The summer semester in Annapolis kicked off last week with a small but determined band of new and returning students. Dean Langston welcomed them around the table and advised them to enjoy the extra quiet while they can. In just three weeks, the campus will get a whole lot busier!
The early start date — around three weeks earlier than normal — is due to the new schedule debuting this year, which allows greater flexibility for teachers (the majority occupation for students attending St. John’s in the summer). During the first three weeks and the last three weeks, only the preceptorial is offered; the middle five weeks, when scores more graduate students will arrive, offer the seminar and tutorial. Students can earn a full semester’s credit by successfully completing the first or last eight weeks of the semester!
As I write, the brave bunch who’ve elected to start their summer studies early are divided into two camps: those who will spend three weeks battling Dostoevsky’s Demons, and those who will spend them testing Rousseau’s Discourses. All of the students, however, whether they be teachers or veterans, executives or painters, Russian literature junkies or political philosophy buffs, will have three weeks full of profound conversation, sometimes seated in Johnnie chairs set around a table, and sometimes not.
Check back soon for when Santa Fe’s summer semester starts up!