Commencement Education Higher Education Liberal Education Students

Learn to Change and Practice Changing Often

One institution that remains venerable—even nowadays, when we hear so much about the deterioration of respect for established institutions—is the college commencement address. Noteworthy commencement speeches become very popular, primarily because they convey messages of hope, encouragement, inspiration, and wisdom. At the 224th commencement of St. John’s in Annapolis last Sunday, the commencement speaker was […]

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 […]

Education Higher Education Joy of Reading Liberal Education Seminar Students

What Makes a Book Life-Changing?

By tackling great books directly—not through the mediation of teachers and lecturers who have predigested them for us—we learn what really matters to us. This is one of the premises behind the St. John’s curriculum—more about that a little later. But first here’s an example from another school. One of the most popular courses at […]

Education Students

Say No to Soul-Crushing Education

The internet is a fascinating place. It holds on to people’s thoughts and writings for a long time. Of course, much of what we find on the web is not of lasting value. But some of it is. A few weeks ago, I came across a high school graduation speech that apparently went viral almost […]

Students

Giving Thanks

Like almost all colleges and universities in the United States, St. John’s suspends instruction for the Thanksgiving holiday so that students who are able can return home to celebrate with their families. There are always some students whose families live too far away to make travel practical—students from the other side of the country, as […]

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 […]

Beginnings Education Higher Education Liberal Education Students

5 Things to Do When You Get to College

Congratulations to graduates in the Class of 2015. Graduating high-school students often ask me how college will differ from high school. And what I say usually seems to come as a surprise: In college, you should start thinking much more seriously about happiness. “What does college have to do with happiness?” you may be thinking. And who […]

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 […]

Students

An Educational Summer Ahead – Internships for Liberal Artists

As the school year winds down, I’ve been talking to more and more students about how they intend to spend summer break. A good many of them will be taking up summer internships. A summer internship is a win/win proposition, both for employers and for students. The business, research lab, or nonprofit gets a willing […]