Great Books on the Road

First Stop, Chicago!10357605_10152741322680555_4682531282875041019_n
Every year, the Great Books team goes on the road to talk about our program with young readers and thinkers across the country. We’re so happy to announce that our first trip of the season will be to Chicago! We’ve put together an amazing informational event and will also be presenting at the Schuler Scholars dinner, to connect their scholars to Great Books.

Odyssey Adventure Night
Program Coordinator, Melody Kasulis, says talking about Great Books with prospective students is one of the most rewarding parts of outreach. Our event will begin with a program presentation followed by a Q&A panel of current GBSP students, parents and staff. We will also be facilitating a Great Books-style shared-inquiry discussion, which may be Melody’s favorite part of the event: “Watching the group come alive with literature, like a piece of the original Invocation of The Odyssey, is a magical 10628243_10152741281655555_4156824893687255543_nmoment and demonstrates how dynamic GBSP classes can be.” The evening caps off with a folk performance of The Odyssey by local musician and classics enthusiast, Joe Goodkin! Joe was a guest speaker at our Amherst program this past summer, and captivated us with his musical Odyssey adventure. We are thrilled to have him with us for the evening! Read more about Joe here.
Our Chicago event is free to all attendees. For event information or to RSVP, please email Program Coordinator, Melody Kasulis at .

Our Work with Schuler Scholars
While we’re in Chicago, our Financial Aid Coordinator, Heather Nielsen, will be attending an event hosted by the Schuler Scholar Program. Schuler is a college scholarship program founded in 2001 to provide holistic support to high school and college students from Greater Chicago. Great Books and Schuler have been partnered since 2010 to bring bright, motivated students in the Chicago area to our Amherst campus. Stay tuned for Heather’s experience in our next post! For more info on Schuler visit:

IMG_8274Words from a Native Chicagoan
How excited are we to be in Chicago? Our bags are basically packed already and we’ve been asking our Chicago-area alumni for tourism tips. Beyond our two wonderful events and getting the chance to see beautiful Chicago, we are most looking forward to the people- seeing alums and meeting new faces. Chicago native Whitney Thomas has been to Great Books Stanford for the past 3 summers, and her mother Deona Thomas is the gracious host for our event on November 6th. Whitney is currently in the 9th grade at the University of Chicago Laboratory School. We asked her about her time at Great Books and life in Chicago:

GBSP: How did you first find out about Great Books?
WT: I learned about GBSP from my 6th grade humanities teacher.

GBSP: Any projects or hobbies you’re passionate about right now?
WT: I play piano and am currently attempting to learn to play guitar. In school I am also setting up a saltwater aquarium with my friends in our science room. The aquarium is cool because I didn’t have any knowledge about fish, but it is a great, hands on experience and I have learned a lot from it.

GBSP: What’s your favorite part of living in Chicago?
WT: I love living in Chicago because of the different environments. I can go downtown with all of the skyscrapers and stores, then I can go home to the University of Chicago and enjoy the gothic style architecture.

GBSP: Which Great Books program do you attend, and why?
WT: I have gone to GBSP at Stanford for the past three summers. I first went to Stanford because of the weather, (it is a lot nicer than Chicago weather). For the next two summers I went back to Stanford because of the awesome campers and PA’s.

GBSP: What’s your all-time favorite reading at Great Books?
WT: One of my favorite GBSP readings is Evil and the Milgram experiment. That was really interesting and a very memorable lecture. I also really enjoyed Theology and Falsification. Both of these readings really made me think and I liked the challenge. I also have to admit, Protagoras was enjoyable, (mostly because of Noah Rosenblum’s lecture).

GBSP: What is one thing we should do while we’re in Chicago?
WT: I think you should just explore. You guys should see some tourist attractions like Millennium park and the Sears tower, but I think the best things to do in Chicago are going to the museum like the Art Institute, the Museum of Science and Industry, and just walking around downtown and exploring Chicago’s different neighborhoods.

GBSP: What insider advice do you have for new campers?
WT: New GBSP campers should just be prepared to make a lot of long lasting friendships and have a very memorable summer!

A huge thanks to Whitney for the advice! Interested in meeting the GBSP team and our awesome alumni? Join us!

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