Will Brown (A16) is a student at St. John’s College in Annapolis. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
St. John’s College: What are your plans after graduation?
Will Brown: I will be working at one of the Great Hearts Academies in north Phoenix, Arizona, teaching seventh graders literature and composition. [Editor’s note: Brown will be teaching at North Phoenix Preparatory Academy.]
SJC: Why did you apply to this school?
WB: I liked it because they are known for taking the St. John’s curriculum and mentality of teaching and applying it to the K-12 [kindergarten through grade 12] level.
SJC: Have you always wanted to be a teacher?
WB: This was something that came about through St. John’s [classroom experience]. I would have really appreciated having something like that at that age, a place where I felt like I was being taken seriously. That’s part of the appeal for me—I get to talk with kids.
SJC: How much discretion will you have over the curriculum?
WB: Most of the books that we do for seventh grade are set in stone. I know I will be doing Call of the Wild by Jack London. There’s [also] one slot at the end of second semester where I can pick a different book. In terms of lesson plans it’s all up to me, which will be cool because I can create interesting assignments—there’s a very creative element to it.
SJC: Why did you decide to attend St. John’s?
WB: I liked the idea of a place where people took academics seriously. I myself did not really take academics seriously in high school, to be honest, but I liked the idea of a place where you could. I talk a lot and I get out a lot of my thoughts talking with people, so the idea of an open seminar discussion for all of the classes seemed amazing to me.
SJC: How has the education at St. John’s made an impact on you?
WB: While I’ve been here my interests have actually completely changed. If I had gone to a different school, I presume I would have majored in English or literature of some kind. But since I’ve come here I’ve gone way more into philosophy and math. Math is especially surprising because I, to the best of my memory, never got above a C-minus in a math class, but since coming here I’m really fascinated with math.
SJC: What was the subject of your senior essay?
WB: I wrote my essay on Hegel’s Encyclopedia of Logic and the Phenomenology of Spirit. It was about a line in the Phenomenology in the preface where he says that in his view the true must be expressed not only as substance but equally as subject. So the question of the essay was, “Why does the true—whatever that is—need to be expressed as subject?” I was happy with it.
—Brady Lee (AGI14)