Eleven-and-a-half Scriptorium distinctives so unusual you really might not find them at many other educational institutions

The title says it all. Here they are:

  1. Feast-Teas – In the first class of every month, we celebrate with homemade food and fellowship over our books.
  2. Defense Day – Every student, not just seniors, publicly presents and responds to questions about his or her work.
  3. No number grades – Work is either excellent, diligently-done, merely satisfactory, or it ought to be re-done.
  4. Leisurely rigor (also known as rigorous leisure) – Studying the greatest, most beautiful, most influential ideas is not a cakewalk, but it also does not have to be strenuous, and it ought to be enjoyable whenever the subject can justly be enjoyed.
  5. Formal dance – Not discombobulated hopping, but real dance: English and Scottish country dance, historic dances, and folk dances.
  6. Artifacts Day – See and touch period items or full-size replicas for every historical period you study.
  7. Re-reading books – Senior thesis students base their work on books from previous Scriptorium courses that they read a second time.
  8. Battle re-enactments – We study war because it is vital to understand why humans go to war and how they conduct themselves during war. We honor real heroes.
  9. Singing – Not profane, thumping, tuneless yapping, but real song: depending on the class or the society you’re in, you might find yourself singing Sottish folk songs, Medieval Christmas carols, a selection from a Bach oratorio, or all four verses of the Star-Spangled Banner.
  10. Life is more than college – A truly good college can be a great thing, but college is not the purpose of life. We focus on things that are important for all students – whether or not they attend college.
  11. Our studies equip us to slay dragons – Modern dragons may not have fiery breath, wings, scales, and tails, but their wiles are just as destructive as those of the dragons of old and all the more sinister because they are intellectual evils disguised as angels of light – and they hate joy. No human endeavor will reach perfection, but a Scriptorium education has as its goal the cultivation of student wisdom, discernment, thoughtfulness, perseverance, and courage for facing modern dragons – with plenty of joy!

And-a-half: As an added bonus, you will learn how various key points from the three-thousand-year-old Great Tradition of history, literature, and philosophy have been unwittingly (but nevertheless superbly) expressed in lines from P.G. Wodehouse, The Princess Bride, Rifleman, Mannix, Gilbert and Sullivan, and Hogan’s Heroes.