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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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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 27, 2017

Join CFO Phil McGovern and Director of Annual Giving James Kolakowski for a discussion on smart giving. The new tax laws, stock market, and end of year present interesting opportunities for donors and schools alike. Listen in to hear more about how to make the most of your gifts!

Dec 19, 2017

Jeremy Tate, President and Co-Founder of the Classical Learning Test, and Kirby Hartley, Director of Outreach, join us for a conversation about the new SAT. The revised SAT is easier, aligns (and promotes) the Common Core, and has proven less helpful to top students than previous versions of the test. Learn how the CLT presents an alternative route to college entry that supports the mission of schools like The Heights.

Dec 14, 2017

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.

Nov 29, 2017

Boys need mentors. We know this intuitively from our observations of young and older boys alike. But why? Join Mr. Joe Cardenas (Head of Mentoring) and Alex Berthe (7th Grade Core Teacher) for a conversation on why boys–and their parents–need mentoring.

Nov 21, 2017

Hillsdale College Dr. Matt Spalding continues his conversation with us about American History, and the theory of education in 20th century America.

If you haven't listened to Part I of the episode, listen here.

  • 3:28: Schools are trying to do too much in their study of History.
    • APs and other similar courses and curricula force us to cover too much ground in a superficial way.
    • The most important task for parents and teachers is to give students an imagination. Otherwise, history becomes flat and dry.
    • We should be more simple in our approach; students can find data on their own with ease if they have basic skills.
    • We have to break through the idea that there are no absolute truths.
  • 8:28: American education shifted in the Progressive Era due to the influence of, among others, John Dewey.
    • Classical and Medieval thought had a shared understanding of reality, which is why Shakespeare, Aristotle and Aquinas could all talk about the same things.
    • In the modern world, there is a shift beginning with Machiavelli, and running through Hegel.
    • This though enters the American context through the Progressive Era. There were two key assumptions to this line of thinking. (1) There are no permanent things, and everything is relative; thus the pursuit of truth and knowledge makes no sense. (2) All things change with time; they are historical. Past thinkers, including the founders, did not have a historical sense; all things are relative to their time.
    • This yields an education system that is not about transferring knowledge, but about discovering ourselves through a deconstructive process. This is a departure from the world of Churchill, the Founders, the Classical and Ancient worlds, in which education served the process of "liberating" the mind to know these timeless truths.
    • Progressive history is summed up in quote by Carl Becker, "Whether the Declaration of Independence is true is a meaningless question." To the contrary, that is the question. It was what Washington and Lincoln grappled with, as do we today.
  • 17:19: What are colleges looking for in a high school graduate?
    • Student who will flourish in college is the one who can do the basic human things as the "rational animal." The great gift is the gift of speech--articulating, communicating, reading, being able to discuss other things that others have communicated.
    • Students must have a basic framework of history, along with the main aspects of character and human nature.
    • This student will flourish if the objective of college is not necessarily a professional degree.  To the contrary, college should be a time when you continue your thinking, with other people learning to think, guided by someone with years of experience guiding, such that one liberates his mind using the wisdom of the past.  College is an organized experiment in thinking well about the true things.
    • A young man's capacity to flourish and succeed is seen, more than anywhere else, in his character.
    • High school should provide a good education:  knowledge, yes, but also habits of thinking and doing that are rooted in more than mere technical knowledge.

Dr. Spalding's most recent book is We Still Hold These Truths.

Nov 17, 2017

Matt Spalding discusses the importance of studying history, and the problems with the contemporary approach.

Nov 10, 2017

Dr. Matthew Mehan unpacks the liberal arts. We can throw the term around to describe our school, but do we really understand what we mean? Is it more than a list of good books? Dr. Mehan explores what it means to be a student of the "arts of liberty"–a life long pursuit.  For all of us.

Nov 3, 2017

Dan Lively joins us for a podcast on Systems for Athletic Success.

Why Sytems and not Goals?

Scott Adams, "How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big."

Washington Post Article on GW's Nick Griffin.

Systems for Athletic Success

MobilityWod

Systems for Commitment and Communication

Do sports always build character?

Oct 30, 2017
Michael Moynihan, Upper School Head at The Heights, offers practical and concrete guidance on how to help your son right the academic ship when his failure is entirely within his control.
 
Michael Moynihan, Upper School Head at The Heights, offers practical and concrete guidance on how to help your son right the academic ship when his failure is entirely within his control.  As you will hear in this episode, we reference two other episodes related to academics: 
In academics, as in other areas, we come face to face with the cold and hard fact that our boys' destiny is very much in their hands.  We temper that realization with a healthy dose of patience and optimism, and with the knowledge that there is much we can do to set our boys on the right path.
Oct 19, 2017

This week we re-listen to an interview with Eric Heil on the importance of Green Time. Through his experience teaching 3rd graders, Eric demonstrates the benefits that come with exposure to nature.

Oct 13, 2017

Headmaster Alvaro de Vicente discusses things that we can do to help our sons "walk with kings, but keep the common touch" (Kipling) in this age of affluence.  Listen to part 1 to hear him discuss the challenges; part 2 presents positive points for us to consider as we navigate the current era.

Oct 6, 2017

This podcast features the first half of a lecture delivered by our headmaster on the topic of Raising Boys in an Age of Affluence.  We live in one of the wealthiest cities, in the wealthiest country, in the wealthiest era in the history of the world. In general, there's no place we'd rather be and we are blessed. There are however, certain predispositions that societal affluence can engender in our students and sons. There are also many things that we, as parents and teachers, can do to cultivate our sons into tough, mindful, devoted men. Tune into HeightsCast next week for part II of the lecture.

Sep 29, 2017

The Heights requires its students to study Latin. Why? Is it from a love of the old? Are we simply fascinated by antiquity? To the contrary, there are excellent practical and existential reasons for classical studies. The benefits we seek in language study generally are found to be more powerful within the particular study of Latin. Moreover, speaking the language of the ancients allows us to communicate with them.  This bears fruit in our capacity to know the truth, and our ability to serve the polity through well-informed and practical citizenship. Listen in to hear Mr. Myers and Dr. Yaceczko discuss why your sons will spend at least three of their years here learning a language that can help us be fully alive.

Sep 22, 2017

Today on HeightsCast, Joe Cardenas, Head of Mentoring at The Heights, proposes 5 purposes of study. Our boys should always have a "why" in mind before they roll up their sleeves and dive into their study. But are grades enough? Not really--at least they shouldn't be.  Joe argues that there is a deeper purpose to our deep study.

Sep 15, 2017

Dr. Cal Newport joins us for Part II of his interview on Forming Deep Workers. What does a middle or high school deep worker look like? Cal Newport discusses APs, Classroom Tech, College Admissions, and more.

Sep 8, 2017

As parents, we fight distraction in our lives daily. Our phones tether us to the trivial, and our inability to stay off email for even limited periods of time costs us the rewards and satisfaction of deep work.  America’s youth, to an even greater extent, are losing the ability to focus on difficult tasks.

This podcast features Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, and How to Be a High School Superstar. Dr. Newport, a Computer Science professor at Georgetown University, has a strong following in The Heights community, as his notions of deep work jive perfectly with our attempts to raise contemplative sons and competent professionals.

Listen in, both for your son and for yourself. Stay tuned for next week’s episode with Cal on How to Be a High School Superstar, and to learn more about Cal and his work check out his blog at CalNewport.com.

Jul 31, 2017

This week on HeightsCast Dr. Matt Mehan offers his thoughts on Homer's Odyssey. In particular, Dr. Mehan focuses on the the first four books of the Odyssey and the arts of friendship and mentoring young men. Listen in for a concrete example of the contemporary applicability of the artes liberales.

Jul 13, 2017

Join Mr. Tom Longano for part two of his series on raising readers. He provides guidance here for refining the reading habits of two diametrically opposed categories of readers. No silver bullets, just points for consideration and reflection. Also, insights into Mr. Longano's personal journey towards a love of reading.

Jun 16, 2017

As fathers, we play a central and critical role in the lives of our families.  Despite that, however, we have lost many of the communities that in ages past offered us practical advice and wisdom.  Michael Moynihan steps into this void offering the contemporary father concise and thoughtful timeless advice about how to fulfill your role as a father.  In this podcast, Michael talks about his new book, and some of the central components of being the pater familias.

Jun 9, 2017

"Have a great summer!" We hear it and say it incessantly, but what are we actually wishing for our boys? 21st Century America gives boys 3 months off--that is one quarter of the year and an enormous amount of time. Join Lower School Head, Colin Gleason, for a discussion of three ways that young boys can fill their summer with healthy leisure and positive growth.

Jun 3, 2017

Can a 20 second prayer transform your day? How about your son's?  Heights teacher and author, Michael Ortiz, discusses how a century old norm of piety--the Morning Offering--allows us to renew each and every day while placing our prayers, works, joys, and sufferings on the altar.Can a 20 second prayer transform your day?  How about your son's? Heights teacher and author, Michael Moynihan, discusses how a century old norm of piety--the Morning Offering--allows us to renew each and every day while placing our prayers, works, joys, and sufferings on the altar.

May 17, 2017

In this episode, third grade teacher, Mr. Tom Longano, shares his experience on how to foster a love of reading in his students.

Apr 11, 2017

This week on HeightsCast, we listen to the second part of Mr. Alvaro de Vicente's lecture on Moral Imagination.

Apr 6, 2017

Boys develop a world view and paradigm that informs much of how they see themselves and their obligations to the world around them. This view informs not only their macro view, but also their smaller interactions with day to day situations. What is this view, or moral imagination, why does it matter, and how do we shape it for the good?

Mar 29, 2017

Prof. Eddie Smith, former Heights faculty and long time history teacher at American University, shares a few moments with us on Frederick Douglass to prepare listeners for Saturday night's Heights Lecture. Who was Frederick Douglass and how did he, a liberated slave, so dramatically change the course of American history? Enjoy this HeightsCast recorded in Hoban's Pub in Washington D.C.

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