This week we're spotlighting Jon, a Boston-based admissions coach and a tutor for Philosophy, German, and the GRE! Jon attended Asbury University and majored in History and Philosophy, then proceeded to earn an MA and a PhD in Philosophy at Boston College. He's currently teaching in Boston College's 'Perspectives in Western Culture' program. Interested in working with Jon, either in-person in Boston, or online? Check out Jon's tutor page here!
1) Where are you from?
Rural East Texas.
2) What do you do now?
I teach in Boston College's 'Perspectives in Western Culture' program.
3) What's the most interesting/wildest thing you're doing this summer?
Getting a tour of the White House from an old friend who works there.
4) What's on your summer reading list?
Plato's Gorgias; Earnest Nagel's Gödel's Proof ; Andrew McAfee'sThe Second Machine Age.
5) We’re compiling a list of “amazing feats” throughout history– basically, the intellectual equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. Can you share one of your favorite feats from your field?
Aristotle's discovery of formal/syllogistic logic (without which computers would not exist).
6) Given the choice of anyone in the world, living or dead, which 3 people would you invite to your dinner party? What do you imagine you'd talk about?
Plato, Rousseau, and Hegel. They would talk about how what normally passes for education (cramming facts into students' heads) transforms the faculty of reason into something servile, instead of something free.
7) Tell us your favorite epic (or not so epic) story from your childhood.
Growing up in east Texas, we had a lot of tornadoes. We also had a lot of mobile homes (trailers on wheels), and my family and my 11-year-old self lived in one of them. When a tornado came within 25 yards of our trailer one night, it shattered all the windows and rocked whole trailer several feet from side to side, but left me unscathed. The next day I was climbing in a downed tree, fell out of it, and broke my wrist.
8) Introduce us to your 15 year old self.
My 15-year-old self had a mullet that he was very proud of and groomed with great affection.
9) What are your favorite website(s) to browse?
MIT Technology Review. The Onion.
10) What’s your absolute favorite (desert island-status) book, or movie?
Terrence Malick's Tree of Life.
11) What are 3 (non-generic) things that you’re grateful for?
Maxwell's discovery of the electromagnetic spectrum; Max Richter, for his music; Aristotle, for teaching me how to understand myself and how to live.
12) Tell us about the last amazing meal you had.
Asian-braised Ox-Shin Bourguignon -- sounds pretentious but it's just a stew made from onions, red wine, star anise, and ox shin; after 5 hours on the stove, it turns into meat candy.
13) What are 3 places you'd like to visit in the next 5 years?
Stockholm, Tokyo, and Buenos Aires.
14) If there were one skill that you wish you had mastered, or one subject that you wish you had spent more time learning, what would it be?
Piano; advanced mathematics.
15) Share 1 weird fact with us about yourself.
I read Dante's Inferno for the first time while working the graveyard shift in a psychiatric hospital.