This past week I was in North Carolina for the kick-off of the CiRCE Apprenticeship. It was one of the most intense and most rewarding weeks of my life. This might sound strange given that we mostly just sat around and discussed education and the Iliad.
What made the week intense for me was the reorienting process my mind and soul went through as I confronted deep normative questions on the nature of education, man, virtue, etc. I face these questions for myself, but I also face them for my children. Our society has largely turned away from what we call classical education and its normative foundations.
The leader of our apprenticeship is Andrew Kern. He is a remarkable man. I imagine in him we got a glimpse of how Socrates might have behaved. He will laugh at that description. But his example as an educator, leader, guide is an excellent and profound challenge to me.
What blessed me most was getting to know and befriend the others in the Apprenticeship. Classical education, if that is the right name to call what we did, takes place in community. One learns within the context of engaging and being formed by the minds of others, by the conflicts and communion natural to human interaction, by the meeting of “image bearers” uniquely reflecting something grander than words can contain.
I eagerly look forward to the rest of this year.