Campus Life The Program

Homer In a Hammock

By Asher Parker

If you go down back campus towards the boathouse, there’s a copse where I like to hang my hammock on sunny days and read. Last week, working through my final reading for Homer’s Odyssey, the sunshine, breeze, sound of intramurals, and poetry came together, framing a portrait of my new home.

While I haven’t braved lotus eaters, cannibal kings, nor Scylla and Charybdis, I can’t help feeling a sort of parallel in Odysseus’ homecoming and my own. From the first moment I read about St John’s and what we do, I felt that this is where I belonged — that this is home. I dropped all of my other applications, offers, and thoughts for other schools, and I came to visit, only further cementing for me that I was a Johnnie.

Although our tutors are fantastic and the programme is uniquely all its own, the hallmark of St John’s for me is the polity: nowhere else could I strike up a conversation on virtue with an unmet upperclassman at 2:00 A.M.; nowhere else could I go fishing with my lab class, thinking in Aristotle’s terms; nowhere else could I say that not only is the only Greek life on campus the fact that we all learn Ancient Greek, but that we enjoy it, make board games for it, and help each other all along the way.

Ours is a community built on trust and on respect; without it, we couldn’t do what we do, failing and succeeding together. But the most wondrous thing to me is that when we leave class, that trust and respect stay with us effortlessly. Whether going to parties, turning in early, studying, or keeping to a few friends, everyone is safe, included, and respected for and in the choices which they make — and I couldn’t be happier for it.

And so, while the first weeks of college have been as exciting, chaotic, and new as they would be elsewhere, I don’t know anywhere else where so many people of such different sorts could so effortlessly belong.

The student writing staff of the johnnie chair blog

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