January is almost a third over now and in just two days time I'll be on a plane returning to my home in Chicago and the rigorous assignments that await me. It also means that February is fast approaching and, with it, the Montaigne Scholarship competition. This is my third blog about the competition; the first was centered around one of the winners from my year and the second was full of pictures of the competing group from last year. While I have been asked to write a blog encouraging people to come compete, I also find it personally important to talk to everyone about entering the competition.
Margaret, the youngest Dashwood sister in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, says something to the effect of, "we never talk about things," and, for some reason or another, this has always stuck with me. I kept it in the back of my mind until it came rushing to the surface during the discussion portion of my Montaigne competition. I realized that was what had been so unbearable about high school education and what I was dreading about college, not talking about things. My entire life I had been expected to "learn" things from people who only knew what the teacher's edition of textbooks told them, nothing was discussed, just memorized.
I didn't win the Montaigne, but I earned something invaluable during the competition: the decision to go to Shimer. It is one of the best ideas I've ever had and cannot imagine being happy without receiving the education I am today. So, yes, come to the competition with the hopes of winning, but also come to find yourself in discussion and lose yourself in learning. I can't wait to see you all there.