Westrate

Join the Free

Join the Free

Our guest blogger today is Benjamin Wassell, a New Hope Senior who wrote this paper, “Join the Free”, for his Junior-year American Literature class with Mr. Westrate. In it, he argues that the liberal arts must not be eclipsed by skills-based education.

Join the Free

What do we consider to be the best education? In our current era, education attempts to fit what appear to be the needs of society.  A common message is that what we need are men and women who have studied and specialized in certain skills. While this educational system has produced jobs, advancements in technology and medicine, and economic wealth for some, it is debatable if it has succeeded in producing a society geared toward the common good.  Whether it’s the opioid crisis, sexual scandal in Hollywood, public fraud and fake news, or a population addicted to smartphones, a skills-based education does not seek to combat any of these problems. It just so happens that the educational solution to so many cultural ailments has been around for centuries. It is, in short, the liberal arts.We cannot let the liberal arts be eclipsed by skills-based education, for while a skills system does create effective workers, it does not bring those workers to a life driven by truth, beauty, and concern for the common good, which is actual freedom.  

The Shield of Achilles

The Shield of Achilles

In Classical Lit today, we looked at Book 18 in The Iliad, specifically the shield of Achilles. A centerpiece of the story, the extended description of the piece of armor (called an ekphrasis) may seem at first glance out of place.