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Classics student racks up honors
Tory Cooney Copy Editor Like a string of prayer flags, five neatly rectangular pieces of paper hang in a row on Emily Goodling’s desk, each inscribed with inspirational words printed in her meticulous hand. “Only the exhaustive is truly exhilarating,” reads a quotation from Thomas Mann’s novel “The Magic Mountain.” Exhaustive and exhilarating, indeed. Joseph Garnjobst, associate professor of classical studies, described the academic pace the sophomore has set for herself as “blistering.” Goodling’s work has already seen a national payoff. Her paper on the use of ekphrasis in Apuleius’s “Cupid and Psyche” was selected for Eta Sigma Phi’s national convention this March, where she will join senior Kirsten Block in presenting their essays. “They’re both doing wonderful work and we’re very proud of both of them,” Garnjobst said. Since Hillsdale began encouraging the submission of papers to the conference in 2008, 12 Hillsdale upperclassmen have presented and two more were accepted as alternates. “It’s very similar to what we do at our own conventions. It’s kind of a pre-professional thing to do,” Garnjobst said. “It’s a great opportunity for students.”
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Older students, that is. Goodling is the first Hillsdale sophomore to have a paper accepted. “She’s an unusually focused, hardworking and disciplined student,” said Gavin Weaire, associate professor of classical studies and Goodling’s academic adviser. “We’re lucky to have her.” “If I could bottle and sell her aspiration and energy I would be rich,” Assistant Professor of German Fred Yaniga said. “Emily lays out a plan and makes it happen. She is never satisfied with half-done projects.” Homeschooled on a farm in the Green Mountains of Vermont by a “crazy-entrepreneur-artistfarmer-chauffer-cook” mother and an engineer father, Goodling’s education was left largely in her own hands. “They always just said ‘go work hard, just do it,’” Goodling recalled. “Languages just take time and memorizing a thousand billion flashcards.” Goodling has studied Latin since the second grade and began a cursory study of Koine Greek in high school, attending online classes once a week. Upon coming to Hillsdale, she continued her studies in Latin but picked up classical Greek and German as well, vaulting through the ranks to 400-level composition courses in three semesters. “It’s hard. But that’s what makes it exciting,” Goodling said. “The sheer rigor is what
drew me to languages. It’s exhilarating.” When she was 14, Goodling underwent an “I-hate-school stage.” She dropped Latin, switched to French, and nearly suffered a psychological breakdown as a result. “I just remember sobbing and sobbing and saying, ‘I love Latin. All I want to do is Latin. Why am I taking French, why?’” Goodling said. “So I went back to Latin and that was the end of that. There was no looking back.” “She can be introspective and shy, but she forces herself to come out and engage anyone she can find who is willing to help advance her studies,” Yaniga said. Over the summer, Goodling worked on a personal reading project with Yaniga in which the two read works by German author Hermann Hesse, including “The Glass Bead Game,” in the original language. “When someone like Emily comes along, you don’t feel annoyed,” Yaniga said. “She’s bringing something.” Before beginning her studies in German, Goodling had already approached Yaniga with questions about musical aesthetic theory in relation to the work of Richard Wagner and Thomas Mann. “This is senior or graduatelevel work. It wasn’t refined yet, but already on that level of
thought,” Yaniga said. “Emily’s an original thinker, she’s not predictable.” Goodling got a chance to publish some of those thoughts in a book review that ran in Nuntius, Eta Sigma Phi’s newsletter. The article touched on opera, ancient Greece, 19th century German culture, and Georg Hegel. “It was a perfect Emily Goodling topic,” Weaire said. Goodling, a pianist, has a passion for music — particularly German opera — originally planned to add music as a second major. “But I realized I’m not quite good enough and would ruin my wrists,” Goodling said. “Well ... I already have ruined my wrists.” When at home, Goodling accompanies her sister, “a phenomenal vocalist,” on the piano. Their father, who plays guitar, occasionally joining in. The farm in Vermont not only produces skeins of high-quality yarn and maple syrup — which Goodling uses to flavor her tea — but also serves as a bed and breakfast, drawing American city-dwellers looking for a “real farm experience” along with international tourists who travel from Spain, Japan, and Siberia to the rolling, wooded slopes of the Green Mountains. The Goodling family offer classes in fiber-arts, which include dying, weaving, braiding, spinning, and felting, many of
Sophomore Emily Goodling has set a “blistering” pace for herself, earning national awards for her work in Greek and Latin studies. (Courtesy of Emily Goodling) which are taught by Goodling over the summer. Goodling’s favorites were spinning and felting. While taking online classes in high school she would often work with her drop spindle, and spun enough rainbow-colored yarn for a hat during the car-ride to Hillsdale. “I cannot sit still and do nothing,” Goodling said. “I have to be thinking and I have to be doing.” In high school Goodling began selling completely handmade fairies, beads, and birds in felted nests — including her ephemeral trademark hummingbird — on her Etsy shop, Vermont Fairies, to help fund her college education. “Etsy is getting me through college,” Goodling said. As are the hundreds of customers from 16 different countries who have purchased Goodling’s handicrafts, over 1,230 of them giving her 100 percent positive feedback. One customer comment mentions that her two-year-old daughter stole the felted ladybugs intended for a friend. “She loves to take them to bed with her,” the customer wrote. “I just have so much passion and so much love for everything that I’m doing,” Goodling said. “And I have somewhere to channel it and people who are willing to provide guidance and encouragement and challenges, even more challenges than I could take. It’s amazing.” “Emily is certainly a bright star,” Yaniga said. “I can’t wait to write her a recommendation letter.”
Last week, The Collegian published a Q&A with Mark Skousen under the name of P.J. O’Rourke. The correct combination can be read in this paper and on-line. Additionally, one of the photos accompanying the Delta Sigma Phi story featured alcohol bottles that had been moved by a Collegian photographer. While the bottles were found on the house’s property, the paper should not have moved them to frame a better photo.
Key to the constitution
Sarah Leitner Sports Editor The Constitution can be a contentious topic at Hillsdale College. Students on campus seem split between two extremes: those who revere the Constitution as a sacred document, genuflecting before each statesman statue on campus, and those who cynically dismiss it as Hillsdale propaganda. President Larry Arnn’s latest book is an articulate work for both groups. Arnn’s book, long title and all, is an “Elements of English Grammar” for the Constitutionally illiterate. In the first section, Arnn covers everything from the founding documents to Adam Smith to the progressives in 123 concisely-written pages. The book is titled “The Founders’ Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk By Losing It.” Before you cynics roll your eyes, open the cover and look at the table of contents. The book is divided into two parts: “Part I: The Argument” and “Part II: Foundational Readings.” Do you want an honest and mildly unflattering examination of the slave-holding (and slaveimpregnating) Thomas Jefferson, the man who penned the words “All men are created equal?” Check out chapter six, aptlytitled “Hypocrisy.” Add block quotations from Adam Smith, Abraham Lincoln, and about half the Founding Fathers, and an outline of natural rights, and you have a comprehensive history of the Constitution and Arnn’s vision for the future of the founding documents. Arnn grounds his argument for the validity of the Constitutin in fixed rights and the classical definition of equality. These two points are the thread with which he sews the Declaration and Constitution together. Betsy Ross couldn’t have done a better job of it. Arnn begins his argument by explaining the evolution of human rights, or rather that there should be no evolution of human rights (“The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”). In chapter four, Arnn writes a wonderfully illuminating passage on two meanings of the word “nature” that everyone should read. In his discussion of the idea of equality, Arnn effectively uses Hillsdale football player Jared Veldheer to prove people are not born with equal faculties, perhaps one of the more instinctively true statements he makes in the book. Arnn writes that, today, equality is viewed generally as a result of actions rather than “the condition under which our actions begin and operate.” From there, Arnn tackles modern-day problems that have resulted from a lack of understanding the true meanings of natural rights and the notion of equality. He directly refutes the suggestion that “economic conditions” are the hinge on which the meaning of ideas inevitably turn. He calls that “despair.” Sorry, 99-percenters. Warren Buffett isn’t in this book. Arnn describes the Progressive movement and its rejection of universal truth as the enemies of the Constitution. He states that America is “near a moment of choice” and that his book “aims to make clear the terms of that choice.” “Sometimes we have endeavored to embrace — and sometimes we have endeavored to escape — the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” Arnn writes. “They have been the source of our liberation, and they have seemed the source of our confining.” It’s safe to say this book wasn’t written for politics majors, although they too might enjoy it. Think of it as Everything Public School Left Out Of American History 101. Arnn is obviously passionate about teaching the principles of our nation’s founding, not just to college students, but to the general public as well. His inclusion of the “Foundational Readings” points to this. Also, it’s probably not a coincidence that the book came out when it did, since it serves as a great primer for Arnn’s online Constitution course, which begins in a few weeks. The title of Arnn’s book has a double meaning. Not only is this little book a key to the Founders’ thinking, but also a key for the average American. Anyone who reads this book will have a better understanding of the ideas behind our nation’s founding and the importance of maintaining those ideas in their classical meanings today.
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