Today is July 4th, Independence Day, the day we celebrate our liberty and it is also the day that I, at nearly 26, having a college degree, and a job as a lumberjack* am starting over with my education. I have always wished I had a liberal classical education, the education meant for a free citizen of a free country and now I am going to do something about it.
I was homeschooled for most of my basic education. Though I did have to study algebra and a few other subjects which were of little or no interest to me at the time, my basic education was very informal. It was this informality which allowed me to develop a love of learning and especially of reading, I only read books which were of interest to me. This informality with its few requirements was a bed of soil in which to spread the roots of the mind and the resources made available to me(lots of books, willing parents, the infantile internet, etc.) proved to be good mental nutrients. However, this informality also had its drawbacks, the greatest of which was that I was not formally educated; a thing is itself and is not not itself, informal education is not formal education.
I have always believed, along with my parents that the end of education is mental, personal, even virtuous, and not economic, nor practical. That is to say that education is about developing the person and especially the mind to its greatest possible extent, not about getting a job. I have a job; I cut down trees. By most current standards I am highly educated having a college degree and I plan to continue this education with a PhD. I recently realized however, that even after earning a PhD, I would feel that there was a hole in my education because I had never studied the trivium, the three basic subjects of a formal classical education; grammar (Latin grammar, that is), logic, and rhetoric. I have been out of college for over a year and I have a year or so before I begin graduate studies; I’m going to fill that hole. I’m going back to high school.
*Technically I am not a lumberjack because the trees I cut down are generally in neighborhoods, dead, and of little value as lumber but, lumberjack is much easier to say and conveys the basic idea.