Each day this week, we will feature one of our remaining five seniors’ thesis presentations. Each presentation is approximately 25 minutes in length, followed by 20 minutes of thesis defense. To view previous presentations, visit our Petra Vimeo Channel.
April 24, Monday, 11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
Bradley Westberg | Defending the Defensive Vote: The Christian Voter’s Role in a Secular Political Sphere
My paper critiques the desire to either vote third party or not at all when faced with two undesirable candidates. I argue that Christians who aim for the best interests of society should always vote in a meaningful way, even if that results in a vote deemed the “lesser of two evils.”
April 25, Tuesday, 11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
Collette Broling | The Tale of Two Narratives: Why the American Narrative is Detracting from the Beauty of the Traditional Christian Narrative
My paper looks at how influential stories are in shaping the values and identity of a culture, and then analyzes what stories have played a meaningful role in shaping American values and identity. I argue that the American church has adopted these American narratives as core identity shapers, rather than remaining true to the essential Christian narrative. This Christian narrative is grace-saturated and so oftentimes runs at cross-purposes to the American narratives of independence, consumerism, and nationalism. It is to the Church’s detriment that Christians allow themselves to be shaped by these narratives, rather than the story of the gospel.
April 26, Wednesday, 11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
Elizabeth Murray | Vaults vs. Volts: Have Modern Churches Lost the Meaning and Majesty of Gothic Cathedrals?
My paper examines the architectural differences between Gothic cathedrals and modern church buildings, arguing that in adopting a more conventional building style, modern churches are unable to communicate certain important truths about God and humanity in a way cathedrals were designed to do.
April 27, Thursday, 12:50-1:40 p.m.
Devon Hotalen | Too Cool for School: What is the Real Meaning of College?
My paper looks at why college is a beneficial option, despite the fact that high school graduates could immediately enter the job market without getting a degree. I examine what college historically has aimed for when it comes to helping students grow into more prepared, developed adults, then show how college still plays an important role in shaping us for the future.
April 28, Friday, 11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
Bruce Clark | Righteous Reactions: Is Job a True Model in Suffering?
My paper argues that although the biblical character of Job does utter some surprising words about God, he still offers us a good model for how we ought to respond to suffering in our lives.
This Friday, April 28, is a Spirit Day! Students and staff are invited to wear their new and old Griffin Gear with jeans, and parents are invited to gather at 3:20 p.m. in the gymnasium for our Contio Spiritus to meet our Ultimate Frisbee teams. All Petra families are invited to come out Saturday to Petra’s sports field for the opening Ultimate Frisbee tournament of the season. Play begins at 9 a.m. and runs to 4 p.m.:
- 9:00 Varsity Petra vs. Stillwater
- 10:10 Varsity Petra vs MVC
- 11:20 Varsity Stillwater vs MVC
- 12:30 JV Petra vs Stillwater
- 1:40 JV Stillwater vs MVC
- 2:50 JV MVC vs Petra
Admission is free, so come cheer on the Griffins!
Whether seniors or seventh graders (both pictured), our Secondary students enjoyed this year’s Protocol. A big thanks to Just a Taste Catering and Un-Knotted for their culinary expertise in making Protocol a huge success for our 7th-12th grade students. In case you missed the reception beforehand, enjoy these portraits taken by our own Curtis Johnson, who has a gift of capturing the personality of Petra’s students in a beautiful way (not to mention a generosity in sharing his photos with our community).
With last week’s Resurrection Feast on Wednesday, we completed our second season of three annual celebratory Feasts at Petra! A special thanks to our anonymous donor who underwrote our Feast efforts, as well as to Sabo Ranch and the Amsterdam Meat Shop for donating all the meat. As a Christian school, we have much to celebrate! Read Mr. Dunham’s homily (and see pictures from the Feast) in our Scholar’s Forum.
In addition to our monthly Grammar Recitation beginning at 8:35 a.m. on Friday, May 5, Petra is glad to invite and welcome grandparents to join us for the morning. Enjoy time with your grandchild in our classrooms and hallways as they walk you through a little of all that goes on at Petra Academy. Interested in signing up to help with refreshments or have other questions about Grandparents’ Day? Email Office Manager Karen DeGroot.
April 18, Tuesday, 11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
Alyssa Drake | Medicate or Meditate: Should Christians Take Anti-Depressants?
My paper looks at the unease some Christians feel when it comes to taking medication to deal with anxiety and/or depression. I view depression as we would another mental illness such as schizophrenia, arguing that it is healthier and more beneficial to treat depression as we would another mental illness.
April 20, Thursday, 8:20-9:00 a.m.
Logan Moody | The Not-So-Sweet Story: Why We Need a Tax on Sugar
Taking into account the physical damage that too much sugar consumption can cause to our bodies, I argue in my paper that a federally imposed tax on sugary beverages would offer significant health and financial benefits.
April 20, Thursday, 12:50-1:40 p.m.
Gabriela McDermott | Droning On: Whether the Military Should Continue Its Use of Drones
I argue that despite the moral questions raised by drone warfare, the benefits they offer the U.S. military should lead us to support their continued use and technological development, so long as those drones are semi-autonomous, not fully autonomous.
April 21, Friday, 10:35-11:15 a.m. (TIME CHANGE)
Alyx Nettik | Subversion and Surveillance: Was Snowden Justified in Blowing the Whistle?
I look at the questions surrounding Edward Snowden’s decision to reveal classified information in order to protect the privacy of American citizens, arguing that his actions should be praised, not earn him the label of a traitor.
Protocol, scheduled for this Friday, April 21, is a special event for Secondary students that builds community outside the normal confines of the school day as students engage with one another in the context of a formal social gathering. Due to Protocol being on a Friday rather than a Saturday this year, we will dismiss all Secondary students at 2 p.m. on Friday to facilitate them getting ready for the big event. School for Secondary students will still begin at 8:20 a.m. on Friday per normal, but there will not be Ultimate Frisbee practice after school.
We always enjoy having guests in our Petra classrooms. This week, Republic Airline pilot (and Petra dad) Will Bennett spoke to our 1st grade students about aviation, and Sarah Fields, a representative from Montana Conservation Corps, spoke to our 10th grade college prep class on MCC’s High School Expedition Program. Thanks for coming!
We had a full house, an enjoyable program, and plenty of cookies to go around afterward at last week’s Schola Cantorum spring concert. Thanks to all the parents who came, as well as to directors Heidi Hornung and Ginny Owens for their good work with the students this winter and spring. We loved receiving this email from a Petra dad:
“Sports build teamwork and the ability of kids for work together…but I think there is something special about music ensembles, especially choir. CONGRATS to everyone ON A FABULOUS CONCERT. In particular, I thought the connection between the kids in the choirs was starting to show at last night’s concert. In my experience this musical connection tends to drive excellence, so it’s very exciting to see.”
Petra Academy will be closed in observance of Good Friday, April 14, and reopen on Monday, April 17. To commemorate the significance of this Easter weekend, we leave you with a picture of our griffin, a mythological creature used by Dante Alighieri as a poetic symbol for the incarnate Christ. Our griffin’s rampant posture signifies Christ’s active dominance and protection as He builds His Kingdom in our world as Victor and King. With this vision as its center, Petra Academy teaches students how to imitate Christ as He recreates the world through His inexorable love and indomitable grace. Thanks be to God!