Most Beautiful Words

For one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day.
Aristotle, translated by W.D. Ross

The summer semester has started in earnest in Santa Fe, and Annapolis has now begun it’s five-week seminar and tutorial session, adding dozens more students to the initial band who began in May. New faces are appearing around the table, bringing new questions and new perspectives in their wake. However, much of what I have to report, I’m happy to say, is the same-ol’, same-ol’.

Furthermore, this same summer my lungs began to be weak from too much literary labor.
Augustine, translated by Albert C. Outler

For starters, most of our students in the summer semester are schoolteachers during the rest of the year, which is fitting, considering the Graduate Institute itself started as the Teachers Institute. This majority, the norm since 1967, are excited to become students again and to return reinvigorated to the front of their own classrooms once the summer ends.

Brooding days, sleepless nights — it was summer, and yet it was ‘budless spring.’
Murasaki Shikibu, translated by Edward G. Seidensticker

What’s more, our incoming students haven’t changed a student body which continues to range from recent post grad to recent retiree, from those with backgrounds in finance to those in fine arts, from those who grew up down the road from campus to those who flew all the way from India to study here!

Sweet, goodnight. This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,
may prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
William Shakespeare

And finally, to use a line so old it’s cliché to call it cliché, the following teachers will return to St. John’s College this semester:


Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been
the two most beautiful words in the English language.
Henry James

If “summer afternoon” always meant a warm, sunny setting complete with the best books and the most curious comrades, then Henry James, I can’t agree more. Some things, those best of things, remain everlastingly fresh.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s