Summer Academy – for the curious and courageous

Through the holidays, imminent chilliness, and possible snowfall it may seem far-off, but summertime will be here before you know it!  A west coast girl at heart, I’m already looking forward to the long, blue-sky-green-world sunshiny days that I love here on campus.  I spend a good portion of my time all year round preparing for the few most exciting and adventurous weeks of my year – the St. John’s College Summer Academy!

Every year, we welcome high school students from all over to join us here in Annapolis and Santa Fe, experiencing a small taste of the community, co-curriculars, texts and traditions that make St. John’s a sanctum for the curious and courageous.  Our students delve into each session, exploring three different courses to find the threads that connect each to a central guiding theme.

Along the way, they can discover the quiet joy in a lone mountain hike, a perfectly executed clay bowl, or a conversation that makes them think and rethink – as well as revel in the breathless exuberance of pulling off a complex swing dance spin or navigating whitewater rapids successfully.  Getting to delight in exploration and learning alongside my students is what makes this program my favorite part of the year – and one of the major stepping stones on the way to the summer, the application, is finally open!  I can’t wait to read all about why this year’s future Johnnies want to come and join the 2019 Summer Academy cohort.

As I wind down the fall’s preparation, next on my radar is hiring the residential staff, who are current undergraduate students just as eager as I am to show Summer Academy students everything about St. John’s.  Every year, the RA’s bring a different slew of activities to the table, and I get to know a little bit more of the things that interest them.  They spend a good deal of time over the sessions leading their own segments on writing, sports, music, philosophy, art, film, yoga, board games…the list goes on.

Each summer, there’s at least one class offered that we’ve never had before, and at least one RA that surprises me with their activity of choice.  One of these summers, I’ll make it around to all of the classes at least once – last year, I assisted with teaching swing, and tried out polka for the first time at the Friday Waltz.  This year, I definitely need to work on my croquet swing, and see how much I can remember about painting!

I’m definitely ready for the warmth, but since I can’t speed the time too much, I’ll just have to continue enjoying the preparation and planning.  Come summer, I’ll be the one running around in the blue t-shirt – if you’re on campus, make sure to say hi!






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