What brought you to Shimer?
I was on a leave of absence from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and I was unsure as to whether or not I would go back to the school. I found out about Great Books programs on Wikipedia, of all places, and since I was living in Chicago at the time I set up an appointment to sit in on a class and drove down to the campus. I didn’t apply right away but I completed an application in the summer.
What's your major?
My concentration is Humanities. My plan is to go to graduate school and study creative writing, and I’d like to get published eventually. I think a foundation in Great Books is one of the best tools for creative work in any medium. The wealth of human experience and history that can be drawn from classic literature and philosophy is needed to relate to any audience. Also this school forces you into discussion of knowledge and ideas, your own and others, and it makes you open to criticism and critique, of course very important for an aspiring artist.
Thus far what have your favorite and least favorite texts been?
It’s impossible to say because I’m a new transfer student, however I’ve had a long standing interest in certain poetry and literature that I’m sure I can discuss with people here. I’ve been reading as much by and about James Joyce as I can get my hands on, and apparently last year there was a class on Ulysses that I missed out on. I would have loved any discussion on Joyce.
How about favorite and least favorite courses?
What do you like about Shimer?
The uniqueness of each individual in the community tempered with a broad communal knowledge. The students and faculty all have the uncanny ability to bounce their ideas off of each other, so that although you constantly encounter people with rather disparate interests from yours, there is usually the sense that you can slip into a good discussion about a topic you’d never thought about and take something from it.