The Shorthand of Emotion: Music at St. John’s College

In the beginning, there were drums. Then, there were the chants sung in medieval abbeys, and then, harmony, and the great composers of the 18th and 19th centuries. As St. John’s students, we discover all of that in our music program. The first song we learn, in our freshman chorus, is often medieval. The first…

Party Like It’s 1696: St. John’s Waltzes

Waltz parties are a beloved tradition at St. John’s College. These parties may seem like a relic of another time, but the music, laughter, and (admittedly) eccentric creativity they inspire brings them squarely to the present. Formal, fancy, or themed dress is most always the order of the day. Suits and full-skirted dresses along with…

When Is A Chair Not (Just) A Chair?

Think of a chair. Any chair will do, perhaps the one you’re sitting in now. Think about its shape, what it’s used for, where it’s placed. Does this bring up any memories, any emotions?For many, a Johnnie Chair certainly would. More than a campus-classic piece of furniture, this classic chair has become, in the eyes…

Tau Day: Could Pi Be Wrong?

Consider the circle. It is charming, deceptive, in its appearance of simplicity. The idea of the heavens as defined by circles, the so-called “heavenly spheres”, goes back to such cornerstones of the St. John’s curriculum as Plato, Ptolemy, and Copernicus.But what is a circle, really? Mathematicians have, since Euclid, sought to define this shape in…

Mr Venkatesh’s Top Ten Tips on Preceptorial Papers

Recently, Santa Fe tutor Krishnan Venkatesh sent out some advice to his students on writing St. John’s essays, specifically preceptorial papers, but the advice he gave was relevant to just about any essay written during the course of a St. John’s education. The text of what he sent out was as follows: Some Thoughts on…

Our Favorite College Ghost Stories

I’m Petra Schaaf-Grisham, the newest admissions counselor at St. John’s and a member of the Class of 2021. Through extensive research, my friend Ives Williams and I created a ghost tour of the Annapolis campus of St. John’s College. For my first blog post, on Halloween itself, I want to introduce you to some of the scariest parts…