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HeightsCast: Forming Men Fully Alive

Welcome to HeightsCast, the official podcast of The Heights School! Every other week, we feature interviews with teachers and educators here at The Heights School and elsewhere, on the education and formation of the type of man you’d want your daughter to marry. Our hope is that through this medium we can enlighten, inspire, and reassure the parents and friends of The Heights community, and parents and educators throughout the world. Join us!
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HeightsCast: Forming Men Fully Alive
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Nov 15, 2019

Brad Soderberg, Assistant Coach for the UVA Men's Basketball Team, shares his thoughts on coaching and parenting character through athletics at a very high level.

Oct 30, 2019

Hear our Headmaster, Alvaro de Vicente, explain the mission and vision of The Heights.  For 50 years, we have partnered with parents to form "men fully alive" by tending to the intellectual, moral, physical, and spiritual well-being of every boy.

Oct 25, 2019
Smart phones present unprecedented challenges to parents.  Consequently, we are encouraged to "wait until 8th."  Head of Heights Mentoring, Joe Cardenas, wonders whether we should hang in there just a little longer.  
 
Have Smart Phones Destroyed a Generation, Jean Twenge (TheAtlantic.com)
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/

"Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones."

Teens find circumventing Apple’s parental controls is child’s play, 
Reed Albergotti (Washington Post)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/10/15/teens-find-circumventing-apples-parental-controls-is-childs-play/
 
“These are not rocket science, backdoor, dark Web sort of hacks,” said Chris McKenna, founder of the Internet safety group Protect Young Eyes. “It blows me away that Apple hasn’t thought through the fact that a persistent middle school boy or girl can bang around and find them.”
Oct 11, 2019

In this episode, Mr. Kyle Blackmer explores the virtue of order and how we, as parents partnering with teachers, can share it with our middle school boys. It is entirely possible for a young man of 13 to appreciate an ordered life and an ordered mind. It is also possible to teach a young man lacking order to embrace a new virtue. Listen in to learn how.

Sep 19, 2019

Are manners stodgy vestiges of a bygone aristocratic age? At The Heights, we'd offer a resounding "no." Manners matter, and as parents and teachers, these "rules of civility" offer a great opportunity for teaching our boys virtue. Listen in to hear more.

Aug 29, 2019

Headmaster Alvaro de Vicente offers advice to individuals interested in stepping to the front of the classroom. What sort of temperament best suits a teacher? What ought one to study in order to prepare? Listen in to learn more about what Heights Headmasters, from Bob Jackson to Alvaro de Vicente, have looked for in their faculty for 50 years.

Aug 23, 2019

Dr. Matt Mehan explores the relationship between practical and speculative wisdom in the liberal arts education. He explains that "an education in the liberal arts must give pride of place to practical wisdom, to navigating the realm of becoming, while resisting the temptation to focus on speculative or contemplative Wisdom, that final rest and joy of the heavenly realm of being."

Aug 12, 2019

Lower School Head, Colin Gleason, offers a Heights Lecture on integrity. He shares how honesty requires far more than merely telling the truth; our boys must learn to live the truth.

Jul 30, 2019

In today's episode of HeightsCast, Heights Headmaster Alvaro de Vicente discusses hiring, the attributes of the teachers he hires, and where he finds them. A faculty is a School's most valuable resource. It is mission-essential to get hiring right; our headmaster discusses his approach here.

Jul 24, 2019

Newly installed University of Dallas President, Dr. Thomas Hibbs, discusses the challenges facing higher education in the liberal arts. How should parents approach the college decision? What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of high school graduates today? Is college for everyone? Tune in to hear Dr. Hibbs discuss these questions.

Jul 19, 2019

Newly installed University of Dallas President, Dr. Thomas Hibbs, discusses the challenges facing higher education in the liberal arts.  These challenges are both financial and cultural, stemming not only from external threats, but arising also from a misunderstanding by universities themselves of the true nature of liberal studies.  Dr. Hibbs explores the ideas underlying the liberal arts education, and then discusses their implications for various aspects of college life, such as formation in virtue and the study of the more practical arts.  

Jul 8, 2019

In today's episode, Dr. Matt Mehan explores the virtue of patriotism. We forget that this is a virtue, especially in a digital age that unleashes and misdirects our lesser instincts. But gratitude is, in fact, due to our Founders and our Nation. How do we express this gratitude, and how, in light of that duty, do we handle the more difficult aspects of our nation's past?

Jul 3, 2019
In this episode, Mr. de Vicente:
  • Discusses the three prerequisites for a healthy young-adult relationship: Good Intentions, Other-Centric Worldview, Self-Mastery.
  • Discuses the three requisites for a healthy relationship: Rules, Communication, Accountability.
Jun 26, 2019

In this episode, Upper School Head, Michael Moynihan discusses how we as a School partner with fathers to help them share God's plan for marriage and human love with their sons.

  • Each child has the right to a personal conversation with their parents about human love. To deal with this topic solely in an institutional way does not do it justice.

  • The topic of human love is best addressed in the context of the home, in such a way that both respects the child's innocence and respects the metaphysical and spiritual realities of love, not just the physical.

  • Schools do have a role to play in this education through an integrated curriculum offering, inter alia, examples of friendship and love in literature, a correct human anthropology through philosophy, and a love for the theological underpinnings of the sacrament of marriage.

  • Schools also have a role to play in supporting parents as they educate and form their sons. This is especially true given that many parents are trying to offer their guidance to their sons in a way that is different from what they themselves received.

  • The Heights offers a series of nights for fathers. In the 4th grade, we discuss with the fathers how to begin sharing with their sons God's plan for marriage; in the 6th grade, we discuss with the fathers how to begin to address the threats to God's plan, especially pornography; in 9th grade, we discuss the proper approach to courtship.

  • Fathers must share with their sons the fact that God's plan for marriage are under attack, especially when it comes to pornography. Sons must be given the tools to confront this great evil when they are first exposed to it. Otherwise, interest may result from initial paralysis.

  • These conversations are most effective when there is a good foundation in place, including (a) a developed appropriate friendship between father and son, (b) a home where modesty is observed, (c) a culture in the home that celebrates mom and dad's stories and marriage.

  • An area to be aware of is the vice of curiosity, which is, properly understood, a dull boredom and disinterest in reality, the natural tendency of which is towards passive entertainment-seeking. This leads directly to dependance on pornography.

Jun 18, 2019

In Brief:

  • Training in virtue requires attention not only to intellect and will, but to emotions as well. Complete virtue requires not only a knowledge of, and decision towards the good, but also the desire for that good. How do we instill in our boys this desire for the good?

  • Example: The way we speak to, and speak about, others, is a key element of our children's emotional formation. We must showcase, for our sons, what it means to be a good man. In this context, we must showcase proper management of our emotions.

  • Service: Providing your children with opportunities to serve will then elicit positive emotional responses towards the people they serve. These opportunities should be both internal and external to the house.

  • Communication: Find ways to communicate to your boys that emotions must be directed, guided, and shaped. This is a countercultural message in an era of "you do you." Don't be overly didactic, but be ready to explore the proper role of emotions in conversations about culture, movies, art, and even ourselves. In this way we put the finishing touches on our boys' moral imaginations.

  • Discipline: Our children will fail in this battle early and often. The art of teaching and parenting requires discipline, but we have to carefully consider our corrections. Consider how and when a boy will be most receptive to corrections.

Ultimately, virtue is not about pummeling our feelings into submission, but rather, orienting towards the good. As parents and teachers, the most effective ways to do this are by giving good example, communicating and naming them, and correcting at the right and for the reasons.

Jun 14, 2019

This week on HeightsCast, Dr. Lionel Yaceczko discusses the study of Latin as the best way to develop our students' "grindstone skills": the abilities to "think" and "communicate," which will allow them to both thrive in a constantly evolving job market, and to engage the greatest minds of their tradition.

Jun 7, 2019

This week on HeightsCast, Dr. Lionel Yaceczko discusses the study of Latin as the best way to develop our students' "grindstone skills": the abilities to "think" and "communicate," which will allow them to both thrive in a constantly evolving job market, and to engage the greatest minds of their tradition.

May 17, 2019

Every year, bishops around the country visit their flocks to offer the sacrament of Confirmation to young people. In this episode, Mr. Jeff Thompson shares how he, as a middle school religion teacher, teaches the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit to his middle school students, making them come alive in the hearts and souls of his boys.

May 9, 2019

In this episode, Head of Mentoring, Joe Cardenas, explains the importance of training the emotions of our aspiring "men fully alive." Often we see education as a matter of the head; but as teachers, we must be just as concerned with forming the heart.

We base much of this interview on this article from OpusDei.org.

May 3, 2019

Contemporary children's literature often celebrates children lying or worse to accomplish "good" ends. As parents of avid readers, we must be aware. Joe Breslin and Tom Cox take on perennial favorite, Harry Potter, which offers, as one of its many strengths, gripping portrayals of flawed heroes.

Mar 29, 2019

This week on Heightscast, an interview with Head of Upper School, Michael Moynihan, on his new book, Decisive Parenting.

For more information or to purchase Michael's book, click here.

Mar 13, 2019

Heights Teacher and Mentor, Alex Berthe, discusses the importance of proper praise in the moral development of boys. Our culture tends towards two extremes: we are either overly critical, or excessively flattering. Alex helps us walk the mean as we guide our sons to a solid confidence in our love for them, and in their rock solid understanding of their identity as sons of God.

Feb 28, 2019

As a community of believing parents and teachers, passing the Faith on to our sons' is mission essential. Heights Headmaster, Alvaro de Vicente, discusses how parents and teachers can model, explain, facilitate, and support the faith of our fathers in the next generation.

Feb 22, 2019

Join two Freshman Core teachers, Gerard Babendreier and Joe Cardenas, for a discussion about how high schoolers should approach their study. To simply call this homework is an unfortunate oversimplification.

Feb 14, 2019

David Maxham explores the role of Mathematics in a Liberal Arts education. Contrary to popular perception, the Liberal Arts include a robust commitment not only to mathematics, but to a mathematical way of thinking. We don't achieve this for our students, however, simply by slogging through the usual progression of math courses. The mathematical art of liberty must be nurtured, and Dave offers some thoughts on what that looks like here.

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