Tom Jay

Tom Jay is Academy Dean at a charter school in Scottsdale, Arizona. He also teaches Latin I to fifth graders. Prior to his current position, he taught junior high at a parochial school in the Diocese of Phoenix. Tom is a graduate of the University of Dallas and also holds a Master in Humanities with a Concentration in Classical Education from UD.

recent articles

In Memoriam: Letter Writing

On a Sunday evening in the mid-1990s, some friends and I had gathered for coffee after Mass at the Newman Center and the conversation turned to what was then the latest technological advance into our daily lives: e-mail. Alone among my peers, I did not welcome e-mail. I believed it signaled the death of a … Read more

The Internet: Blessing or Curse?

Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles Robert Barron recently gave a pair of quite interesting talks at Google and Facebook. Now approaching 30 million views, Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire is the most influential Catholic evangelization ministry online. Bishop Barron is the ideal teacher, and this for two reasons: mastery of his subject and a genuine … Read more

Whose School Is It?

The school, Christopher Dawson observed, plays a pivotal role in transmitting culture. Thus every despot since Napoleon has assumed control of national education. We Americans are free and so, we believe, is our educational system. But the fact that education is compulsory and largely administered by the state makes its status as a free institution … Read more

I’ll See Your World and Raise You a Kosmos

Hubris is a theme that preoccupied the minds of the ancient Greeks. Man’s fate was unpredictable in a world governed by capricious deities, therefore one ought to temper one’s aspirations and avoid displeasing them in any way. Calamities could befall whole cities because of hubris in one man, as Sophocles dramatized in Oedipus Rex. In … Read more

Westminster Abbey: A Beautiful Confusion

Not long ago, I had the opportunity to visit Westminster Abbey. My stride was brisk as I made my way past Big Ben and took my place in line before the north door. However, my experience with this quasi-sacred space was clouded by the schizophrenia of the current Westminster Dean, with momentary flashes of exquisite … Read more

What To Do About Honey Baby Dolly?

In 7th grade, I started acting up. My father died suddenly near the end of 6th grade and when he was gone, my behavior changed. One fine day in 7th grade, Mr. Mac, my language arts teacher, whose first name was Harry, came into my social studies class to convey something to our teacher, Mrs. Gooding. … Read more

What Can a Noble Pagan Teach Us?

In a post-Christian world, ancient wisdom is all the more impressive. It isn’t difficult to see why Dante referred to the ancients as “noble pagans.” Today the noble pagans have been supplanted by militant technocrats. Perhaps our touchscreen techno-culture atrophies our imaginative faculty, which C.S. Lewis believed was the seedbed of faith. We have little … Read more

Hedge Schools and Classical Education in Ireland

The first Tuesday of the first full week in May is National Teacher Day, so this seems an opportune occasion to recall a courageous, but little-known group of teachers and schoolmasters who sacrificed comfort and security for the sake of truth, goodness, and beauty in seventeenth-century Ireland. From very early days, classical education was highly … Read more

The Canard of Islamophobia

After the bombings in Brussels and Lahore, brief, perfunctory comments of sympathy were made, and then non-Muslims were ordered to be nice to Muslims. Muslims are now what Stephen Krason has called a “favored group.” How did this happen? In 2004, then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan made the grave diagnosis that the West is … Read more

The Proper Way to Celebrate Holidays

According to a Nielsen survey conducted a few years ago, the 5th and 7th biggest beer-drinking holidays in America are Christmas and Easter respectively. That year, Americans consumed 59,393,752 cases of beer at Christmas and 53,458,630 cases on Easter. I find this strange because Christmas and Easter are the two seminal feasts on the Christian calendar, yet … Read more

Television: The Devil’s Tabernacle

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”  ∼Matthew 6: 22 – 23 I recently had … Read more

Europe: A Land Without Love

The current issue of Foreign Affairs published an essay by Ivan Krastev and Mark Leonard called “Europe’s Shattered Dream of Order: How Putin Is Disrupting the Atlantic Alliance.” The authors cite a 2014 WIN/Gallup International survey reporting dismal results from respondents regarding the virtue of patriotism in Europe. Only 29 percent of French respondents, 27 … Read more

In the Shadows of the Minarets

On June 7, the bombast of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan finally caught up with him. In violation of Turkish campaigning laws, Erdoğan publicly and vehemently warned Turks of the disaster that would ensue in their country if they did not give his party, the AKP, the 367 seats in Parliament necessary to act unilaterally. … Read more

The Goal of Classical Education is Truth

“The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.” Aristotle wrote this in the fourth century B.C. in a text called On the Heavens. Sixteen hundred years later Thomas Aquinas began his treatise On Being and Essence by paraphrasing Aristotle: “Because a small error in the beginning grows enormous at the end.…” … Read more

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