Tuesday, March 09, 2021

The Republic of Letters

In 2017, Miguel Monjardino wrote in City Journal about an extraordinary reading program for young people that was truly transformative.

"The program has been an amazing adventure. I made many mistakes but kept experimenting, determined to learn how an initiative like this could work in Angra do HeroĆ­smo. The students helped me every step of the way. It was their idea to rename the Republic of Letters simply the Republic, a word that better reflects what happens in our weekly two-hour seminars, monthly walks in the hills, three formal dinners, and annual public reading of the Iliad or the Odyssey. Our Republic is divided into four classes—Barbarians (ninth grade), Helots (tenth grade), Argonauts (11th grade), and Hoplites (12th grade)—with reading lists for each year. Students come from all walks of life. The overwhelming majority wind up earning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees at university. Some will study humanities. A few are artists."

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