Ryan Klein teaches Great Books to high school students and studies philosophy as a graduate student. His wife often pulls him out of books to train for athletic events, in which she always beats him. Their cats are cute, and their families are generous.
The imagined student’s intentions are honorable: to promote racial justice. But when the conversation begins, she has already set herself against the teacher and the course. The task of the teacher is to encourage her pursuit of justice while showing that the Great Books are not enemies, but allies. If this can be done, the student and teacher may even realize the same about each other.