Category: Winter 2017

What Makes a Song Good?

Seemingly simple, the question of what makes a song good is actually a complicated one. What does the word “song” actually mean? One reliable definition would be “a composition of relatively short duration characterized by a melody, to which words are placed.” But people use “song” to refer to all sorts of music, including purely …

The Saving Power of Story

“Great works of art pass through us like storm winds, flinging open the doors of perception, pressing upon the architecture of our beliefs with their transforming powers …” – George Steiner One of life’s great little mysteries, if not ironies, remains the unpredictability of what children will grow up to do for their life’s work. …

A Journey Like Dante’s

Virgil has vanished. Before Dante realizes it, his steadfast guide and guardian disappears in the Earthly Paradise, the gateway separating Purgatory and Paradise. Though this brings Dante much sorrow, the continuation of his journey depends on this necessary parting. Seven hundred years later, leaving Highlands Latin School for Hillsdale College, I find myself in the …

The Music of Orpheus

The early Greeks had little idea of the One God of the Hebrews, and lived too early in history to know of the Trinitarian God of the Christians. But they shared with Judaism and Christianity the idea that the things of the world and the actions of men had meaning. This belief was expressed in …

How Latin Develops the Mind

Many who are attracted to the idea of a classical education don’t know exactly why, nor do they understand the necessity for Latin, or at least so much of it. A little bit of Latin is a good thing, they say, but every year? Spinach is a good thing, but every day? In classical education, …