尼克和柯基丝汀·考夫曼

Taking the Hillsdale Conversation to the Real World

作者:钱德勒·里德

Hillsdale College approaches education differently than other institutions. 教务长博士. David Whalen says it best when he says: we’re in a different conversation from most other colleges.

校友Nick和Kjerstin Kauffman, ’08, have taken the Hillsdale conversation with them and engaged in the conversations of a classical school in Colorado Springs, 约翰霍普金斯大学, 以及印第安纳州瓦尔帕莱索大学, 他们的发现有两个方面:

Yes, we are different; and that’s okay, because we’re prepared.

“Hillsdale prepared me in the sense that I was extremely well read, and my writing was on par with people who had specialized in it since high school,”Kjerstin说. Kjerstin graduated with a degree in English and served as one of the editors of the 塔的光, 山谷的文学杂志. She married Nick shortly after graduation and continued to pursue poetry at Johns Hopkins, where she was accepted into the university’s MFA program. She is still publishing while caring for their three children.

“没有一个地方像希尔斯代尔那样,”尼克补充说, who earned his PhD from Johns Hopkins before accepting a teaching position at Valparaiso. “The habits of mind and fundamental human questions that were instilled here enabled me to continue studying classics in the reality of grad school.”

Due to the sheer difference between us and the rest of academia, 然而, emerging from the Hillsdale conversation wasn’t easy. Kjerstin noticed the difference right away when she entered her MFA poetry workshops and discovered her peers were writing from a radically different perspective.

“I didn’t know how to read a text through a feminist lens or how to engage poetry that decries racial injustice,”她解释说. “我感到毫无准备.”

Nick also encountered a different perspective outside of Hillsdale.

“There’s no concept of great books in most other universities,” he said. “To them, classics don’t have truths about humanity. They’re cultural artifacts that can be analyzed and dissected in different ways.”

The Hillsdale conversation may be a source of post-graduation adversity, but one cannot leave this institution without knowing, 智力和个人, “力量享受挑战。,” as our school motto reminds us when we forget.

When Kjerstin was struggling with the conversation beyond Hillsdale, she emailed Dr. Whalen and asked him, “How can these things you told me about poetry be true? I’m not experiencing it as beautiful contemplation; I’m experiencing it as something painful.”

Dr. Whalen responded within a day, giving her encouragement and support, as did Dr. 萨默维尔博士. 史密斯. Through conversations with these professors, she realized that she faced the strenuous decision of whether to reject or affirm her Hillsdale education—to reject or affirm the Western and American heritages, 伟大的书, 文科, 真理的先验, 美, 和善良. 这确实需要很大的力量.

ballBET体育的毕业生有这种优势. “It manifests itself really quietly,”Kjerstin说. “It’s in their ability to do the work they have to do, 不管是什么,养家糊口, 做他们的工作, 投资他们的社区, and they do it with unostentatious grace and dignity. 这是如此鼓舞人心.”

换句话说,希尔斯代尔是值得的. And, according to Nick, the education here is phenomenal.

“I’ve taught in a classics program at a top-ten university, and I can say that the kind of training students get at Hillsdale is really exceptional,”尼克说. “There’s consistently high expectations of mastery.”

柯基丝汀的诗歌在这里也很盛行. “There are so many creative-writing opportunities even without many creative-writing classes,”她说.

Beyond the academics, Hillsdale cultivates the soul. For that reason alone, we should rejoice in our environment. If the college participates in a different conversation, then we must affirm our conversation and carry it with us, 在校园里和校外.


钱德勒RydNovelist, filmmaker, and resident root-beer snob, 钱德勒Ryd, ’18, is the president of the Creative Writing Club. 他在业余时间学习英语. You can usually find him in the periodicals section of the library.