Choosing St. John's Education Higher Education Joy of Reading Liberal Education Original Sources Students

Reading Immersion: The Antidote to Soul-Crushing Education

In my last post, What Makes a Book Life-Changing, I wrote about how seniors at St. John’s choose to write senior essays on books that are likely to change their lives. Finding this kind of inspiration in books seems to be less and less frequent among the pre-college crowd. In a recent issue of The New Yorker, David […]

Beginnings Choosing St. John's Education Higher Education Liberal Education Seminar Students

Two Steps to Narrowing Down Your College Search

How does one begin a college search? Nowadays I often encounter high school students as young as sophomores who are starting to think about where they might go to college. Many of them—and many of their parents—want advice about how to wade into the ocean of information about colleges and universities that is already inundating […]

Choosing St. John's Commencement Education Higher Education Liberal Education Students

The Wisdom of Virtuous Friendship

This past Sunday, St. John’s College in Annapolis held its 223rd commencement ceremony. By long tradition, the outgoing senior class selects the commencement speaker. This year, the seniors chose long-time tutor Jonathan Tuck, who retired in 2013 after more than thirty years of service to St. John’s. Mr. Tuck spoke about our common efforts, about […]

Choosing St. John's Liberal Education Students

Liberal Education Inspires Fine Wine

Books and wine and life—all are subjects of deep mystery, deep study, and deep human involvement. And all are subjects deeply implicated in liberal education. The connection between liberal education and the trio of books, wine, and life was apparent this past weekend, as St. John’s College in Annapolis hosted its fifth annual wine-tasting event. […]

Choosing St. John's Liberal Education Students Value and Affordability

Myths About Attending College: Part III

In Part I and Part II of this series, we looked at the first six of nine myths about private colleges debunked by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). Let’s finish now with the last three, after which I will say a few words about how these myths are harming prospective students, their parents, and […]

Choosing St. John's Liberal Education Students

Technology in College Admissions

In two recent articles, the Washington Post‘s higher-education writer, Nick Anderson, wrote about high-tech solutions for the perennial dilemma of college admissions officers: How will students find us? (See and It turns out, Anderson reports, that Big Data is trying out a possible solution for this problem. By adapting the sort of questionnaires […]

Choosing St. John's Liberal Education Seminar Students

A “Bigger-than-me” Experience

The tech revolution has made instant gratification so easy that young people now seem addicted to the “me” experience—that is, doing or making anything that maximizes personal pleasure, rewards, or positive feelings. So writes Steven J. Tepper ( in last week’s Chronicle of Higher Education. Tepper contrasts the “me” experience with the “bigger-than-me” experience, which seeks to […]

Choosing St. John's Liberal Education

How Does Moral, Emotional and Spiritual Growth Happen?

Columnist David Brooks recently wrote ( that educators in authority at the nation’s elite colleges and universities “no longer feel compelled to define how they think moral, emotional and spiritual growth happens.” He goes on to say that “they don’t think it’s their place, or . . . they don’t think they know.” Far too […]