by Andrew R., 2L
“You new have seen, my son, the temporal
and the eternal fire, you’ve reached the place
where my discernment now has reached its end.”
Piazza Farnese, July 12, 2012
Only two-thirds of the way through the semester and already we’re starting to have to say our good-byes. Prof. Michael Moreland, our teacher for State, Society, and Economics, was handing over the reins to his friend and colleague Prof. Patrick Brennan before returning to Villanova to deal with his duties as newly-elected vice dean of the law school. Prof. Brennan, who had recently completed a conference in Milan, would begin his part of the course the following Monday, building on the weeks spent covering the political writings of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas with more contemporary Church texts from Leo XIII, John Paul II, and Jacques Martain.
To celebrate the end of his time inRome, Prof. Moreland invited the whole class to the roof of his apartment. Overlooking the Piazza Farnese (which is, according to Goethe, the most beautiful square in all ofEurope), the view from the top of the apartment provided an exquisite view of the city. Mrs. Moreland, herself a professor at Villanova, outdid herself preparing wine and hors d’oeuvres for everyone, which were all directly enjoyed as the evening went on.
It’s opportunities like this that make summer semesters unique. Getting to know not just the school material, but professors from another university puts a whole new spin on the situation. To a small group of students, all of whom are trying to navigate the professional world of the practice of law, it offers a professor the chance to share their own professional and academic experiences with them. In the end, a good education is made up not just of teachers, but mentors as well. Anyone with the right amount of knowledge can share facts and formulas, but it takes a true mentor to share something more. The accumulated wisdom of practice in both the firm and the university makes for just as valuable a resource as any textbook, and I’m starting to think there’s no better place to share it than with a glass or two of wine on a rooftop in the middle of Rome.