Finding my Contemporaries

Education should be a journey.  I’m a firm believer in the ideas of John Dewey and am grateful that Green Mountain has given me a program based on those principles.  The progressive program at Green Mountain is a self-directed learning experience that allows you to explore disciplines, programs, and thought systems with fluidity and ease.  One of the largest components of this program is the senior capstone course, a twelve credit independent study with a curriculum dictated by the student and approved by a committee of faculty from across the academic programs.

My course of study up to this point has been focused on the creative arts and philosophy.  After my travels to Italy, living in a castle and working on a vineyard, I fell in love with the world of writing – the authors, experiences, journeys, characters, and language all hold so much weight in a world based on communication. 

This has lead me to my senior study – a twelve credit exploration involving the works of Dante, Pound, Galileo, Hemingway, Stoneback, and other histories or biographies of countless authors, all communicating.  I read poetry, prose, historical accounts, primary and secondary sources, all while responding in my own poetic verse and crafting a literary journey through these men and women.  They have become contemporaries.  They have become friends, in a weird, pseudo-hermit way.  My days are filled with reading while my nights consist of tapping away on my little Brother Charger 11 typewriter, trying to make sense of what I’ve learned – trying to connect and weave webs throughout all of academia.  This will eventually lead to a 70+ page publication cataloguing thoughts, experiences, and choices made by the authors, including myself.

Imagine, as an undergraduate, having an experience of being able to pen your own book, as coursework!  Through steady meetings with my advisor and multiple vetting processes per week, the load is challenging and rewarding, and the product will be a culmination of all of my experiences at GMC – is there a better way to end four years? I think not.  

-Ernest Klepeis


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