‘Tis the Season!

My favorite rituals are back!

That’s right — the intellectual spectator sports called Master’s Essay Oral Examinations!

Those brave few who venture to write what the faculty of St. John’s has deemed “a sustained performance in the liberal arts” are only halfway finished once their essay’s approved. Then comes the public match-up of Master’s candidate with the Examination Committee: while students, friends, and family line the edge of the King William room, sixty minutes of intense scrutiny and full-fledged Johnnie-ing unfold in front of them. Time’s up; applause trails behind the gowns of the candidate and committee.

And finally — ah, and finally! — the sacred semicircle is formed outside the marble steps of the Barr-Buchanan Center. The candidate opens the tall, white door — HOORAY! Screams, clapping, bouquets and cameras. And to top it all off, the pressurized fizz of champagne, to be shared, or not.

Yes, yes, now is my favorite season.


[Congrats are already in order for Samuel Peregrine and Geoffrey Young! Cheers, gents!]

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