Monthly Archives: December 2014

The New Building: A Senior’s Thoughts

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By Daniel Richardson, Class of 2015

Having been at Westminster since kindergarden, I’ve seen the school grow and shift in different ways. I’ve witnessed the addition of the sanctuary, the arrival of the modulars, and now as I begin my senior year the completion of the new building. This last event is perhaps the most exciting one I’ve experienced in my time here. Although the core of Westminster does not exist in the foundations of a building, there is something to be said about having classes in neatly furnished rooms as opposed to ones with thin plastic walls.

From the moment I stepped under the vaulted archway into the skylit atrium, the new building instilled within me a sense of awe and grandeur. From the house banners hanging along the walls to the hardwood floors which line the hallways, this building incorporates the detail and elegance that characterize the Westminster education.

It is clear that the building was built not just to provide a space, but to provide a quality environment conducive for learning. Every aspect of the new campus speaks to the values and distinctives of Westminster. Although I am saddened at only being able to spend one year in the new facility, I am encouraged and heartened at what those who come after me will get to experience. In the mean time, however, I will settle for kicking back and relaxing in the posh, new senior lounge.

Holy Harkness

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By Jack Stein, Class of 2015

Part of what makes Westminster such a special place is its mission.  Westminster is a school that prides itself on producing wisdom, virtue, and eloquence in all of its students.  This is evidenced by every intentional detail surrounding the school, from the advanced curriculum that the school offers to the architectural layout of the building.  More than anything else, Westminster is a place where students are equipped with knowing how to think with Christ being the center of Truth.

There is no better place to look for an example of the school’s mission than the Harkness Room, the focal classroom on the second floor centered around the long wooden discussion table that shares its name.  The physical layout itself stands out from every other classroom in the building.  Fifteen chairs encircle a singular table, which is directly located under a vaulted ceiling.  Certainly, it is not a room that would be found in most schools.  However, if one were to walk through the door and into the room, the conversation that would most likely be taking place would stand out even more.

The Harkness Room is one focused on quality discussion that point towards the truth of Christ in works of literature, philosophy, and world history.  Students use the eloquence that they have acquired to articulate their positions on a given topic.  The teacher sits anywhere around the table and simply guides the discussion.  There is no spoon-feeding answers to the students.  There are no lectures.  There is simply a discussion.  This approach to learning not only cultivates eloquence, but it forces the students to strive for wisdom as they present and defend their ideas to the rest of the class.

In the midst of all the back and forth stands Christ, the basis of our educational paradigm.  Evidenced by the ceiling of the room pointing to the sky, all discussions are aimed at discovering truth and virtue–truth that is found in Christ and virtue that can influence the world. 

The goal of the room is not to simply accumulate knowledge, but to hold a mirror to God’s wisdom and let it change the way the students and even the teachers view the world.

Personality and “the Path”

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By Abigail Mathis, Class of 2018

“The Path” is a new college guidance program at Westminster. One tool it uses to help freshmen start thinking ahead is the Myers Briggs Personality Assessment. The Myers Briggs Assessment gives every person a combination of four letters describing their personality. These letters are E for extrovert or I for introvert, N for intuitive or S for observant, T for thinking or F for feeling, and finally J for judging or P for prospecting. These letters can be combined in sixteen different ways, creating the sixteen different personality types. For instance, an ENFP (extroverted, intuitive, feeling, prospecting) loves to be around people, trust their intuition, bases their decisions off of what they feel, and is very relaxed about work and life. While the ISTJ (introverted, observant, thinking, judging) prefers to be alone, rely on what he or she senses, follows logic over feeling, and sticks to the rules completely.

And from what I can tell, this test is crazy accurate. My personality type is an ESFP, and it is spot on. ESFP’s love to entertain people, can read other people’s emotions, and thoroughly enjoy the luxuries in life — to the extent that it might be unhealthy for their wallet. This is exactly me. And I am no the only one who has been completely and pleasantly surprised by the accurateness of the Myers Briggs Assessment; everyone is talking about it. My friend is an ENFP and expresses that her lack of desire to submit to authority forcing her to do anything is because it’s in her personality to be defiant and completely independent. She also loves to have fun and knows when it’s time to relax, unlike her sister whose personality is ESTJ and finds it difficult just to relax and have fun. Both fit their personality types to the tee.

This test tells you your strengths, weaknesses, which personalities it is easy (or not so easy) to work with, optimal career choices, and much more. I learned things about myself that I did not know before and this is the case for everyone who has taken the test. Though I do believe that just because the test says you are something, that does not mean you have to fit that personality type perfectly all the time. Your personality might say you could have difficulty in academics, but this does not mean you should give up on school because your personality explanation says it might be harder. It just tells you an area that tends to be more difficult for that your personality type. All that being said, the Myers Briggs test is extremely accurate, and I believe that everyone should take it, not just the freshmen.