Good day (or evening) readers! Cassie Sherman lately requested that I contribute something to the Shimer blog, so here is my introductory post. My name is Leo Carton Mollica, and I shall be a second-year student at Shimer College come this autumn. I am interested primarily in philosophy, my favourite philosophers being St. Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle (any list longer than that would be arbitrary). Hobbies include calligraphy, occassional attempts at writing, and the reading of sundry philosophical texts.
I have never been particularly good at relating "personal narratives," and I shall not attempt to remedy that defect in this blog post. In lieu of such, here are a few memories that come to mind whenever I'm asked what drew me to Shimer:
0. I am, to begin with, a native of Chicago, and for the first two years following my graduation from middle school I attended a Jesuit high school in the city. I enjoyed those first two years very much and did fairly well academically.
1. In my junior year, I was forced to study from home for a semester. Not needing to move to and from school, I found myself with considerably more leisure, which I largely spent reading books I otherwise would not have had time for.
2. Some time during this semester, frustrated with the required readings for my religion class, I wrote a truly foolish letter to our religious studies department complaining about the dearth of primary sources in the junior curriculum.
3. Either that year or the year before, I attended a mock radio-play at Shimer. I remember looking enviously at the library during my visit.
4. After having taken a tour of Shimer College as a prospective early entrant, I sent the aforementioned letter in the mail once more, this time as a piece of representative writing for my application to Shimer.
5. I met some time later with Cassie for my official admission interview. For the first time in several months, I had the occassion to discuss, intelligently and in delightful detail, the books I had been reading and hear articulate sympathy for wishing more primary sources to be used in my classes.
6. I have rarely found like occassions lacking since my entering Shimer the following autumn.
I have, overall, loved what I have experienced of Shimer. The classes present a challenge to be attentive to the text and form, articulate, process, and reply to arguments quickly and intelligently in a way I had never been faced with before. Not every school, moreover, boasts admission officers happy to talk about Milton and St. Anselm, nor physics professors eager to discuss Aquinas' epistemology. I'm looking forward to the next three years. Very much.