“You simply cannot transform tradition (a creative ideal) without first knowing it (a conserving ideal). Making an inventory must precede making an invention. Just imagine how startling it must have been for Shakespeare, the child of a small-town glove maker, the first time he encountered Seneca’s blood-drenched tragedies, or Lucretius’ treatise on the nature of the material world, or Ovid’s exquisite tales of shape-shifting. Shakespeare’s education furnished him with an inventory of words, concepts, names, and plots that he would reinvent throughout his career. Immersion in distant, difficult texts enlarges your mind and your world, providing for a lifetime of further inquiry.” — Professor Scott L. Newstok to students of the Class of 2020 at this year’s Rhodes College convocation
For more on how an education like the one provided at Trinity nurtures “world-shifting thinkers,” passes on the birthright of a “complete education,” and helps students “think like Shakespeare,” read the full text of Professor Newstok’s remarks below.
Twenty-first-century students would benefit from 16th-century habits of mind.