st.johnscollege2I want to go back to college! The desire first hit me when taking my older sons to visit schools like Wheaton, Belmont and the University of Chicago. But last Friday, the desire was greater than ever. My youngest son Stephen and I visited St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. Its curriculum is centered on reading and discussion of the great books and ideas of Western civilization from the ancient Greeks to modern works. Classes are round table discussions where everyone participates and a tutor asks questions and moderates. All students take the same curriculum.  Even science and math courses are built on the foundation of original ideas. We sat in on a class in which 15 students vigorously discussed Euclid’s geometry theorems and proofs for an hour. A lecture on the topic would likely have been painfully boring. It was fascinating, however, to see these students sharpen their minds as they reconstructed the proofs like puzzles and seemed to enjoy the process. They are developing a foundation of knowledge and critical thinking skills on which to build wisdom, creativity and discovery. They are learning to engage in constructive dialogue and debate which are crucially important, yet frequently missing, skills in groups such as corporate teams, church committees or families. I could go on and on! My wife won’t let me go back to college, but whatever my son’s choice, I can enjoy it vicariously through him. You may be wondering what this has to do with wellness or VitalSigns. I would say a tremendous amount and will do a longer series in the future that covers more of that (subjects like development of the brain, growth in wisdom, the joy of learning etc…..). For now, being in the middle of another topic, I will focus on one area that came to mind while observing the class and cover that in the next post.