed in August, but from the likes of Emily Holt, Sarah Kearney and Cate Hieronymus, he got tenacity and determination. Sarah

Emma Marr (’05), Jill Kalenderian (’06), and Cierra Nugent (’07) run forward.

Pakaluk, Ellen Turner, Liz Newcombe, Kirsten Goodman, and Maria Pakaluk were outstanding defenders. Midfielders Caila Nikitas, Brianne Gyra, Cierra Nugent, MarieLouise Skidd, Jill Kalenderian, and young but driven seventh grader Alisa Walsh traded off ball-rocketing and running until near exhaustion. Offenders Joelle and Katherine Purinton, Mary Hardy, Rebecca McGarry and Emma Marr perfected their aim and repeatedly scored the team’s goals. Kati’s Bloemer’s keeper skills kept the opponents from scoring numerous goals. The Trivium girls proved successful, stepping up to meet the challenge. After seeing how far the team has come and how much we have accomplished, there is no doubt that these younger girls, through the guidance of their coach, will not only uphold but improve upon the already well-respected reputation of the Trivium Girls’ Soccer Team for years to come.

Trivium girls look on from the sidelines.


TRIVIUM SCHOOL P.O. Box 597 S. Lancaster, MA 01561

Calendar

December 17

School’s out at 12:30 PM 25th Anniversary, 7:00 PM

December 18-January 2 Christmas Holidays January 3

School begins, 8:15 AM

February 18

G-Group Drama Production

February 23-25

Winter Trimester exams

February 26-March 6

Winter Holidays

March 7

Spring Trimester begins, 8:15 AM

Please generously remember Trivium School in your Christmas giving. This year we celebrate 25 years of excellence in education. Your gifts help to make it possible!


Scripta Fall 2004