Greg Markowitz, graduate student in Annapolis.

ANNAPOLIS—The first time graduate student Greg Markowitz went to sailing practice, it was not long before he was in the water.

“I capsized the boat the first time I went out, but it was fun. They throw you right out,” he said.

Markowitz recovered quickly. “I salvaged it. That is one of the first things they teach you, how to flip the boat back when you knock it down, because they don’t trust us, for good reason.”

Markowitz has jumped right in during his first semester at the St. John’s College Graduate Institute. In addition to sailing, he participates in four study groups: Proust, reading Latin, eastern classics, and one group on Nietzsche and Schopenhauer.

“There are so many study groups that compliment the classes so perfectly,” Markowitz said. “There are so many minds on campus and it seems like you can pull from all of them. I’m doing as much reading out of class as in it, but all of it ends in fruitful discussion.”

He studied economics as an undergraduate and the transition to the Graduate Institute was natural. “I was looking to branch out of social sciences and get back into book reading, and I wanted to really dig deep back into books.”

In class, Markowitz is taking the Literature segment. He enjoys reading classical literature in seminar and early English literature in tutorial.

“Reading Chaucer is always wonderful. You can read the heavy Iliad with its intensity of characters and then lighten the mood with Chaucer.”

Reading Chaucer will serve Markowitz well, since he wants to become a high school English teacher after graduating.

“A huge part of the reason I like the Graduate Institute is that gives me the flexibility to work with schools during the day and teach.”

In the meantime, Markowitz is enjoying the conversation.

“This place is lovely. I’m consistently overwhelmed by the kinds of conversations that people have here. I think that’s what makes this school really stand out.”

—Brady Lee (AGI14)