What is the Good Life?
Russell Leary, Humanities Program Coordinator, explains exciting new track at MSA.
The Humanities Program at the Miller School of Albemarle is a brand new academic and extracurricular program that provides structure and incentives for students to achieve their fullest potential in their years at Miller and to deepen their interest in all things related to the Humanities.
The program is for students who have a thirst for knowledge and engaging with the great works of the sages who came before them. It encourages students to ask and seek answers to the perennial questions regarding the human condition such as: “What is the good life?” Students search for these answers through their study of history, immersing themselves in powerful literature, watching moving dramas, and analyzing works of art and photography.
As the culmination of their experience, the hope is for students to make a meaningful contribution to the realm of humanities through their own writing, performance, and creativity. Students who enroll and participate in the Humanities program are those who challenge themselves at every turn of their academic career here.
Students who take on coursework that is intensely rigorous do so because they are passionate about the topics they are studying, and are rewarded with a certificate of distinction to accompany their MSA diploma. Students begin earning credits in their junior and senior years by enrolling in coursework that exceeds the minimum requirements for a standard diploma.
In this way, the program motivates students to take responsibility for their learning, to become independent, critical thinkers and to pursue life-long learning. Over the course of their careers, student gain valuable skills: academic research and argumentative writing, literary analysis and creative writing, public speaking and oration, foreign language proficiency, as well as artistic excellence through acting, drawing, painting and photography. In addition to the coursework, the Humanities program will gives students opportunities for even more exploration through unique field trips and guest speakers.
Maria Nimmo will be one of the first recipients of a major certificate in the Humanities Program. Maria is the quintessential humanities student, in that her quest for sufficient answers to the questions of life will be a never-ending pursuit. In her time at the school, Maria has never shied away from difficult or challenging coursework and has poured herself into each intellectual endeavor. She studies Latin at the highest level, performs Shakespeare on stage and has been a part of every school drama. This year, in order to complete the requirements for a Humanities Major, she has enrolled in a Senior Seminar in Native American History. In this seminar she has taken up the pursuit of researching and writing a scholarly paper which she will defend before a committee of faculty members upon its completion. In college, Maria hopes to continue doing what she has done for years here at Miller: read, write, perform.
Simon Jones is a junior who has recently enrolled in the Humanities Program. Simon enjoys behavioral economics, psychology, history, politics, business, debate, and public speaking. His hope is that through the Humanities Program, he will have opportunities to sharpen his budding talents in each of these areas. A true renaissance man, he does not limit himself to any one particular area of study but is always looking to learn more about the world. After graduating from MSA, he hopes to continue pursuing his wide ranging interests until he settles on one specific avenue of study.