Episode 20: Head, Heart, and Hands

Episode 20: Head, Heart, and Hands

December 2, 2020

AMDG. Today’s episode is a crossover between Homecoming and curriculum deep-dives as Kolbe teacher and alumna Rebecca DeVendra describes how she’s lived out thidea that, if you’re challenged by something, it’s probably worth buckling down and learning the self-discipline to pursue. From writing “I hate Latin” in her high school textbook to earning a classics degree and from learning how to properly sharpen a pencil to her work as a representational artist, Mrs. DeVendra discusses both her own experience and how she teaches current Kolbe students. Ultimately, the conversation centers on the idea to never sell students short. By inviting them into discussions of primary sources and surrounding them with artistic mastery, we develop their senses of both curiosity and dignity.  


Resources discussed: 

Art Renewal Center 

Cast Drawing Using the Sight-Size Approach 

Drawing the Head and Hands 

Options for prints of Da Vinci’s Last Supper 

Options for prints of Bouguereau paintings 

Bouguereau’s The Elder Sister 


Artists of note (alive and painting today!) trained in Atelier Schools 

Mrs. DeVendra’s studio 

Katie G. Whipple 

Gwyneth Thompson Briggs 

William Nathans 


Have a question for the Kolbecast team? Write to us at podcast@kolbe.org.   

Episode 19: Wherever He Wants You to Go

Episode 19: Wherever He Wants You to Go

November 25, 2020

AMDG. Take heart, those with fractious high schoolers! It’s okay to not be okay sometimes. Today, we talk to Fr. Paul Hedman—the Diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’s current youngest ordained priest—and his mom Sharon, who used Kolbe to educate Fr. Paul and his three siblings. Thedescribe Fr. Hedman’s early days serving and playing Mass while homeschooled, the friction between parent and child in his high school years, the way marking events of his vocation, and his current ministry both in parish life and in providing Last Rites to those dying in the pandemic. Together with Bonnie and Hope, the Hedmans also discuss the drama of the liturgy, Advent traditions, and social media.  

Toy Mass kit 

Anointing Corps ministry article 

Past Productions by St. Paul Seminary Theater Program and Spotlight Family Theater  


Have a question for the Kolbecast team? Write to us at podcast@kolbe.org.   

Episode 18: Homer and The Hunger Games

Episode 18: Homer and The Hunger Games

November 18, 2020

AMDG. Alumnus Charlie Mihaliak, a current University of Dallas junior, joins us today to discuss how he relies on his Kolbe education in pursuing the pragmatic and the creative, the athletic and the artistic, the collective human experience and the unique individual self. Charlie reminisces with Jordan about the powerful experience of meeting friends in person after relationships developed through online classes without physical proximity. He and Hope discuss the strong sense of individuality that comes from balancing friend groups with varying interests rather than associating with one particular identity in high school. And he and Bonnie talk about the catharsis of encountering timeless big questions in drama and literature. Along the way, Charlie describes how the best opportunities tgrow in college come when you acknowledgthe fact that you have maturing to dothe importance of enhancing reality rather than escaping it, and what he would say to his tenth-grade self.  

University of Dallas Fall 2020 production of Love’s Labour’s Lost 

2018 Graduation recap 

2018 Graduation pictures 

Jordan’s graduation address 

Charlie’s graduation address 

Patricia Kolakowski’s graduation address 

The McCormick family’s graduation reflections 


Have a question for the Kolbecast team? Write to us at podcast@kolbe.org.   

Episode 17: Secure to Explore

Episode 17: Secure to Explore

November 11, 2020

AMDG. Homecoming season continues with alumna and classical violinist Sarah ThomasOn this episode, she visits with Bonnie and Hope about her experience of timelessness in homeschoolingher state’s requirement for homeschooled students of yearly evaluations with a state-certified teacher, and the skill of developing friendships with people of all ages. Sarah discusses how the security she felt being homeschooled was a foundation for her collegiate and post-collegiate travels, such as studying abroad in Austria and walking the Chartres pilgrimage in France. She also describes how her Kolbe education informed her experience working in underprivileged public schools. We wrap it up with some thoughts on the sacramental nature of music and the importance of “feeding your soul” time. 

Sarah’s website 

Bowdoin International Music Festival Q&A with Sarah 

Sarah’s master's degree recital performance of Brahms Sonata No. 1 in G Major for Violin and Piano, Op. 78 

Sarah’s bachelor’s degree recital performance of Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35 

Sarah references Josef Pieper’s book Leisure, the Basis of Culture. 

Have a question for the Kolbecast team? Write to us at podcast@kolbe.org.   

Episode 16: It’s All Greek to Me

Episode 16: It’s All Greek to Me

November 4, 2020

AMDG. In this episode, Jordan interviews Magdalen College sophomore and former Kolbe student Sophia Harne. They discuss language acquisition in general and how a strong background in Latin can help one learn any language more easily. As she indicates in the conversation, Sophia has been learning Latin since the time she learned to read English. Now, her linguistic focus is on Greek, a language that has some unique features that can’t be replicated by nor translated exactly into other languages. Underpinning the conversation is a shared journey of linguistic and educational history that began in Germany back in 2014. Enjoy the show!

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts.

Latin Flashcards.

Greek Flashcards.

Have a question for the Kolbecast team? Write to us at podcast@kolbe.org.  

Episode 15: Asparagus Moments

Episode 15: Asparagus Moments

October 28, 2020

AMDG. Taking another deep dive into the Kolbe curriculum, we visit with Therese Prudlo, who teaches history and homeroom for Kolbe’s Online Academy. She describes how, by orienting our study of history from the Incarnation, we see evidence of God’s guidance of the universe in its “state of journeying (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it.” (CCC 302). And we discuss how Kolbe’s chosen treasury of primary sources and textbooks with a narrative but rigorously accurate treatment offers Kolbe students a rich and thorough grounding in history with practical applications to everyday life. Therese offers several suggestions for approaching all subjects through the lens of history, including virtual tours, travel, and living history ideas, to underscore the idea that “history is ultimately hope.” 

Virtual tours: 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY) 

The Vatican Museum 

National Gallery of Art 

The Louvre 

Google maps: catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome 

Chartres restoration; article on New Liturgical Movement 

Catechism of the Catholic Church #302 Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. The universe was created "in a state of journeying" (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it. We call "divine providence" the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection: 

By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made, "reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and ordering all things well". For "all are open and laid bare to his eyes", even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures. 


Episode 14: We Don’t Think Those Words Mean What You Think They Mean

Episode 14: We Don’t Think Those Words Mean What You Think They Mean

October 21, 2020

AMDG. In this episode we visit with Nicole O’Connor, veteran Kolbe Academy online instructor of classical subjects, about her experience teaching logic and rhetoricWhile the term “rhetoric can have an untrustworthy connotation in common parlance, Nicole deftly describes how it is a powerful and positive thing when rightly ordered. Similarly, logic is an integral area for both formation of the individual and participation in society—all the way from coherent discussion to computer coding. As two of the three parts of the Trivium (and courses in the Kolbe high school English curriculum)both logic and rhetoric are forces for good that help us relate to each other and convey truth. What could be more noble? 

Have a question for the Kolbecast team? Write to us at podcast@kolbe.org  

Episode 13: The Next Generation

Episode 13: The Next Generation

October 14, 2020

AMDG. In this episode, we kick off Homecoming season with Kolbe 2010 graduate Alex and his wife Alex, herself a Catholic homeschool graduate (and, no, we didn’t have a typo there—they're both named Alex). Mr. Alex discusses his experience as a chemistry major, law student, and Wisconsin Supreme Court judicial clerk, and Mrs. Alex discusses her experience as a pre-nursing student, massage therapist, and seamstress. Together, they’re raising a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a babe on the way. Do these two homeschool graduates plan to homeschool their children? Listen in and find out! 

Mrs. Alex’s shop 

Have a question for the Kolbecast team? Write to us at podcast@kolbe.org.   


Episode 12: Phone a Friend

Episode 12: Phone a Friend

October 7, 2020

AMDG. Learning disadvantages and special needs are the topics of the day as Dean of Students Celeste Cuellar joins usHer background includes teaching every age between preschool and college as well as mental health and career counseling, and she serves Kolbe families by finding ways to meet students’ individual needs. Along the way, Jordan discusses the college professor side of working with students who have learning challenges, Bonnie references a few of the many resources Celeste has compiled, and Hope draws from both C.S. Lewis and Ferris Bueller about the undulations and nervous moments of life.  

Celeste on FB Live 


Catholic Homeschooling with Dyslexia and Other LDs 

Screwtape Letter 8, read by John Cleese: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcXMwlZi8hk  

Susan Barton’s Bright Solutions for Dyslexia 

Have a question for the Kolbecast team? Write to us at podcast@kolbe.org  

Episode 11: Truth, Wisdom, Virtue

Episode 11: Truth, Wisdom, Virtue

September 30, 2020

AMDG. Everett Buyarski, Kolbe’s Director of Academic Services, joins the crew this episode to discuss Kolbe’s history, mission, and philosophy. He discusses what “classical in content,” “Ignatian in method,” and “principle of subsidiarity” mean in the context of a Kolbe education; describes how the University of Paris in the 1500s and the University of Kansas in the 1970s both directly influence Kolbe’s rigorous curriculum; and turns the tables on Jordan, Bonnie, and Hope, putting each of them on the spot in Socratic form. 

Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages 

Everett’s recent Facebook Live detailing these topics 

What can you do with a degree in Philosophy? Everett’s January 2019 conversation with Jordan 

Have a question for the Kolbecast team? Write to us at podcast@kolbe.org.

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