None of us gets to choose where we land. But if we cannot choose the times in which we live, we can choose how we live in the time we are given. Will we do so thoughtfully or heedlessly? Courageously or cravenly? Honestly and honorably or falsely and deplorably?
The course I am teaching is part of the university’s core curriculum. Core comes from the Latin word for “heart,” I told my students. The same Latin root, cor, gives us the word, courage, I added. Why might the courses at the heart of the university’s curriculum require courage? I inquired. It’s up to us to decide if we have the courage to accept what is challenging, they wrote.
Repeatedly, some of the best students I have taught have been homeschooled. What set them apart was precisely the spirit of bold curiosity that I see in my own kids: that bright light in their eyes, an interest in asking questions and in pursuing rabbit trails independently.
Perhaps people defended the liberal arts to me, and I was too dense to hear, but I truly cannot remember anyone ever setting out a vision for the liberal arts
That with which we fill our time, after all, is what ends up filling our minds, hearts, and souls. More than simply responsible scheduling, our very character is on the line, and that has consequences far beyond the present.
But if our souls are eternal, why do we not then spend more time with things that habituate us to eternity? If our days are short, and the “days are evil,” as St. Paul writes, why do we spend so much time with things that are bad for our souls?
Reading ancient languages requires slow and careful thinking and processing of a sort that we do not normally utilize in our pressure-cooker fast-consumer world.
One learning outcome I had in mind for this academic year was to teach all students to close the bathroom door when using the facilities. Alas, we seem to have failed at this. But our Greek curriculum has gone swimmingly.
I was encouraged by Sosler and all the many ways he connected love and knowledge to the journey that a rightly ordered education invites students to take. The infilling of knowledge and wisdom is a gift of God, and Sosler is a welcome guide, the best of docents, for students and educators alike.
The best educators (and the best educational institutions) will neither embrace nor eschew the electronic technologies that commercial forces wish to prevail in higher education; rather they will assess each one, in light of both its assets and its liabilities, employing those that are superior to other tools, while not employing those that are not.