Today’s blog was guest written by CPLS Rhetoric School faculty, Trent Leach.
In the spring of 2005, I was finishing graduate school and a roommate introduced me to classical, Christian education. I remember vividly our conversation when he mentioned, “this unusual school in Kansas named after the Chronicles of Narnia.” Coincidentally, it wasn’t long before I found myself driving from Indiana to teach a lesson to their Great Ideas class and interview with the administration for a faculty position.
As part of the interview process, the then-current Dean of Faculty, James Waldy, gave me a tour of the CPLS campus. He beamed with pride as he spoke about the Tudor-style architecture of the main building. The interior reflected much of the theology of beauty that grounds classical, Christian education.
As we exited the rear of the gym, his tone quickly changed, and I could tell he was somewhat embarrassed. We were standing outside between two modular trailer units, and he said, “These are only temporary. We will be getting rid of them soon!” I could see why he was quick to explain these unattractive metal boxes. They did not reflect the beauty to which classical, Christian schools aspire. However, they were a cost-effective measure to provide four classrooms until a more appropriate building could be constructed.
The modular units are scheduled to be removed this winter to clear space for the new building expansion.
Four months later, I moved from Indiana to Topeka to join the Rhetoric faculty and once again stood in front of the trailers before moving into my first assigned classroom. Affectionately known as the “Mod Pods,” I taught classes in the metal boxes for about seven years.
Nearly 20 years later, I have come full circle and again find myself teaching in the “temporary” modular classrooms. But this time, “temporary” really means “temporary.” Plans that were roughly envisioned almost 3 decades ago will finally come to fruition and the metal boxes will officially expire in about four months!
I am reminded that in the grand scheme of time, this is but a blink. In some sense, all that we create is “temporary.” We are not called to make a permanent home but to be good stewards of what is entrusted to us for a time. I am grateful to those leaders at CPLS who continue to be prudent stewards of the school’s resources.
Much has changed since I first moved to Kansas. Our society has changed with such rapidity that we are still grappling with this brave new world. And yet, the faithfulness of the Lord remains.
Believe it or not, I find myself looking forward to the next two years while the Rhetoric school will once again be asked to “make do” while construction is underway. But this time our flexibility and patience will be rewarded with a fresh space designed for Rhetoric students where they will learn to become eloquent and grow in wisdom.
God continues to guide the growth of the school and I’m proud to be part of its journey.
Mr. Leach in 2005 and now