Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A little plug for classical education.

This email came from a friend this morning (reprinted with permission, names changed to protect the innocent). It gave me a chuckle as I prepared with some trepidation to distill the Viking Exploration for a 6-year-old:

"So, I found myself at a restaurant dinner recently with a nice middle-aged woman on my left and her college-aged son on my right. She was understandably proud of her handsome boy, Dave, and noted how well he was doing at a state university (major undeclared). To be polite, she asked about my son, Norman, a student at St. Gregory Academy, a conservative Catholic all-boys boarding high school that boasts 'no technology' as a policy. This point slipped into my succinct answer to her question, and it stunned her.

"'No Facebook? No iPads? No Google searches? No laptops? No software skills?'

"'No,' I said. 'We see it as a distinction between classical education and technical training. We think Norman can pick up applicable computer skills after we get his head filled with great thoughts. Our view, and that of the school, is that there are only so many hours in a day, and we’d rather have Norman spend time on Aquinas and Homer than PowerPoint and Excel.'

"'But you can’t just skip computers,' she said. 'All of Dave's school work is done with computers. And he knows all that classical stuff, too.'

"I turned to her son. 'Dave, what are the two great epic poems of Homer?'

"Dave smiled. 'Simpson?'”