Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering options to make education work for families. We have a full hybrid program for grades pre-12, which means part-time classroom and part-time home instruction with a 4 day option for middle school and a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

Semper discentes – always learning together.
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Semper Discentes…and Then Some!

College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia
{photo via Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain}

SLO Classical Academy exists to educate for life: the education we provide is life-enriching, life-preparing and life-giving; we understand that education is not a means to an end, but a worthy end in and of itself.”

~ SLOCA’s website

Our school motto, “Semper Discentes,” means “always learning together” in Latin. Our school community is naturally one that is always learning together as we dig into this rich classical program week after week, year after year. But we also love to hear about those connected to our school – whether students, parents, teachers, staff, or relatives – who continue to pursue life-long learning in various ways outside of SLOCA. Today we have just such a story to share with you, from our dear former Logic teacher, AnnE Lorenzen. Here’s a little something she wrote for the blog to say hi to her SLOCA family, and to share about an upcoming adventure in her life:

By AnnE Lorenzen
The Hilarious Headmistress

On December 19th I am re-locating to Williamsburg, Virginia, where I will stay for as long as it takes me to earn my undergrad degree from the College of William & Mary.  Coupled with the one-year in-state residency requirement (who wants to pay double for tuition?), the two years credit I’ve already earned make for about a 4 year stay in one of my favorite places on the East Coast.

This is BIG NEWS on many levels, for sure, and some of my Family and Friends aren’t exactly thrilled.  They are bamboozled.  Figuratively speaking, they are running around behind my back, wringing their hands, shaking their heads, and muttering amongst themselves.  They all mean well.

On the other hand are my Family and Friends who, although concerned because of distance and, well, ‘other issues,’  are supportive and recognize just how much this opportunity means to me.  After all, the plan includes my coming back here after graduation.  They worry that I’ll want to stay in Williamsburg.

So, what exactly brought me to this amazing and happy-dance-inducing decision?

Some months after I retired from SLOCA I sat my Self down and engaged in a long-delayed personal exercise, part of which asked:  “If time and money were no object what would you do (right now)?” I had toyed with that question more than a few times over the years but had avoided the internal work it would take to answer definitively and decisively.  This time — thinking that the answer would be something wonderful to do with The Hilarious Headmistress’ advancement — the very first thought that came to my mind — that I said aloud immediately — was, “Why, I’d go back to school and earn my degree.”  And I knew that I had spoken my Truth.

Why did this resonate as my Truth?  The short answer is I love Learning.  I always have.  My entire Life.  This explains my penchant for reading as much nonfiction as any other literary genre.  This explains my curiosity about so very many things:  people, events, ideas, etc.  It explains my innate sense of connectedness to the World and worlds all around us.

Most of you know of my love of and delight in words—spoken, written, sung, scratched or engraved, runic, etc.  You also know that I study—love to study—Thought.  Every person, every invention, every beautiful song or book or painting or sculpture—every single bit of Good or not-so-good began as a Thought.  I want to learn as much as I can about thought and thinking.

Semper discentes.  Always learning.  This phrase was an early gift to SLOCA from our beloved Magistra, Sarah Weinschenk; all those many years ago she also gifted me with Cogito Magna.  I think Great Things.  Perfect.  Just perfect.

The other part of the personal exercise mentioned above was to consider, define, and memorize my deepest, most True Core Values; for me this meant reflecting upon those Values by which I choose to live for the rest of my Life—day in and day out.  And, my People, since we all know that I am way beyond young these days, I took this part of the exercise very, very seriously.  So seriously and mindfully did I approach this that it took me three days to complete.

I tell you this because one of my 10 Core Values is Learning; for however long I may live, I intend to find a way to incorporate Learning into my daily life and routines. I tell you this so that you may enjoy with me my decision to pursue a Philosophy Major and Creative Writing Minor from the College of William & Mary beginning Winter 2019-2020.  I tell you this so that you may understand just how grateful I am to the entire SLOCA Community for offering me the incredible opportunities to think and learn—and to share some of the best of what I’ve learned.

Finally, I tell you all this because I intend to write/blog regularly about how I find my way back to Williamsburg and school, and what meaningful things I learn about Life, Living, Thought, and All Sorts of Other Good Things and People.  Maybe you will follow along.  We can learn together; it could happen.

Semper discentes.  Cogito Magna.

Thank you, AnnE, for sharing your passion for learning with us, and the thoughts behind your decision to dare greatly in this new venture! We wish you all the best as you pursue the next phase of Always Learning, and thank you again for the many years you taught our middle schoolers to think Great Things!


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