It’s a leisurely and stimulating experience, in the company of readers as varied as Chaucer’s Canterbury pilgrims. It’s an intellectual voyage with the classic, itself, at the helm.
I discovered that most participants had, like me, been a bit intimidated reading the book alone before our week together. But what was amazing and so rewarding was that we, the participants, discovered the work as a group.
The leader’s role is to gently guide the discussion so that it stays on track. So, in a small group, you can actively participate in exploring the ideas, from your own point of view, without secondary sources or prior information. And you meet people from diverse backgrounds and interests, yet find your common ground in the ideas before you. What fun! For one week you and your group are immersed in someone else's head! It is intense and exhilarating. Usually the dialogue continues into lunch, and when you mix with others who are exploring other writers, you find a crossover of ideas.
I was impressed with the contributions of everyone in the class – most of all, with the respect for others and the attention given to all points of view. I guess that’s what “shared inquiry” is all about.
This experience helped me realize that looking at [art] is much more meaningful when I can discuss and interact with others.
“Why does Hemingway open the book with the story of Robert Cohn?” he asks, and away we go, unpeeling layer after layer of the story that we had never even noticed when we had each read the novel on our own.
Refreshing to be in the company of intelligent companions with enquiring minds and no shortage of opinions.
The extra-curricular activities were as good as the base program and Toronto in summer is a delightful setting for inquiring minds to meet.
What distinguishes these trips is a combination of sightseeing and the study of a text related to the destination. Sightseeing is divided between organized touring and free time. The textual study is a combination of lecture and group discussion. While the itinerary includes stops in several towns, sufficient time is devoted to two or three to allow for a more nuanced experience of a given place. Having a native speaker along on the trip, with knowledge of the area visited, is a much appreciated resource.
This is truly the best vacation I have had. It combined structure and free time; lively discussion and relaxation; great group of people and time alone, in an excellent balance. I would definitely do a Classical Pursuits holiday again.
I loved the division of time into serious study in the mornings and free time to wander and explore in the afternoons.
I especially enjoyed the afternoon and the evening we spent at Villa Bencista in Fiesole; it was lovely and restful to sit on the terrace and view the Tuscan countryside. The room for the discussion of Machiavelli’s The Prince as lovely, and the opportunity to view the olive harvest was a special treat.
Laura Lathrop, Elbert, CO
This trip was a lovely experience, which was largely informed by [Ann Kirkland’s] graciousness, meticulous planning, civilized taste level and humor. I knew I was off to an excellent start when I received the book (sparing me not having to run out and find it made me like you immediately) and wonderful prep materials (both on Flannery[O’Connor] and Savannah, including the map). Right away you established yourself as an organized, professional and intelligent being. So I felt I would be in good hands. So important when you are travelling with total strangers.
Catherine Bigwood, New York, NY
I just wanted to send you this note to thank you for organizing such a wonderful, stimulating, and comfortable trip to Mexico last month. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
I could comment on the creative comforts – Paris is full of them. But the ideas are what I’ll take with me and upon which I’ll focus future readings and art-related activities. ... in closing, I say I’m taking riches, and I’m grateful to Classical Pursuits for this.
It was a week full of stimulating discussions, enriching ideas and fascinating people – an experience I hope to repeat.
I like to call the program “Summer Camp for Adults, Only Better.” It’s a week to expand your mind and horizons in an interesting city, with interesting people.
Thank you so much for organizing our Italy trip of a lifetime. There was little room for improvement.
This trip has been a joy... excellent design, fine accommodations and good food.
We had access to facilities and events that we would not have had traveling on our own, and I spent two weeks with some of the most intelligent and intellectually stimulating people I’ve ever met.
I was afraid to travel, especially solo. This was easy and fun and I’ve learned so much. The leaders were outstanding. “Easy” books to read initially but very rich discussion, i.e., I didn’t have to do a huge amount of preparation.
Discussions at cafés, especially the elegant ones [were the best]. All the walks were wonderful and helped me become familiar with Paris. The hotel was perfect – good service and great location for our purpose. Group discussion leaders were all five star.
The concept and literature selected and discussion leaders were wonderful. Where I thought, originally, that a reading was not so appropriate, I changed my mind quickly. The hotel was very good, especially the location.