I first met Fr. James Schall, S.J., in April 2008 while visiting Georgetown as a junior in high school. Instead of watching Pope Benedict XVI drive by my hotel, I walked up to campus to sit in on Fr. Schall’s “Elements of Political Theory” class. Though I had a ticket to see the Holy Father later that week in New York, I chose to go see Fr. Schall over the Pope.

Admittedly I sat in on GOVT-117 because it was a government course and I knew I wanted to be a government major, in the sense that I had a passion for American electoral politics. I was perplexed when Fr.Schall spent 50 minutes talking about Plato, in what was supposed to be a class about politics. It would be almost three years before I formally enrolled in that same introductory course in political theory, wherein my life was changed.

It took until my fourth semester at Georgetown that I really began to get an education while still in college because it wasn’t until that time that I understood the importance of the life of the mind. Fr. Schall taught me that there’s more to life and more to a college education than what is on the resume. He taught me that the most important thing we can do is to seek after ultimate questions, to seek the highest things, and to do it all in the company of friends. Thanks to Fr. Schall I’m keeping my books and I’m no longer majoring in current events. Strauss says we’re lucky if we live at a time when even one great mind is alive. Not only have I lived during his time, I have been blessed to be his student.

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