A School Without Screens

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There is a growing consensus among human beings that the effects of our developing technology are not conducive to human development. Popular technology, despite its claim to interact and connect, breeds isolation. It causes people, especially young people, to stray into an introverted withdrawal from others and the world. As such, these results are antithetical to the action of education—educere, “to lead out.”

In his essay “Principles of Catholic Theology,” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, writing after the Space Race, presents an analogy concerning our technological trajectory:

There arises the question of the kind of spacesuit we should have in order to sustain the cosmic tempo with which we are fleeing faster and faster from the gravitational pull of tradition, and we wonder what ground controls would be necessary to prevent our burning out in the vast expanse of the universe, our bursting asunder like a homunculus of technology—questions that cannot be brushed aside today as stubborn obscurantism, for they are being raised most urgently by those who know most about the tempo of our alienation from tradition and who are most keenly aware of the problems associated with man’s historic spaceflight.

There is a boys’ boarding school in northeast Pennsylvania that takes such observations to heart. Students at Gregory the Great Academy are required to embrace a life of “technological poverty,” which means relinquishing cell phones, iPods, computers, and the like; arriving at school with only the essentials for a “disconnected” life. The pedagogy at work here is simply to free students from distraction and to allow them to focus on the important things in life: growth in virtue, cultivation of friendship, and contemplation of the Divine. Any infringement of this policy—this way of life—results in severe repercussion, if not expulsion.

You may wonder, why such radical measures are taken at this school? An iPod can make good music accessible. Information was never so conveniently acquired. One could posit that we are freer today than ever before, thanks to the Internet. The world is now only a click away—but only offered on the world’s terms.

“The average person of our time,” writes Josef Pieper in “Learning How to See Again,” “loses the ability to see because there is too much to see!”  Can man really observe, consider, and comprehend anything in a constant barrage upon his senses? There is scarcely time to render the attention a given object deserves in the in“flow”mation maelstrom of sound bytes. Man is often reduced to a mental state of floating inattention.  T. S. Eliot asks, “Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” Does the ability to multiply information and shuffle it before the eyes necessarily result in growing wiser? In The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis argues that in modernity “there is something which unites magic and applied science [technology] while separating them from the ‘wisdom’ of earlier ages. For wise men of old, the cardinal problem of human life was how to conform the soul to objective reality, and the solution was wisdom, self-discipline, and virtue. For the modern, the cardinal problem is how to conform reality to the wishes of man, and the solution is a technique.”

Excesses of technique dull the desire to see, and thereby the ability to learn. This immoderation occurs when the yearning for knowledge instead seeks titillation: enjoying the act of seeing rather than what is seen.  Such “concupiscence of the eyes,” as St. Augustine called it, grows in its threat in proportion to the outpouring upon the sense of sight, whether through Facebook, television, or the inescapable commercial culture.

It can be argued that the more information is available, the more people can be informed; or that the more there is to see, the more will people look. It appears, however, that the contrary is true. One of the chief reasons for this is the passivity that the virtual kaleidoscope fosters. The very medium in which it is presented induces superficiality of thought and expression. Knowledge was once imparted through reading, reflection, and conversation—activities requiring mental participation. Does the mind participate as fully now as it did then? Or are we too “spaced out?” The stimuli are too predominant and too numerous for man to even react intelligently.

Uninhibited usage of such media results in a deadening of the mind because the mind is not needed. Neither is the imagination, to equal detriment.  Thrills become the primary delight. Common Internet practices bear witness to our late Pope’s prophetic vision. Modern man, largely gelded of the impulses to experience, experiment, and exult, resembles Benedict’s skydiving spaceman. Without “ground control,” there is only ruin—and despair. As man drifts further from reality, reality loses the charm of its traditional understanding. Spectacle addiction is blind to sights that held civilizations enchanted. Ultimately, spectacles lose their sway and leave the paralyzed soul enslaved to whatever the medium might choose to feed it. Malcolm Muggeridge wrote that the media’s impact is “largely exerted irresponsibly, arbitrarily, and without reference to any moral, or intellectual, still less spiritual guidelines,” calling it a “brainwashing operation.”

Students should live a life of “technological poverty,” where the use of electronic media is prohibited. This policy should not be enforced out of paranoia, ignorance, or a will to oppress, but to create an atmosphere conducive to education—to the experience of joy and contemplation. This restriction is radical, but radical action is called for. Modern technology and the habits surrounding it distance people from creation. The influence of television, video games, and popular music distort human vision by deforming the imagination, inclining more to bizarre fantasy than to reality. As Catholics, we believe that we are fashioned in the image and likeness of Him who is “the image of the invisible God;” and so do not contest the consequence of imagination, which is ordered not to fantasy, but to reality. The best way to realize this is in an open environment, where imagination can become receptive and reflective of reality, in all its goodness and beauty.

The removal of technological devices only becomes educational, however, when they are replaced with an authentic experience of nature, friendship, and culture. The results are surprising. Deprived of the usual modes of diversion, students quickly adopt healthy alternatives to sex-steeped music, inane literature, and mindless entertainment. Without iTunes, boys tend to learn to play the guitar well enough to accompany folk songs. Without television, students enjoy reading aloud to one another round fires. In an environment of “technological poverty,” students actually eat together, pray together, play together, and learn together.

This policy challenges students to make contact with the real, engendered by the doctrine of “technological poverty,” which removes barriers to the world as God made it. Students must, as Wordsworth says, “come forth into the light of things.” By participating in the imaginative arts such as poetry, music, and literature, unencumbered by technological distraction, students become sensitized to that light. This is why student learning, happiness and even sanity depend on the removal of these technological distractions from the modern school.

Author’s note: The ideas expressed in this article are the fruit of conversations and collaborations with the past and present faculty of Gregory the Great Academy.

Sean Fitzpatrick

By

Sean Fitzpatrick is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and the Headmaster of Gregory the Great Academy. He lives in Scranton, PA with his wife and family of four.

  • Karen May

    I LOVE this idea!! It is so true and makes so much sense! Of course, it will never happen in this world of “progress” and the “common core”, but wouldn’t it be beautiful if all schools adopted such a wonderful policy? Oh if only……

  • Michael Lee

    Great as far as it goes; Of course everyone reading this is doing so online, and the author, no doubt, did not pound this out on a typewriter.

    • http://europa-antiqua-arca.blogspot.com/ para_bellum

      But we’re in not school, are we?

    • STF

      The question is not whether digital media is problematic among adults who wish to exchange ideas with one another online, but whether it is problematic in the art of education. The internet is the chief source of information nowadays. That’s why we are here. But is it an appropriate source for the young who are just beginning to learn how to take in and process information? I say that a purer way exists, and that the online experience is inimical to that approach. The person must be formed before he can make proper use of the tools available to him. Your comment misses this point. I am glad that you and others have found this article of some interest. I would never have had the opportunity to share my thoughts if it were not for the internet. But I would not trust the young to navigate the labyrinth of the information superhighway in the quest for knowledge. Virtual reality is best left out of the equation to solve the mysteries of reality. (And, on a side note, my writings begin with pencil and paper – not a typewriter.)

  • Steven Jonathan

    Mr. Fitzpatrick, this is a vitally important topic to consider for the schools, well done!

    “access to the world, on the world’s terms” Indeed a bargain with the devil. Your C.S. Lewis quote nearly says it all. Sir Francis Bacon advocated that nature should be ‘tortured’ or ‘put on the rack’ to conform to “man’s reality” and whatever good will and
    ties he had to tradition have been eroded away by hubris, greed, and the idolatry of “knowledge is power.”

    Now, the gluttony of knowledge through technology is led by school administrators, and in the eventuality of the Common Core, Bill Gates, the one who stands to gain materially from the lustful pursuit of technology, is the driving force behind making all assessments technologically driven, and soon most instruction.

    CEOs and Top execs for computer companies like apple and Microsoft in the silicon valley send their children to schools that eschew technology in the classroom-

    I want to go to St. Gregory’s, where do I sign up?

    Beautiful, sober, and I am sad to say prescient, because I believe also that far worse is yet to come from the schools techno-fetishism.

  • tamsin

    At my son’s middle school, they are introducing a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, to explicitly encourage students to use their own smartphones and tablets in the classroom for learning.

    Yes I know: middle-schoolers.

    1. The school principal and teachers never did get control of the situation in which anything on the internet is on a smartphone is in the school in a child’s back pocket. Any image, any content, any time. And so with this policy, it seems to me they are giving up all pretense of controlling what children are exposed to in school, by other children.

    This, from a school that recently (and properly) participated in the prosecution of a teacher who had child pornography on his home computer.

    2. I’m curious whether parents, even the most ambitious and expensive parents, really want their child to have devices all day long. I was under the impression that parents who did not control their child’s use of technology at home, were actually thankful that the child got a forced six-hour break from it at school.

    But it’s not unreasonable for teachers to want to make use of the same devices that parents use to babysit their charges. It’s not quite fair for parents to let their child be entertained with electronic devices outside of school, and then expect the teachers to perform live song and dance in school.

  • WRBaker

    As a Catholic school teacher, I have seen how technology has evolved in the classroom over a very few years to the point where it is harming how students learn.
    For instance, memorizing multiplication tables and basic Catholic prayers – why, said a principal, when they’re available on the student’s iPads or phones? Surreptitiously recording or taking pictures in the classroom (and perhaps posting on social media sites) has occurred. “Cut and pasting” has become an epidemic in schools – even 4th graders have been caught (often teachers have to explain why plagiarism is wrong to parents!).
    All of this has been foreseeable, but touting technology in the classroom is a standard phrase, just as parents are the prime educators of their children (unless it has anything to do with Common Core) is repetitively heard (sure, right).
    Let’s face it, sometimes the “old, tried and true” ways are better – aren’t thinking students the objective (especially when there is no signal or the electricity or the router goes out and they’re left on their own)?

    • musicacre

      I get what you’re saying, even though I am a “primary educator” and my kids don’t see too many teachers til they get to college. (Except for music, fencing and dance teachers..) I have to admit we haven’t had the tech distractions for homeschooling as a rule, but our sixth is a different story because this is what she was born into. What surprises me (and our kids, when they start university) is the astounding number of students who don’t use cursive writing regularly, or can’t do it. I would say this is one of many casualties of the tech takeover. Creativity, fine motor skills, and like you said, memorization skills are all on the chopping block!

      • Adam__Baum

        “astounding number of students who don’t use cursive writing regularly,”

        I think it’s dying, and it would be just as easy to write “at all” instead of “regularly”.

        There’s theorists actually promoting the idea of dropping it because all they’ll ever see is 10 pt sans serif fonts. I wish I saved the link.

        (Of course that sounds a lot like a common core influenced idea. )

        • Bob

          Interesting. Thinking about it, I had my 6th grade PREP/CCD class at my parish write out the Nicene Creed the other day. I think only one used cursive, the rest printed it.

          • musicacre

            Wow, before you know it, they won’t be able to print either. My first four I taught cursive at the usual age (back then) grades 2-3, and they use it naturally now as their first choice. For my youngest two I stalled a bit, they learned when they were older and I’ve regretted it because they find it difficult, even though they are both high school age now.

  • Susan Scott

    Lots of food for thought in this excellent essay. In light of the Common Core State Standards, the push is on to increase technology in public classrooms and parochial schools. My son’s fourth grade public school teacher was certified in teaching technology and was so thrilled to beta test hand held devices in her classroom. While she was teaching from her whiteboard, students were encouraged to type in their questions and answers. While she was over the moon excited about this “advance” in the classroom, I was appalled at the idea. Children would no longer engage in hand raising, sharing comments and questions, and interacting with class and teacher. They would send messages only to the teacher and she would decide which ones to share or comment upon. My other son’s parochial school spent the last school year holding fundraiser upon fundraiser upon contest to provide an I-pad for each student.
    The quote from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is quite profound.

  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

    Last night, as I lectured on Rabelais and Montaigne and the French Renaissance, a bright young student ignored me completely as she spent the entire class time busily texting right out in the open. During a coffee break, she even ran up to me excitedly to announce: “Guess what! I’m on TV!” – by which she meant Youtube, apparently. She had attended a rock concert the night before, been caught on camera, and someone had posted it online, where her friends caught sight of her, which is what all the frantic texting was about, as I lectured on the dramatic decline of confidence among Renaissance humanists following the Wars of Religion. Despite this young lady’s inability to concentrate on anything for than 30 seconds, she will be passing judgement on my teaching abilities in about two weeks. And I am viewed as something of a dinosaur because I make little effort to “integrate technology into the classroom.” Honestly, I wish I had become a farmer.

    • Adam__Baum

      Relax Doctor, when she graduates, assuming she gets a job in a professional environment, she might be sitting in a meeting I run and I always tell attendees, turn off the devices.

      If she doesn’t, a dimmed room always reveals the soft glow that attends the failure to turn off the device. She will try this only once, I promise.

    • Rob B.

      You have my sympathy, sir. Are there any colleges and universities out there with a tech ban in the classroom?

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        I don’t know, Rob. But I wish I had found one years ago!

      • Sebastian M.

        There are a few colleges out there that implement tech bans. I would suggest looking into Wyoming Catholic College which not only bans technology, but replaces it with an amazing outdoor program.

      • Scientific professional

        INCONCEIVABLE!!!

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  • Bob

    Great article, Sean!

    Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: “The fruit of Silence is prayer. The fruit of Prayer is faith. The fruit of Faith is love. The fruit of Love is service. The fruit of Service is peace. ”

    Satan and his pals want our modern American lives so preoccupied with “noise” that there is no room for the necessary silence to listen and speak with the God that is trying to communicate with us in the quiet of our hearts. We’re constantly texting, tweeting, Facebooking, emailing that there is no time in our day to just sit quietly in prayer.

    • musicacre

      It’s funny, we acknowledged the destructive forces of interior “noise” in Psych nursing, more than 30 years ago….and that was BEFORE computers and the 101 gadgets people tune into! Interesting that it was pointed out as destructive even in secular terms.

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  • Rich

    This could be the birth of a sort of Catholic Amish society! Sorry, I have to use sarcasm when I see stuff like this.

    Abusus non tollit usum is the maxim I love. The abuse of something certainly does not abolish its use. There has to be a way to stop vilifying everything you disagree with, or have an issue about. You may long for the day when people can sit around a fire and read to each other, but that’s only going to happen in the third world, or in places where you pay a lot of money to a private school that will do its darndest to “educate” those kids in a way that pleases an elitist minority. Sure, I see some value in the ideas of nature, quiet, and conversation face to face as opposed to texting, or worse…but we also need to be careful NOT to over -react…which is what I think this article engenders and supports. .

    Guys, computers and the digital age are here to stay. We need to find ways to foster and encourage quality use of these tools, in the same way we would any other. With love and responsibility.

    • STF

      The idea behind this piece is not that we should abolish the use of digital technology, but only from the arena of education. I agree that abuse does not merit abolishment. It seems to me, however, that the best way to abolish abuse is to lead the young down paths of wonder toward wisdom. Digital technology is designed to distract – so provide a retreat. Give students those eternal standards and values by which they may judge material conditions and systems i nan environment that does not have to compete with the cacophony of virtual reality. Let them learn the proper use of these devices after learning how to use their minds. It is better to foster our natural tools before all else, instead of losing them to bad habits. Young people tend toward abuse – that much is manifest. We are all Icarus at that age. Therefore, why not give them the chance to fortify themselves in intellect, principle, and discipline so that they are ready to put the tools of this world to good use? That is what I would call a loving and responsible approach – and one that I would not consider an over-reaction.

  • ack8910

    As a current medical student, technology is very much a part of our day-to-day classroom existence. Virtually all professors use slideshow presentations, and most students use their laptop computers to take notes. Electronic medical records are on the up-and-up, and have been implemented in many practice settings. One of our professors mentioned the un-necessity of memorizing a certain pathway because “on the wards, you can just look it up on your smartphone.” While technology certainly has its place (e.g. using an anonymous polling program to ascertain how well we are understanding the lesson being presented via Q&A), I too fear that we as students (at all levels–med school down to preschool) are losing certain skills as we rely more and more on our ‘smart’ devices. I recently read Ven. Abp. Fulton Sheen’s autobiography “Treasure in Clay”, where he discusses his educational background—man, those folks had to be able to memorize, think, recite! I can’t imagine having to go through that educational ‘trial by fire.’ And I’m 24 years old–technology was just becoming implemented on a wide basis when my educational journey first began. I can’t imagine how it is/will be for children today and in the future.

  • John

    I am reminded of previous “dust-ups” of this sort. Recall when the gods provided us with a written language and the bards faded as the memorized epic poem became a thing of the past….

  • Adam__Baum

    I think the screens might reflect a greater problem in contemporary pedagogy.

    I visited a niece’s grade school open house this evening. The classrooms are incredibly busy, the walls have barely any empty space. The entire classroom is a discordant collage of posters and mobiles, with different messages, characters (Peanuts was there) and themes.

    I have no idea how any learning occurs in this sort of barrage and I wonder if the retreat to the screen (at least among the very young, I’m hoping colleges don’t create these environments) is an attempt to obtain a singular message without all the visual noise.

    • slainte

      “Rows and columns have been replaced by round tables and they have subdivisions called “pods”.
      Emphasis on communal learning….group think?

      • Robin E

        Well, that is to facilitate the group project approach. In my son’s public high school that is practically all they do. One of the students does all the work, and the rest sit there and play video games on their school-assigned laptops. Apple, of course. They no longer have textbooks in most classes. In a few, there is a shared textbook you can borrow if you feel you need it. All assignments and exams…..sorry, “assessments”….are online.

        • slainte

          The seating arrangements and “group” work ethic stifles the ability of the children to learn independently. Those who do not actively engage the subject matter of the courses will not learn the coursework, and, in time. will develop a passive “follower” mindset. Uncomplaining, unresisting drones can be useful employees in some work settiings. Certainly this sort of person is not someone likely to challenge an abusive corporate work environment or political order.
          It is curious how Change Agents are methodically using “organizational psychology” in the schools to substitute “group think” and passivity in place of individual accomplishment, competition, and scholarly excellence. The marginalization, and, in some instances, erasure of classical liberal arts and literature from school curriculi will undoubtedly impede a child’s ability to flourish as an adult.

        • Rob B.

          With the Common Core, all the standardized tests (sorry, “assessments”) will be online as well. My school district (to say nothing about my charter school) has no idea where it will find all the laptops it needs to test its students.

    • Robin E

      That is what the textbooks look like, too. I have been complaining about this for years. It is almost as if the goal is to produce an inability to think and learn in a linear fashion. It was pretty satisfying to hear my ten year-old boy remark the other day that he much prefers the history books we are using for homeschooling to the ones he used to have at school. He said they were nothing but collections of “fun fact” boxes surrounding a brief overview of the subject. It is nearly impossible to develop an interest in the subject, let alone any sort of coherent understanding or systematic approach to thinking or learning. What a fraud!

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  • Rob B.

    I teach at a K-12 charter school that has a ban on personal technology in the classroom and I think such a ban is a vital point in maintaining a decent learning environment. I remember going to a special education conference once in which a school presented its pedagogical approach. Among the various ideas (most of which, I’m sad to say, had little to do with classical education) was the fact that they encouraged the use of iPods and smartphones in the classroom because banning them hadn’t worked. My question to them was “How hard did you try?” Alas, most modern educators seem to make surrender to the prevailing anti-intellectual culture into an art form.

    Technology does have a role in the modern educational system. I have class websites where students can find readings and assignments if they forget to bring their materials home. I make use of some Powerpoint presentations as well as YouTube videos. The problem is when the use of technology overwhelms the content you are trying to impart. When the classroom becomes all style and no substance, learning does not happen. Given education trending, I fear that we will get worse before we get better.

  • Former Student

    It’s not practical to entirely eliminate technology in an educational environment when currently 68% of all jobs in America, and nearly 100% of professional, tertiary jobs, require computer usage. Going into college without having computer experience is not practical and not responsible. I know graduates of St. Gregory’s who can barely type at 30 word-per-minute. With first-hand experience regarding St. Gregory’s, it doesn’t surprise me when a large percentage of the graduates have not attended college and are working laborious, low paying jobs which do not require degrees. I guarantee you couldn’t show me ten graduates of this school or the old Greg’s who are able to be considered successful on an above average level in the world. Waste of money and potential. Attending for two years is one of the biggest regrets in my life.

    • another former student

      It will be a sad day indeed when how many words one can type per minute becomes the measure by which education is judged. My experience at the school was absolutely wonderful.
      I do, by the way, have a job that does require a degree. I’m not sure if I would be called a success “on an above average level” by the world as I don’t make oodles of money – just enough to support myself and my family. That being said, I hope the world never judges me too kindly. That will be a sign to me that something is wrong.

    • Christopher

      I am sorry that you did not have a great experience in high school, but that does not give you license to bitterly spread falsehoods shielded by the anonymity of the internet. Most alumni from St. Gregory’s and Gregory the Great went on to attend 4 year college, generally Catholic schools like Christendom, University of Dallas, and Ave Maria. Alumni have gone on to become lawyers, doctors, business professionals, and teachers. They have also become farmers, carpenters, and plumbers. The fact that you look down on those that work with their hands and are not seeking out wealth is a good indicator of why you were not able to be away from the comforts of home during your high school years. I will keep you in my prayers. Sent from my IPad.

    • STF

      You are right—off the top of my head I can’t really think of any alumni that are “successful in an above-average level in the world.” But I can think of ten priests and religious. Those are the ones that I consider the success stories of the school—along with the many Catholic husbands and fathers and honest laborers who learned a thing or two about who they were in the atmosphere created by their school. Liberal education is not utilitarian. It is not servile. It strives to lead the young to learn God’s plan for them—and the less distractions (which are impediments to that discovery) the better. There is always time to learn how to use a computer program. The time for education is short.

    • ThomasRanieri

      Former Student:

      Several problems with your diatribe:

      1. I’m a former student of SGA/GGA and I’m using a computer! After many a long year, and a lot of counseling, I somehow managed to finally figure out how the magic box worked.

      2. Your presumption is that education’s sole purpose is success in the real world. You are correct in thinking that is not behind the educational philosophy of Greg’s – saving and enriching souls is the underlying theory there. But you’re probably right, making money is way more important.

      3. I can name you ten people who would be considered successful. I will omit last names. Dan started a company with another St. Greg’s alumnus, John, in insurance adjusting, and it now has 20 something employees, many of them Greg’s guys, and its only a few years old. Denny is the head of a nursing home with over a hundred beds. I went to graduate school with two other Greg’s guys in DC, where another Greg’s guy, a lawyer, now works at the DoE. Ben just got his PhD in English, and a tenure track job at a Texas university. Pat joined the marine corp as a private, and is now a 1st Lieutenant. Dave is a captain in the Corp as well. Oh, there is a company in Virginia that does home inspections and contracting work – founded by a couple Greg’s guys.

      Then’s there is me. I came into Greg’s from a broken home and after my actual home burned to the ground in front of my eyes. I was lost and directionless. Greg’s removed me from the noise and chaos, and provided a peaceful place to learn and pray. The friends and traditions I made in high school are with me to this day, and have a profound impact on me. I don’t think I could have been accomplished as much as I have without it. How’s that? I have an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree, and am working on my law degree at Duquesne. I have been published in academic journals. I worked in a professional workplace for six years. I own my home, and have a beautiful wife and kids. I am not yet 30. Am I successful enough on an “above average level” for you?

      4. Learn how to type in college. Learn how to think in high school. The argument that you need to use the computer in high school in order to be successful is completely specious. How many schools have computer classes, but their graduates are by and large ignorant and uninspiring? The fact is that the computer is a tool we can use to create – but if you have no spirit, education, or beauty in your soul, you will have nothing to create worth making. St. Greg’s instills beauty, truth, and goodness into young men’s souls, and the quiet and lack of technology quiets the chaos so that true community based around those virtues can emerge.

      Or, you know, you could just log-on to facebook.

      At first I was angry, but now I just feel sad that you so completely missed the point of the school and never allowed it to shape your soul. God bless.

    • CPrezziaMD

      I graduated from Saint Gregory’s Academy (SGA) in 2004, and am currently a second year medical resident at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Believe it or not, I have never listed on my resume or been asked how many WPMs” (words per minute) I can type during any interview. On the other hand, one of my college teachers at Pitt praised my writing skills (she didn’t mention how fast I typed). In residency, my senior residents and attendings have complimented my ability to communicate otherwise complex medical jargon into easily understood concepts (including terminal cancer diagnoses) when talking with patients and their families. Please note that I was not the best writer or rhetorician in my class at SGA by any means. Interestingly, both “career skills” can be directly related to the education at SGA and neither has anything to do with learning how to use the latest version of Microsoft Office or coding in C++.

      While the school does not have a scientific or “wordly” focus, the curriculum does adequately prepare one for post-graduate success. I encountered the “real” world of science and discovery through nature walks during the fall and rugby practices in the icy Pennsylvanian winters. Personally, these experiences at SGA have proven much more valuable and educational than a long forgotten
      periodic table of elements. This is particularly true in the pagan, hostile, and joyless university environments I have encountered since graduating from
      SGA. More importantly though, one can always learn the divisions of the cell
      cycle from any textbook; one cannot replicate the joyful and Catholic experience
      at Gregory the Great Academy (GGA).

      Like Tom, I also feel sorry that you regret your years at SGA, but maybe in time you’ll come to appreciate how valuable those years truly were. In any case, you’re assured of the prayers of the entire SGA/GGA community.

    • Marcellus

      Oh my gosh! They can barely type 30 words-per minute (or as you say, “at 30 word-per minute”). The horror!

    • Marcellus

      Where did you get the statistic that 68% of all jobs in America require computer usage?

  • 3 science professionals

    How good of you to disseminate your ideas about the evils of technology via the internet. Perhaps if you would like to give the appearance of authentically following your own teachings, you should in the future deliver such messages via printed (and paid for) paper media to each of our doorsteps.

    We particulary enjoyed reading your assertions and categorical statements regarding how things “must be”, and were especially convinced by the fact that your views are corroborated by “a growing consensus among human beings”. We would find it even more illuminating were you to provide substantiating evidence for some of these claims.

    Cheers,

    A computer programmer
    A mechanical engineer
    A biologist
    … all of whom are serious catholics

    PS: We noted that, in spite of your argument against the usefulness of technology to assist education, you forget that in addition to imaginative arts, an equally important part of education is science and technology, and students are much less able to learn about these subjects when “disconnected” from technology. Never mind the importance of teaching kids to type properly.

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