Takeaki Hori, vice president of PEN International, Visits The DCG

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Takeaki Hori with students of the DCG on a literary panel discussion

Takeaki Hori paid a visit to St. Stanislav’s institution on 27th March 2019 to talk to third years and student writers of school’s literary magazine. Mr Takeaki is a professor at Fudjivara Joshiharu University, journalist, Japanese PEN ex-president, haiku researcher, anthropologist and environmentalist. Firstly, Mrs. Ifigenija Zagoričnik Simonović, the Slovenia PEN president, presented PEN international and its mission. PEN is an international organisation of poets, essayists and novelists, (more and more journalists are joining in), which was established in London, 1926, after the World War I, to help novelists who were in detention or were persecuted. Each year an International meeting is organised in Bled, Slovenia. Literary artist and PEN members from different countries discuss contemporary world situation, related issues and enjoy the calm environment of natural beauty.

A haiku appears to be an important subject in Mr. Hori’s life. It is a short form in traditional Japanese poetry. It consists of 17 syllables in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5. Everyone holds Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) up as an example how to write a perfect one. He was a pioneer with haikus; he transformed an already existing form of a Japanese poem, saying that everything good has its limit. Mr. Hori believes that a man can write a good haiku only when he takes time for it. Since it always reflects any author’s inner experience, it is always good for him, but not necessarily for the public. He explained that “haiku is philosophy and science. It depends on each individual, how he approaches to it and how deep he can dive in, always opening wide dimensions of its comprehension.”

Mr. Hori works on many other fields as well. Currently he focuses on historical studies about the end of WWII when Japan was marked with Hiroshima and Nagasaki catastrophe. He strives to stop the use of nuclear weapons; therefore, he also encourages people to create haikus for peace. Besides attending PEN International Meeting this year in Slovenia, he also collaborated with PEN at the opening of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Pain and Courage Exhibition in the National Museum of Contemporary History in Ljubljana. At PEN they are willing to promote peace and want to assert the right for peace. This is also the reason why they opened the exhibition on 25th March 2019. To show that it is of utmost importance to listen to war victims, let them talk about the atrocities and learn what happened to them. Only then will we be able to prevent another outburst of such or even worse type. Mr. Hori, who experienced the catastrophe as a child, wonders repeatedly: “Why did it happen? Why can’t we live in peace, without fear of being attacked with nuclear weapon?” He presented the work of ICAN, an international non-governmental organisation, which attempts to abolish nuclear weapons and was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for peace. He is proud of its focus on the victims and their stories, not only on the historical background, pictures and objects, which could be seen in museums. /Lucija Stopar, year 4/

The DCG Team Pecunia Wins the Generation €uro Competition and is to Meet Draghi in Frankfurt, Germany

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The winning DCG team Pecunia with governor Boštjan Vasle (on the rightmost side) in vice governor Primož Dolenc (on the leftmost side). ©The Bank of Slovenia

The team of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium students with Amber Bervar, Tinkara Toplak, Vita Hrast, Jerneja Koren and Nik Smerkolj, is the winner of the Slovene part of The European Central Bank (ECB) international competition entitled Generation €uro. It took place on 28th March 2019 in the Bank of Slovenia, joining 21 teams from 11 Slovene high schools from all over the country.  This is the third win for the DCG team at this competition.

The competition offers an opportunity to the generation growing up with the concept of Euro, to learn about the monetary policy, its relationship with economy and broadens the knowledge of central banks functioning. The jury recognised in the team’s presentation profound and conceptual understanding of a rather complex problematics of the Eurozone monetary policy. As a reward, the DCG team will travel in May with their mentor, Tadej Rifel, Ph. D., and the representatives of the Bank of Slovenia to the ECB Seat in Frankfurt. There, Mario Draghi, the President of ECB, will congratulate the DCG team as well as all other winning teams form EU member countries. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

Exchange with Kanto Daiichi High School Tokio, Japan

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Anticipation is in the air

Last school year The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium and Kanto Daiichi High School had an exchange and it went really well so it will take place again from 27th March – 2nd April 2019. Fifteen Japanese students a couple of the teachers will spend a week in Ljubljana.

The exchange will be educational and will involve bond making as well. The exchange will include visits to a lot of historical and natural attractions and some sightseeing. We will have a short city tour of Ljubljana, visiting the beautiful sights of the capital city. There will be a one-day excursion where we will visit Logarska Valley, Celje and Celje Castle and stop at Trojane to have some doughnuts. Some time will be dedicated for Japanese and Slovene students to hang out with host families and experience Slovene way of life. We expect to learn a lot about Japan, brush up our English and improve social skills. Students of the DCG are all really looking forward to the exchange. /Vesna Bukovnik and Neža Tomažič, year 2/

The Academic Society Unitas Würzburg to Visit St. Stanislav’s Institution

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The Academic Society UNITAS Wurzburg

Ten representatives of The Academic Society Unitas Würzburg are to visit St. Stanislav’s Institution on Tuesday, 26th March 2019. Among them, we shall welcome also two alumni of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium Marko Planinc and Jan Pintar who together with Pavel Orešnik have received a scholarship for undertaking the university studies in Würzburg. Irena Bolta, teacher of German at the DCG and Pavel’s class teacher, has been in charge of the link with Society Unitas since its very beginnings in 1997.

Since 1855 The Academic Society Unitas Würzburg has been there to assist science Catholic students and academics. In 1877 Archbishop Jeglič, the founder of St. Stanislav’s Institution, was accepted as member when on a study tour in Germany. He kept in touch with UNITAS also later when appointed the archbishop. Pre-war alumni dr. Marjan Zupančič, an UNITAS member as well, informed his fellow member about the reestablishment of Stanislav’s Institution in 1993. The society embraced the news enthusiastically, offering the possibility of university studies in Germany to one alumni of the DCG. This was Pavel Orešnik (1st generation), an attorney specialised in German transport, civil engineering and architecture law, with an office in Tettnang, Bavaria, Germany. The second alumni to benefit from the UNITAS generosity was Marko Planinc (10th generation), who finished studies of business informatics; presently Jan Pintar (18th generation) is studying social politics at Bayerische Julius-Maximilians Universität Wurzbürg.

We are happy to welcome all members, especially Mr Steimer, thanks to who alumni of DCG have had a chance to study in Würtzburg and has taken care of the constant financial support throughout the 22 years of fruitful common cooperation. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

“Nech ten chram” to Wrap Up the Traditional Exchange of Three Slavic Gymnasiums

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Necht Ten Chram: Let the joyous song come from our hearts

This is how one of the participants of the exchange experienced the second part of the stay in Trenčín: “On 20th March 2019 in the morning, the choir headed to the practice for the concert in the evening, whereas the linguistic group finished its posters and began designing models of the chosen architects’ famous buildings. The group that was studying Jože Plečnik was working on a model of the biggest cemetery in Ljubjana, Žale. After lunch we took a bus to a town called Hlohovec, where the choirs were to have a concert in the evening. While the Polish and Slovak choirs were practicing, our group visited the castle. We had a short tour of the building and the choir did not miss the chance to sing in the castle’s chapel. In the evening all three choirs performed and the Slovenes delivered an amazing performance. After the concert some students returned to their hosting families and others went back to the hostel where Mr. Zlobko, the school chaplain, held a mass.

On the following day all the choirs had a practice for the final concert and the linguistic group was given some time to finish the models and prepare presentations. Before lunch choirs gave a lunch concert for the students of the school in Trenčín and the linguistic groups presented their work. In the afternoon we had some free time and roamed the city centre, enjoying the sunny day. At six we gathered at the church for the final concert. All of the choirs sang beautifully and they wrapped up the meeting with the traditional Nech ten chram, when the joyous song was literally coming from happy heats. After dinner at school we had some free time and spent time in cafes in the centre. We returned to the hostel late at night and held a mass in honour of Rok’s birthday.

On Friday 22nd March 2019 we packed our bags and headed to school for a final mass where we sang togeter with our Slovak and Polish friends. After bidding them goodbye and thanking for the kind hospitality and great creativity days, we were homeward bound. /Eva Sedej, year 2/

At the end of the exchange an inspirational idea flashed Mr Zlobko’s mind: “Music is the language of love. If silence is the language of God in which He speaks to men, human’s response is music.

Hori Takeaki to Visit Students of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium

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Hori Takeaki, haiku writer

Hori Takeaki, a guest at the international PEN meeting in Bled, Slovenia, will deliver a speech for the students of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium on 27th March 2019 at 10.40 a.m in the Jeglič Student Home.

Hori Takeaki is a professor, scientist and a haiku writer as well as an honorary vice chairman of PEN International. With his assistance, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki exhibition in Ljubljana has been set up to recall the memory of the atomic bomb victims and raise awareness of the danger of nuclear weapons. Mr Takeaki will talk to students about his poetic endeavors and they will read some of their own haiku poems. We are very much looking forward to the event. Welcome! /Lily Sch. Kotar/

The 20th Jubilee Singing – Language Exchange in Trenčín, Slovakia

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The traditional exchange with three Slavic Gymnasiums is taking place from 18th – 22nd March 2019. This year Piarist Gymnasium from Trenčín hosts students from Piarist Lyceum from Krakow, Poland and those from The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Traditionally, students exchange their knowledge of singing as well as of all three Slavic mother tongues, namely Slovak, Polish and Slovene. This time St. Stanislav’s Youth Choir under the conductorship of Damijan Močnik represents the singing force of DCG.

 This is how one of the participants experienced the first days in Trenčín. “After hours of driving and a short lunch break in Bratislava, we finally arrived at our destination. The choir had the first practice there, and members of the language group had a mass with our priest Martin Zlobko. Afterwards, we had dinner in the school, and some of the choir members left with host families, and the other went to the hostel.  On Tuesday, we got up early and headed to school for breakfast. Having enjoyed a lesson of Slovak, the choirs had another practice, and the language group met with students from Poland and Slovakia. We talked about famous architects from our countries and designed posters in our native languages.  In the afternoon we visited Trenčin Castle. We enjoyed the afternoon sightseeing the city  and some free time there. In the evening we left for a nearby town where we attended the mass. The choir was singing and gave a short concert in the church. We spent a pleasant evening with our host families”. /Eva Sedej, year 2/

Ars Amatoria for the World Poetry Day

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Practical Advice by Ovid on Art of Love

In recognition of world poetry day the students of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium prepared a recital of ancient Roman poetry. The event took place in Dr. Anton Breznik Library on 21st March 2019. The passages from Ovid’s Art of Love and other pieces of poetry were read and interpreted by second year students. They proved that the theme of love and courtship have not changed much through times. It was  a perfect and occasionally humorous celebration of the first spring day.

World Poetry Day was declared by UNESCO in 1999. Each year the focus is given on some particular poet and his/her works.  One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression. In celebrating the occasion the school community recognizes  the outstanding ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

St Stanislav’s Institution Joins Homer’s Iliad World Public Reading

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Homer’s Iliad is one of the earliest work in the Western literary tradition and one of the best loved stories of all times. It will be read by almost six thousand readers from all over the world and Dragica Fabian Andritzakos, teacher of Latin and ancient Greek at the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, is to join them with some other Slovene humanities lovers in Ljubljana. Students of the DCG will join the audience as well. The public reading will be carried out on the world level during the 13th European Latin Greek Festival, which will take place in Lyon, France from 20th to 24th March 2019. The Iliad is an epic poem, which recounts some of the meaningful events of the final weeks of the Trojan War and the Greek siege of the city of Troy.

The event in Slovenia will take place on 22nd  March 2019 in The National Gallery (Prešernova 24, Ljubljana) at 10 a.m. Welcome to experience Iliad in the ways that Ancient Greeks might have done. This is one of the ways to celebrate classical poetry and culture.  /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

“Good job, Slovenia!” & “You are the highlight of this year’s conference; you are a gift from heaven.”

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Music’s Potential – Getting Global

… are just two of the praises St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium won after the second appearance at 2019 ACDA in Kansas City on 28th February. Many professionals returned to listen to the choir after yesterday’s concert. The atmosphere in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre was amazing, there was an extraordinary bond between the singers and the audience. The girls were singing as one, trying to convey their joyous heart and all the knowledge they had gained. Young ladies were proudly expressing the most charming and sunny aspect of the choir’s mission which is to share their true selves. Compliments kept pouring in and Helena Fojkar Zupančič as well as Damijan Močnik felt extremely proud – after all St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir is the only Slovene choir to perform at both biggest choral events in the last two years: 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona (July 2017) and 2019 National Conference of American Choral Directors Association in Kansas City, Missouri. Some top observations of the concert: “I was utterly amazed when the conductor gave the sign to the choir to start singing and then she stepped aside. The girls sang independently and mastered the choreography on their own!; The choir filled our hearts with wonder.; Your performance was astonishing and simply wonderful. Thank you for coming to the US and inspiring us.; Unbelievable sound! OMG!”

The attenders marvelled at the fact that the choir is not a part of a music high school, that this incredible level of performing was achieved only by three and a half practice lessons per week and that a third of singers change every academic year. The following day some girls participated in a number of intriguing workshops, lectures and concerts. It felt great to be a part of the 2019 ACDA story from the listener’s perspective as well. Now the work is done. Well done indeed! /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

Listen to St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir in Kansas City at https://www.instagram.com/p/Bud3De9gmR7/