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Christopher B. Nelson

Christopher B. Nelson, president of the Annapolis campus of St. John's College, shares his thoughts on the Liberal Arts and Liberal Education

  • How Many Pinocchios for Common Beliefs about Student Debt?

    How Many Pinocchios for Common Beliefs about Student Debt?

    A forthcoming book called Lesson Plan throws cold water on the fear that student debt may stunt the lives of college graduates. Co-authors William Bowen and Michael McPherson are both scholars of...

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  • Peace Through Reading

    Peace Through Reading

    Some educators are beginning to worry that the wired generation is going to give up serious reading altogether. Judging from our experience here at St. John’s, the future of reading is not at...

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  • Slogans Don’t Substitute for Thinking

    Slogans Don’t Substitute for Thinking

    A good slogan, whether it’s comical or serious, catches your attention. Slogans satisfy our innate desire for simplicity and pith. Sometimes they even rhyme, which implants them deeply into our...

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  • Say No to Soul-Crushing Education

    Say No to Soul-Crushing Education

    The internet is a fascinating place. It holds on to people’s thoughts and writings for a long time. Of course, much of what we find on the web is not of lasting value. But some of it is. A few...

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  • Seeking Meaning? Try Starting with the Elements

    Seeking Meaning? Try Starting with the Elements

    The study of mathematics here at St. John’s begins with Euclid’s Elements, the wonderfully inventive book that takes us from the simplest beginnings of geometry to the highly complicated...

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  • Learning and Technology

    Learning and Technology

    Last semester in Annapolis, the Mellon Foundation Study Group on Digital Technology took up the question, how do human beings stand in relation to technology? This faculty study group is being led...

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  • Very Good Books of 2015

    Very Good Books of 2015

    Lovers of great books also tend to be lovers of good books. Many of us just can’t resist hunting through the piles of books published every year for those that seem most promising. Here are a few...

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  • Sights and Sounds of the Season

    Sights and Sounds of the Season

    Every December the St. John’s Collegium features musical talent by the college community. As we celebrate the beauty and wonder of the holiday season, please enjoy a minute of musical refreshment...

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  • Lost in Translation? How to Find Your Way Into a Great Book

    Lost in Translation? How to Find Your Way Into a Great Book

    Anyone who wants to become conversant with the best books must come to terms with the fact that many of them were originally written in foreign languages. For most of us, this means that we must...

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  • Giving Thanks

    Giving Thanks

    Like almost all colleges and universities in the United States, St. John’s suspends instruction for the Thanksgiving holiday so that students who are able can return home to celebrate with their...

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  • Honoring Veterans, Envisioning Peace

    Honoring Veterans, Envisioning Peace

    War endures. The oldest Babylonian tablets mark battles fought, both defensive and offensive, as does the Epic of Gilgamesh, the west’s oldest complete literary work. And the annals of western...

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  • Surprising Connection Between Innovation and Liberal Education

    Surprising Connection Between Innovation and Liberal Education

    The aim of liberal education is to help people become free. It tries to educate people who are free to search out knowledge on their own, people who are not dependent on others to tell them what...

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  • Two Steps to Narrowing Down Your College Search

    Two Steps to Narrowing Down Your College Search

    How does one begin a college search? Nowadays I often encounter high school students as young as sophomores who are starting to think about where they might go to college. Many of them—and many of...

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  • Junior Johnnie Seminars

    Junior Johnnie Seminars

    Homecoming at Annapolis was this past weekend, and I hope everyone who attended had as much fun as I did! It’s always wonderful to see old friends and introduce them to new friends, to participate...

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  • An Unexpected Bestseller—Plutarch’s “Lives”

    An Unexpected Bestseller—Plutarch’s “Lives”

    Now that school is back in session, I will shortly be resuming a study group...

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  • Gateways to Philosophy and the Search for Truth

    Gateways to Philosophy and the Search for Truth

    As the school year opens here at St. John’s, all of our new freshman and...

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  • A Word of Welcome

    A Word of Welcome

    The 2015-16 academic year is about to begin, and I’d like to take this...

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  •  Why I Teach 154-year-old Mathematical Physics

     Why I Teach 154-year-old Mathematical Physics

    The rise in advocacy for education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and...

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  • Summer Reads

    Summer Reads

    Perhaps because I’m the president of a college where we read and study some...

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  • 5 Things to Do When You Get to College

    5 Things to Do When You Get to College

    Congratulations to graduates in the Class of 2015. Graduating high-school...

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