Sailing with Scholars
A lovely couple from Annapolis went sailing near Williamsburg for their first anniversary. It was a joy to go sailing with scholars.
“This was a total surprise,” said Sara Crouser as she boarded the boat with her husband Mark. “He can never keep a secret, so this is really special. Plus he knows I love to sail.”
“I can’t wait to see Colonial Williamsburg,” she said. “Mark and I are into history. When I was little and my parents would drive us on vacation, my father would stop at every roadside history marker and make us get outside and read it.”
They live in downtown Annapolis, near where they did their undergrad work at St. John’s College. That’s the renowned liberal arts college that requires immersion in the Great Books of Western Civilization. The website lists Homer, Plato, Euclid, Nietzsche, Einstein, and Virginia Woolf as some of the authors studied. “It’s hard work,” Sara said. “We read and discuss the works, do papers on them, read some more, and study endlessly.”
The academic rigor of St. John’s is legendary nationally and perhaps a thorn locally with the other college. Mark recalled, “A would-be admiral got to talking in a bar in Annapolis, and he bragged that Navy could take on St. John’s in any sport. We chose croquet, and we won. It has since become a thing in Annapolis where everyone dresses up for an annual game of croquet.” The mind boggles at the image of the Naval Academy croquet team.
Also on board this day was Corinna Caldwell, back recently from Ireland. Sara noticed she was wearing a sweatshirt from Dingle. Corinna spoke of the beautiful landscape and the idea of living one day in a stone cottage. Sara said, “I’m applying for joint Irish-American citizenship, which I’m eligible for because my father was born in Ireland. We just love it there.” Mark added, “Dual citizenship enables you to work anywhere in the European Common Market,” without the difficult-to-get Green Card.
Sara is doing graduate studies to become an RN and then a hospital midwife. I thought that a bit anachronistic in these modern times. “Not so,” Mark said. “You can find ads for hospitals that are paying up to $90,000 for certified midwives.”
Sara explained, “There’s a big demand for hospital midwives because they offer more attention in a holistic way. Women put their faith in a doctor during months of pregnancy, only to find that on the day they’re going to have the baby he got called away for an emergency—.”
“Or a tee time,” Corinna interjected.
“Exactly! Women want consistent support and encouragement. They want to take that confidence into the delivery room so they don’t panic.” She screwed up her face to imitate the panic. “Don’t touch me, I’m on drugs! More drugs! You did this to me! Make it stop! Make the pain go away!”
Back to sailing: Sara helped raise the spinnaker as we headed downwind for five miles. Then she took the helm. “My mother would appreciate this. She and her sisters love to sail.” Mark said her father just bought a million-dollar motorboat that he keeps in Florida. These young folks are set for life.
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