Headmaster Janikowsky opened his discussion of the Senior Capstone trip last week with a quote from Tristan Gylberd: “If you always go where you have always gone and always do what you have always done, you will always be what you have always been.” The senior class of Westminster Academy has certainly gone, done, and seen things they had never experienced before, and as a result, they have come away forever changed. “Italy is kind of the ‘triple whammy’ in terms of our curriculum, and we were able to cover Roman, Medieval and Renaissance art and history during our trip,” said Mr. Janikowsky. “It is truly a capstone to this classical Christian education, and to see and hear the discussions from the students during the trip was very rewarding as an educator.”
The students traveled to Rome, Orvieto, Assisi, Siena and Florence during their time, and were able to see and experience landmarks of historical significance from history lessons as far back as their 3rd grade year at Westminster. As part of the curriculum of the trip, students were given a reading packet, required to function as tour guides at several key sites, and were assigned a 750 word expository paper. They were also required to keep a daily journal, and give group oral presentations.
At this week’s assembly, the seniors gave their presentations about various sites and works of art they visited on the trip. They spoke of places and works that had a lasting affect on them, revealing some of the ways they came away personally changed and enlightened as a result of the trip. Among the topics presented were Lorenzetti’s Allegory of Good and Bad Government, The Colosseum, The Catacombs of St. Callixtus, and churches in Siena and Assisi.
In speaking of visiting the Colosseum, Emily Jordan said, “Standing there made all of those years of history lessons truly come alive. I expected to turn the corner and see someone standing there in a toga.”
And after her presentation on the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, Ellen Weaver noted the significance of visiting the very roots of the Christian faith. “Because of their [the saints and martyrs] sacrifices, we are able to flourish as Christians today,” she said. “Seeing their legacy reminds us that we should strive to leave our footprints and marks on the world to encourage future generations of Christians.”