On Monday the Summer Program students, tutors, and prefects gathered for the opening Mass at 8 a.m., which was offered by chaplains Rev. Cornelius Buckley, S.J, and Rev. Sebastian Walshe, O.Praem (’94).
After breakfast in St. Joseph Commons, the students made their way to their first class, where each section met with its two professors (called “tutors”). The sections consist of 17-18 students, who address each other by their surnames along with the title “Mr.” or “Miss,” complementing the formality of the Socratic discussion method. For the next two weeks the students will learn to work as a team in trying to understand some of the most compelling texts in Western civilization.
The 90-minute class was a lively discussion and careful analysis of Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus Rex. Questions included: Should we pity Oedipus’ tragic situation? Or is he wholly culpable for his actions? In the afternoon the students returned to their classrooms to tackle another work from Ancient Greece: Plato’s philosophical dialogue Crito. In this discussion the students examined the issue of how to proceed if there is an unjust application of the city’s laws.
After classes ended at 2:30 p.m., the students joined the prefects for games of volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, and soccer on the athletic field before cooling off in the College’s beautiful, spring-fed ponds. Other students took advantage of the break to catch up on some rest and relaxation. These afternoon activities were the perfect way to have fun and cultivate the friendships already begun in the classroom.
Following dinner was a productive study hall in which students prepared for the next day’s readings. Then many gathered in the College’s chapel to pray the rosary with the prefects and College chaplains. Italian sodas and iced mochas awaited them afterward in the coffee shop, where the students mixed and mingled while playing games and talking. Some even had an impromptu jam session with their guitars and the piano. Then they headed back to the dorm at curfew for their well-deserved rest.