by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Virginia Arbery writes for the Martin Center about a relatively new college that offers a clear alternative to traditional higher education options.
This spring, graduates throughout America will exit their institutions with diplomas that signify little about real learning. But Wyoming Catholic College, my institution, is immune to this disconnect.
When 31 students graduated from Wyoming Catholic on May 12th, they held a weighty diploma. Why? Because the college’s core curriculum has sacrificed neither great books nor—and here’s the surprise—Mother Nature.
The goal of a genuine liberal arts education should be to deliver students from false opinions and awaken them to beauty. It is unlikely that this goal can be achieved if a student isn’t immersed in beautiful language, language not inspired by a social agenda but by the wonders of the natural world. An underappreciated victim of political correctness, prose has become as light as the diploma of most degree-granting institutions. …
… Our students not only learn conversational Latin, they speak it in the Wind River Mountains and in the Tetons. Each freshman begins his or her academic adventures with a 21-day backpacking trip in the wilderness before opening the first book (the Iliad) upon returning. Those freshmen embark on a January hike in these same mountains, building igloo-like huts called quinzhees. The purpose is not to make them buff (though they are) and trained in wilderness survival (though this, too, is the case). The purpose is to give them a firsthand experience of the splendors of nature, God’s first book.