Friday Faces: High School Part One - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have 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.

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Friday Faces: High School Part One

This week it has started to feel like Fall is slowly making its way to the Central Coast. I (Wei) have not yet succumbed to the Pumpkin Spice Latte yet, but there have been a couple of ‘Fall’ items that have made their way home. Today for Friday Faces we bring you Part One of our High School team! We have already introduced Kateri Rein, our High School Director in our Leadership post, please read on for the rest of her intrepid team.


If you could have been the author of any novel, which one would it be and why? 

Pamela: Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Wives and Daughters’. I returned and re-read this novel because I love her depiction of a young woman’s growing up in 1830’s England – the conflict between tradition and progress. Gaskell’s characters are depicted so lovingly, and her novels plotted so carefully, but this one was left unfinished at her sudden death. I would love to know how the story ends! I have a few ideas….

Guy: Novel… nah. I would have painted the Isenheim Altar Piece. It is magnificent! It is monumental! It shows profound love and understanding towards a suffering marginalized community in a time of great cultural division. It was innovative in imagery for it’s time. And it was profound in it’s comprehension of Theology and Philosophy. Art doesn’t get much better than that.

Paul: I would give an arm and/or a leg (like Ahab) to have written “Moby-Dick,” a work of unmitigated literary genius. However, Melville’s life post-publication was full of such poignant disappointment (the world was not ready for that book, and maybe still isn’t) that I’m tempted just to answer with something that brought its author better fame and fortune, like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

Jenny: I have a soft spot for classic literature and the first book that comes to mind is Jane Eyre, an all-time favorite of mine. I would love to be able to envision and bring to life such a strong and complex main character who has to struggle with major life choices that aren’t easy, and who figures out what she values and sticks to her convictions despite the sacrifices involved in her choices. The writing is beautiful and the gothic setting and mystery/twist is so fun.

Joshua: Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. A captivating analysis of totalitarianism, I’ve always found it more penetrating than Orwell’s more popular 1984.

What was your favorite hobby you picked up during the pandemic and why?

Pamela: I’m so glad I returned to weaving, because I can share this passion with my High School students and with my friends.

Guy: I honestly didn’t pick up any new hobbies. I focused on doing what I already do with greater intention and presence. The only new practice I did start exploring regularly is breathing prayer.

Paul: Running. Ceramics. Amateur Epidemiology.

Jenny: Sleeping! I slept more during the early days of the pandemic and it was dreamy… (pun intended).

Joshua: Watching Bluey with my son. He began to recognize the intro music at around 3 months old. His face would light up, he’d crack a smile, and sometimes he’d even gift me a giggle.

HS Literature

If you could be any Roman or Greek god/goddess which one would you be and why? 

Pamela: Bacchus, because he would bring ample supplies of the best wines. And he loves it when women talk too much, dance, and get unruly.

Guy: Hephaestus, because… well… he was an artist. He also made automatons long before robots were cool. All right up my alley! Plus he was the most generous and kind hearted of the male gods so I think he would make the best company.

Paul: Seems like Dionysus, god of the grape, would be the obvious answer here. But maybe Hestia, goddess of the hearth and rightly-ordered domesticity, should tag along, too, as a counterweight to any Dionysian excess.

Jenny: I have always been somewhat frustrated with most of the Greek pantheon, but looking at my D’Aulaires’ book of Greek Myths I see Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, there in the center of the “family picture” on p. 22-23. Humble Hestia didn’t have a throne to sit on and had to tend the fire all day long. She was an eldest sister and somewhat of a mother figure, keeping the home and trying to keep peace among the others, so I relate to her in that way. It says she was “the gentlest of all the Olympians” and I think she deserves to go to a dinner party and get waited on for a change! I’m sure she would have some interesting stories to tell about the rest of the family, and I could learn a lot from her patience and gentleness.

Joshua: I’d rather not invite any of them! If I had to, I’d go with Dionysus. I feel like he could provide quite the feast.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? And why?

Pamela: I wish I had the superpower of turning back time, just 10 minutes or so. I could be on time to every meeting. I could stop my tea from spilling on the books, stop my car from hitting the basketball post. I could take back what I had just said or the email I had just sent. I would save myself all kinds of embarrassment and inconvenience.

Guy: Moving and shaping earth with my mind… Like an Earth Bender.

Paul: The ability to time travel without messing anything up would be cool. As in: I could only fix things, not make them worse. (Yes, I am aware that this answer sounds a lot like the plot of the early 90’s sci-fi TV series “Quantum Leap.”)

Jenny: The power to instantly heal any sickness or injury would be pretty awesome, especially during a pandemic.

Joshua: Would it be too obvious for a historian to say “time travel”? All of the possibilities are truly hard to fathom, but the opportunity to be an eyewitness to some of the most important events in history is tantalizing.


For more posts in our Friday Faces series please see:

Thank you to our High School team! Please check back next Friday for more Friday Faces.

1 thought on “Friday Faces: High School Part One”

  1. It was way more fun to read everyone else’s answers than to answer them myself! Pamela, I love every one of your responses. 🙂 And Paul, no surprise at all that you chose Moby Dick – so fitting. What a great team to be a part of!

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