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Moon

The ST. JOHN’S COLLEGE, SANTA FE

S

VOLUME XIV, SPECIAL EDITION

Welcome to the Rising

By Adam Visher

The Moon seems to always be waxing or waning. This may be the nature of the thing, or it may be a symptom of a larger problem. I write to you to declare a new birth of The Moon. Through the concerned efforts of a small and dedicated staff, I hope to build The Moon anew; transform it from a semi-monthly, semireadable, semi-rag, into the voice of the student body. The new The Moon will be a place for an open and respectful dialogue between all members of the college community. I understand that getting you to contribute will require that we, as a newspaper, earn your trust. It is not fair to expect you to put effort into something that offers no positive return. In this way, I hope to build a newspaper that mirrors the program: an institu-

tion that rises up to match that comes with it. Second, your input. we must find, whether from The two most pernicious the College, the Program, or trends among the student body within ourselves, the courage are self-conscious deprecation to face the challenges of this of the College, and a perva- new responsibility. sive sense of entitlement. Taken together, these twin sicknesses lock us in an endless cycle of failure and renewal. To break these cycles, we must embrace the words on the College Seal, both old and new. First, we The Moon, new and improved. must acknowledge that it is our purpose here By choosing to come to St. to grow from children into John’s we have all declared adults, accepting not just the that we reject the conventions freedom of our “liberation,” of the American collegiate but also the responsibility experience. This declaration

Old Books, New Prospies

The Future of Recruiting Self-Selecting Students By Lonnie Monka At this year’s Board of Visitors and Governors (BV&G) meeting at the Annapolis campus, the Admissions Committee of the BV&G announced the status of the current admissions process review and changes made by the Admissions offices on both campuses. The Admissions Committee outsourced the review to the North Charles Street Design Organization (NCSDO) with the goals of marketing a new image and increasing the applicant pool. The committee has spent $800,000 on this endeavor and, although the cost may seem excessive, the members of the Admissions Committee explained the progress achieved by implementing new plans. “We’re implementing a new process, and new processes usually fail,” said Mr. Robert Bienenfeld (SF80), the head of the committee. But he then moved on to focus the discussion on the fact that changes are already being implemented and that attention is better spent on how to change most effectively, rather

than questioning whether to change or not. Mr. Bienenfeld also noted that the $800,000 bill from NCSDO is not only split between both campuses, but comes from a $256,000 budget, which is already allotted

Maggie Melson, special assistant to Annapolis President Chris Nelson, outlined both the new technological capabilities available through the new database, and how prospective students are organized by the new system. In the new system, multiple counselors are assigned to different regions, and equipped with laptops and Blackberries that are connected to a shared d a t a b a s e. Now, while traveling, the Admissions counselors can stay in touch with each other, and update their local contacts with potential meetings (via e-mail and instant messaging). All of this new data is compiled and organized into a tiered system that ranks prospective students, each receiving points based on level of interest. In the past, Admissions spread out their efforts to cover any- one who had contacted the school. Now, students that are ranked as tier 1 by this new system will get the full attention of the Admissions counselors. (See Board of V&G on Page 3)

According to their website, NCSDO claims to be “helping the world’s best and most interesting educational institutions realize their potential for cult status.” to each campus’s Admissions office by the BV&G. Reducing the actual cost for each campus to $135,000. Ms. Victoria Mora, Dean of the Santa Fe campus, outlined the progress made by the Admissions review, speaking in terms of both cross-campus dialogue and outreach to high school students. “We’re being more communicative...which has not been the ethos of Admissions,” Mora said. This cross-campus exchange led to both Admissions teams meeting for the first time. The offices also now share the same database, simplifying the mailing process.

Q & A with Eva Brann

See Inside:

Huevos Rancheros

rings false unless we acknowledge that we can’t have it both ways. We cannot, indeed we must not, expect to reject the educational conventions while eagerly embracing the social. We want more for ourselves. Well, we need to start acting like we deserve more. The unique educational experience we came here to find is not something that can be handed to us; it cannot be bought. It is not contained within a single book or the mind of an individual tutor, but rather within every book, every tutor, and most importantly every student. The ex-

perience involves work, hard work, and plenty of it. It is not enough that we study the Program in the classroom; we must take the dedication we show there, the work that we do, the respect and civility, and apply those virtues to every aspect of the college life in the four short years we are here. So I ask you: instead of expecting The Moon to be handed to you, month after month, please, rise to meet our challenge and our promise. If you want to bring any of your thoughts to the great table of discussion, if you want a voice, if you want to be heard, if you want to be here for the community, not just yourself, join us. The Moon is rising. Adam Visher is a Junior at St. John’s College, Santa Fe. He can be reached at acvisher@sjcsf.edu

Finding the Right Books and Translating Aristotle

By Timothy Davis

The spring semester of 2010 will be a tremendously exciting time for all freshmen. Freshman year is by far the greatest of our four years, for it is the year of the Greeks. With one dreadful exception, seminar is all Greek, but language and math are pure Greek. Lab, of course, is a first-order anomaly. But there is another reason the spring semester will be so exciting, and it is the reason of the Philosopher. After three months of studying Plato, you will know that you don’t know. You will know that very well, but you might want to read someone who is not afraid to answer the questions Plato raises, and Aristotle does this at once. He will tell you what truth, justice, virtue, and wisdom are. You may not like his answers much, but they offer you a break from endless agnosticism. His writings also show the starkest contrast between us Millennials and the Greeks from the fourth century B.C. Clearly Aristotle is very important, but he is also very difficult: his Physics and Metaphysics are of a difficulty comparable with Kant and Hegel,

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and even his Ethics reads far slower than Plato. Two groups of students will read Aristotle next semester. The first group will not really care what Aristotle has to say and so they will pick cheap, ratty translations. The second will either like him in advance or be willing to grant him a proper audience, so they will encounter him through a consistent, accurate translation, and it is to the second group that I write. Where does one find the proper translation? I will shamelessly promote myself in this matter since I have compiled a fairly reliable list of translations and editions for the Program since freshman year. These lists are generally the result of tutor recommendations, the sort of tutors who ooze wisdom and age (and probably Strauss as well). The most important list is probably the one for freshman year, though I wrote one for the sophomores as well and am in the midst of compiling my third. They are to be found on the Listmania subdirectory of Amazon.com as the “St. John’s College Seminar Reading List.” (See Ancient Translations on Page 3)

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