Category: Academics

And So It Begins…

At the start of every new year in the Core Curriculum, we like to begin at the very beginning, with the Epic of Gilgamesh. And while it technically remains the same story from year to year, we’re always delighted to watch how different students and professors bring their own views and interpretations to the text. […]

Congratulations to the 2019 Polytropos award winners!

A big round of applause to our seniors for their dedication to the Core Community. The award is given both in recognition of what a student has accomplished and in expectation of what he or she will accomplish, and in gratitude for ongoing mindfulness of the Core Curriculum. The word polytropos, is the first adjective […]

“College Confusion” with Seth Godin

From Seth Godin in his though-provoking blog, asking how we define the value of education. His thoughts below, and more here: While a high-status college admission confers a measure of status, it doesnt automatically grant a great education. Sometimes, a student gets both, but not always. Because learning is taken as much as given. Along […]

BU Astronomers Stare into Darkness

Last week, a team of astronomers announced that they had captured the first-ever image of a black hole in space. While this discovery is amazing for a myriad of reasons, we can personally take pride in knowing that some Core DNA went into this amazing discovery. As Core alum Peter La Fountain pointed out, Core […]

The Good-Enough Life

As Er watches dead souls choose new lives in Plato’s Myth of Er, he is surprised to see Odysseus chooses a life of a farmer. Instead of another life of greatness and fame, he chooses the middle path of an ordinary man. Many thinkers and characters strive for greatness, and some even manage to achieve […]

Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?

Hell is everywhere we look. It is integral to religious belief systems, literature, and even popular TV shows. As editor of the new compilation “The Penguin Book of Hell,” Scott Bruce explores 3,000 years of this damnation, from Odysseus traveling to Hades to Climate Change as Hell on Earth. While doing so, he reckons with […]

Core Meets Core: Virginia Woolf on Jane Austen

In her 1913 essay, Virginia Woolf writes on the merits and failings of Jane Austen. While Woolf describes Austen as “singularly blessed,” she also critiques Austen’s lack of rebellion of her “artificial” life. For Woolf, Austen someone satirizes middle class life and the fools who inhabit it, but never fully pushes away from it. Perhaps […]

On Education and a New Semester

As we welcome students from break and from Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we offer some timely thoughts from the Boston University alum. In his paper “The Purpose of Education,” King argues for education that extends beyond logic into an more enlightened education of the soul. While education must help people achieve their goals, he […]

Machiavelli, Man of the People

We’ve known our share of allegedly misunderstood literary figures (lookin’ at you, Nietzsche). But is Machiavelli one of them? In The Prince, Machiavelli argues that leaders shouldn’t be objectively virtuous or truthful, but rather effective at preserving their reign. Hence a just end can excuse a leader’s horrendous acts, or “the ends justify the means.” […]

Opinion: Go Get That B

I dare you to get a B in this class. That’s what Adam Grant is telling straight-A students. Pushing back against the “cult of perfectionism” cultivated around education, Grant claims that students who aim for perfect transcripts often avoid taking risks, miss opportunities for failure and growth, and neglect emotional and social growth.Advisors and parents […]