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Patrick Lambdin joined the “Great Conversation” after a required Western Heritage class. Every Carthage student must take Western Heritage I and II. For Patrick, the courses introduced him to a new passion: studying classic literature and Western thought.
“Western Heritage was probably my favorite class, simply because it was in Western Heritage that this whole new world of literature was opened up to me,” he said.
But it wasn’t just the subject matter that held his interest. It was his professors. To Patrick, the Great Ideas Program centers around a true conversation of learning between professor and student alike, not a lecture. “These professors excel because they are committed to understanding the greatest minds all of Western thought and reinforcing the practice of approaching problems broadly, while realizing that they are as much students of the great texts as the 20-year-olds sitting beside them,” he said.
Patrick now works as a Heritage Fellow, assisting students in the Western Heritage Program. He plans to further his studies and someday become a professor.
At Carthage, he also keeps busy by working in the Honors Office, heading a student-run publication for analytical essays, and playing cello in the orchestra. To relax, he rejoices in a Carthage favorite: the lake.
“Whether it’s nice outside or not, walking along Lake Michigan on the way back from class is a great experience,” he said. He’s also vice president for the Meditation Club.
“My toughest class was Introduction to International Relations. The professor is the reason it was so difficult. There was a lot of homework and hard grading.”
Opportunities at Carthage
“I’ve had many opportunities at Carthage. I am traveling to Rome for the entire month of January while reading Shakespeare. I’ve gotten to do independent research with professors in my department free of charge, and with professorial help, I was able to enroll in a summer semi-intensive Latin course. Also, there are a number of lectures (i.e. Hannibal Lectures and Book That Changed My Life lectures, etc.) that have allowed students and professors to mutually explore many of the intellectually stimulating texts we read here.”
Biggest surprise so far?
“My biggest surprise is constantly how interested professors and my boss are in me and my opinions. These incredibly intelligent people are ready and willing to listen to what I have to say. It is always one of my favorite surprises.”
Advice for other students considering your major
“Well, if you like being challenged academically, try Great Ideas and Classics. Together they are a very intensive program that encourages you to know at least three languages before graduation. However, all this studying and difficulty give one the unique-to-Carthage opportunity to study some of the greatest patterns of thought the world has ever seen with some of the best professors around.”