Saturday, June 16, 2007

The box is here! The box is here!

Few sounds bring as much joy as the UPS truck tires rolling across the gravel, the burdened footsteps stumbling toward the door, the large boxes "thwacking" down on the counter. We quickly find the knife, cut open the tape, and the oldest calls out:

"It's our SCHOLA BOOKS!"

The piles were sorted into different years: Greeks for Sir GB1, Romans for Sir GB2, and the moderns for Lady GB4. A few Greek texts for the Lady, and she also gets the first three volumes of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in her stack. Excitement alternated with trepidation, for the piles do look ominously tall. We reminded the sobered: it's not the number of books read that matters; it's the thinking and the discussions and the discipline. This is their first serious exposure to the Great books; a dress rehearsal, if you will. The key is to whet the appetite, not burn out in the feasting.

Pictured above is the enthusiastic Great Books 4 student, introducing the new Great Books kid on the block to his future friends: Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle. Her love of this program is a beautiful thing; these authors truly are her friends. Their writings have stimulated her studies and strengthened her mind. As I watched these two, I could almost see the torch pass from older to younger; I could see a new light burning in my son's eyes. It was only a moment, but I will not forget it.

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