ALMOST NOTHING; All the following were as near perfect as one could hope for:
re the above:
So it WAS all perfect then? Well, NO - there are some things that I would have wished to be different. SOME of these I realized at the time, but others I thought of in hindsight, after more experience of life and indeed the teaching profession, which I entered.
A) RELIGION: There was never any doubt that one was supposed to be "Christian". John Smitherman was proud to announce in the very first "Janus" that the school had adopted the motto: "Nisi Dominus Vanum". We were told that this meant: "Without the Lord all is in vain,", but as far as I can see it does NOT mean that exactly - even if it is supposed to do so. It is apparently a reference to the 127th Psalm, and a more precise motto expressing the sentiment would have been: "Nisi Dominus Frustra". He wrote this:
"We have taken as our school motto "Nisi Dominus Vanum". Let this be an inspiration to us all in our work for the School. Too few people today put any faith in anything; too few people are willing to acknowledge the place of religion in their lives. Without our faith and trust in God, without His help, all our work here will indeed be in vain."
Unfortunately, the motto is intellectual and philosophical nonsense. I am an atheist, and have been so since very young. I think it was since a little girl who lived near us was killed on a zebra crossing. I was only 6 or 7, but I could not understand even then why if "God" was all-powerful and loving he would allow a child to be killed. Later we learned about "Original Sin", which to me just seemed - and still does - utter BS. If Adam did wrong then let Adam suffer - not a little girl thousands of year later.
"Without the Lord all is in vain."? So, if I as an atheist do something to help someone - even save their life - it is "in vain" since I have presumably done it without "God"? I was always uneasy about this motto at school, but I went along with it all. I do think that Jesus existed, that his message was beautiful and that he was a "perfect human", unlike the Satanic sub-human who had a vision on a mountain in the 6th century. I liked assemblies. I found the hymns uplifting. Prayer seems to be something that comes naturally to humans whatever their faith. I could go along with the basic message, but accepting there is an extraterrestrial being controlling everything? And if he, she or it IS controlling everything then they are not doing a very good job of it, are they.
But there was no questioning this at school. My memories are hazy to say the least, but I don't recall in R.I. any discussions about atheism or even other religions: no Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism or whatever - yet there are thousands of alternatives to Christianity. Education should be about teaching children HOW to think, not WHAT to think. That was not done at WHS as far s religion was concerned.