Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Catholic Education Daily

 

Education Is About Pursuing Truth, Says Thomas Aquinas College Grad

A recent graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., said that she has “been found by the Truth, and now it is [her] duty to take it into the world,” during a meeting with the College’s Board of Governors.

“Here at Thomas Aquinas College, we receive the education of a free man, insofar as it helps him to achieve freedom,” said TAC alumna Laura Sherwood. “We do not pursue this education for the sake of rocketing ourselves into the job market. We pursue this education to learn about the truth that allows us to function according to the highest parts in our soul.”

Sherwood, who has plans to teach geometry at a Catholic high school next year and marry one of her classmates in the College chapel in December, said “We cannot begin to thank you for making all this possible.”

Part of her address to the Board of Governors reads:

My high school education was rigorous, and to this day I love my teachers. Still it was nothing but a preparation for good SAT scores, the Advanced Placement college tests, and getting good marks at the university of my choice. I had experienced nothing like a Thomas Aquinas College education, and because of this, my freshman year here was difficult. It took me quite a while to get used to the discussion method, to be able to understand the structure of arguments in the texts. Our readings in the Philosophy tutorial were so unintelligible to me that they might as well have been in a different language.

But I was changing. One of my favorite parts of my freshman year was coming to realize that the world was intelligible. It was so incredible for me to be able to see, over and over again in the Natural Science tutorial, how nature acts for an end. The exhaustive categorization of syllogistic forms for arguments and the beautiful progression in Euclidian geometry were truths that I just never would have expected. Growing up, I was immersed, without even knowing it, in our post-Cartesian, cultural idea that the outside world is unintelligible. The liberation from that was life-changing.

…Such studies not only liberate us from the falsehood that is so apparent in our culture today, but also from our own ignorance. As Christians we believe that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and so we know that our studies are ultimately focused on Him. The Gospel of John records Jesus saying, “I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.” Here we have the privilege of becoming free by finding, or in many cases being found by, the truth and abiding in it.

Thomas Aquinas College is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.

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