Senior Projects: Matthias Leonard, Grant Dillon & Nicholas Purcell - 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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Senior Projects: Matthias Leonard, Grant Dillon & Nicholas Purcell

Happy August! We hope that your summer has been restful. Today we are continuing on with our Senior Project series and have a diverse range of projects from our 2022 graduating class. To view the videos of their Senior Presentations, be sure to click on the links below their abstracts.

Matthias Leonard | Unicorn Man, or : How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Writing

My senior project became an experiment of my writing process, which led to me writing a four-hundred-page book. At first, the project was meant to be an analysis of style in literature. I hoped to learn the aspects of literary style to better define my own for when I began writing my own stories. I read multiple books, but Stephen King’s On Writing was different from the others, because it inspired me to sit down every morning for two months and write a book. My book is called Unicorn Man, and it follows Nathaniel Green, who is a member of a superhero family. His mother, Cassandra, trains him in the ways of being a superhero, while at the same time he works up the courage to ask out the girl he likes. But then, his mother is murdered by a supervillain, Teddy Bair, and Nathan must learn to inherit his mother’s legacy and be a superhero without her. I aim to have a publishable piece of work by the end of 2022. My senior project has shown me what my writing process is, and has given me the first step in following my dreams of being an author. 

To view Matthias’ senior presentation, please click here.


Grant Dillon | Going to Hell in a Handbasket: Why, and How to Stop

Recently the world has felt increasingly chaotic, like we’re tumbling down a steep slope to some indefinable end. The discourse towards avoiding this often doesn’t even feel like discourse. It’s not just that no one can agree, which is true, but that the conversation exists for the purpose of one party coming away correct and not for the purpose of simply un-screwing ourselves. We’re caught on a handbasket heading straight to hell, and we’re trading straw-men instead of escaping. Much of this is due to a universal disconnect caused, at least in the US, by the mass-media and a drastically underfunded education system. There are figures of hope though, those who show us that while ideas certainly can be repulsive, people generally aren’t; those who demonstrate a kind of love that isn’t a sappy Hallmark idea, but something powerful, something that lets you stand up to firehoses and rubber bullets. Through art and education, a twofold search for truth, that desire for progress and the ability to act on it can be synthesized on a large scale, something that’s necessary to shift our entire cultural ethos, which is what ultimately must happen to preserve those few beautiful patches that are left of America’s identity. They’re becoming increasingly obscured, but I promise they’re still there. 

To view Grant’s senior presentation, please click here.


Nicholas Purcell | The Ultimate Warriors: U.S. Navy SEALs

Navy SEALs are the ultimate warriors and represent the apex of performance on the battlefield. Despite the common tendency to equate modernity with military prowess, it is age-old martial virtues that make the SEAL Teams such a uniquely potent force. By learning and understanding more about what it means to be at the “Tip of the Spear,” I believe you will come to see what I see, which is that it’s simply not enough to respect this community for what it does, but to understand further the sacrifices it demands. I aim to show you the history of the SEAL Teams (starting with the Underwater Demolition Teams/ UDT’s of WWII) and provide a glimpse into Naval Special Warfare and what it takes to become a SEAL. I also delve into their warrior Ethos and Telos that define their culture and help us to understand what makes them tick. In realizing this, we can take away lessons to implement in our own everyday lives to make us better Americans. Go ahead, dive in and join me in this mission to learn about the ultimate warriors on the planet: U.S. Navy SEALs!

To view Nicholas’ senior presentation, please click here.


For previous posts in our 2022 Senior Projects series, please see:

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