Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Man on Campus, Part II

Today, we are continuing our interview with Troy Wathan, the new Associate Director and Track A Lower Middle School teacher.  For the first part, click here.

What books are on your shelves?

Oh my! We have a varied collection of books at our house. We have one collection of the Great Books of the Western World of 
which we have only scratched the surface. I have enjoyed reading some of these classics alongside the students at my former school and now with my own children. My wife, Summer, and I are in the process of recovering the education we missed. In my library, I have a whole section on adolescent development, a theology section, books on rock climbing and various other fiction and non-fiction books. One area of great interest to me is the present culture and its influence on the intellectual, emotional, and social development of children and adults. 

As a family we have enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wind in the Willows, The Hobbit, books on the Greek myths, children's adaptations of Shakespeare, and most recently, we enjoyed The Wednesday Wars.

How do you and Summer build and foster a classical home?

We foster a classical home in much the way others at SLOCA probably do--in fits and starts and very imperfectly. One way that we try to foster a classical home is to demonstrate interest and enthusiasm in what we, as parents, are learning. I like to play guitar and Summer likes to bake--both activities that we have learned in our adulthood. I believe that when we are always learning new things, our children see that learning is a lifelong endeavor; not something reserved for the 13 plus years of childhood. Another habit that we have maintained since early on is the reading of books together as a family. This is an opportunity for Summer and I to revisit books from our childhood, books we missed growing up, and, as the girls get older, to read the classics we know we should read to be educated human beings. The funny thing about reading good books is that it is like listening to classical music. It takes time and effort to acquire a taste for great literature. Also, the more we read classical literature, the more we "get it" when it comes to literary allusions in a variety of books. Reading together provides us to talk with our girls about issues near and dear to our hearts. I love the book To Kill a Mockingbird
I can't wait to talk with my girls about what makes Scout such an endearing character and how I want to be a man like Atticus Finch. Books provide the springboards conversations about the meaning of life as well as the opportunity to laugh, rejoice, fear, cry, and experience a whole host of emotions without having to actually experience them. When we later feel these emotions because of the events of life, we are better prepared because of our experience with the friends we have found in books.

Thank you, Troy for sharing!  Be sure and introduce yourself to Troy and his family when you're on campus.  Let's make them feel welcome and at home.

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