Anchored by the Classic Learning Test

The CLT Summer Interns on Going from Test-Takers to Test-Makers

August 31, 2023 Classic Learning Test
Anchored by the Classic Learning Test
The CLT Summer Interns on Going from Test-Takers to Test-Makers
Show Notes Transcript

On this episode of Anchored, Soren welcomes four of the CLT summer interns: Laurali Breeden, Braeden Farley, Faith Walessa, and Faustina Wodzinski to talk about their experiences jumping from the seats of the test-takers to the office of the test-makers. Join the group as they discuss their roles and responsibilities as interns in the operations, marketing, and sales departments. The interns explain their educational backgrounds, goals, and passions alongside how they used those unique qualities to contribute to the mission and work of CLT throughout the summer. 

Today’s episode of Anchored is brought to you with support from America’s Christian Credit Union. Find out how ACCU can be the banking partner to your school or family by visiting americaschristiancu.com/CLT.





Soren Schwab (CLT) 
Welcome back to the Anchored Podcast, the official podcast of the Classic Learning Test. My name is Soren Schwab, VP of Partnerships here at CLT, and today we have a special episode for you. If you have been following CLT, you know that we deeply care about classical and liberal arts education. But not all of us here have actually received it. Most CLT employees are converts, so to speak, and did not learn about this beautiful and rich tradition until adulthood.

What convinced our founder, Jeremy Tate, and so many of us at CLT, was not only studying the great books and the liberal arts tradition itself, but also meeting the kinds of students, the kinds of human beings this education produces. And so I feel honored today to have a conversation with four such students. Jeremy, as long as I can remember, has wanted to establish a competitive internship program for CLT.

Early days, we had interns from St. John's College, just down the road from CLT headquarters, who then ended up being some of our most successful full-time employees just a few years later. So it was Jeremy's goal to establish an internship program that would connect us with the best and brightest in high school and college. But this past year was the first time we formalized the process, which included a pretty rigorous selection criteria to be even invited to apply.

and then several subsequent interviews. We've received hundreds of applications and quite frankly, the vast majority of them were absolutely stellar. But ultimately, we chose the four interns that are here with me today and you will no doubt understand why and how we came to this decision. And so without further ado, let me introduce them to you all. First up, we have Lorelei Breeden, who's interning in the sales department.

Brayden Farley who's interning in the operations department Faustina what's in scheme who's operating in the operations department and Faith well essa who's interning in my department in the marketing department Faith Faustina Braden Lorelei. Thank you all so much for being on anchor today

 And let's start with Lorelai. You're the first. Talk to us, what kind of schools were your homeschool? Did you attend school? What was high school like for you?

Laurali Breeden:
I attended a classical Christ-centered high school, so the staff were all Christian, the students didn't have to be. But that's where I was introduced to classical education.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
And what school was that and where?

Laurali Breeden:
Logos Academy in York, Pennsylvania.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
I visited that school actually, I don't know if you know that, but I was just there a year or so ago. Really interesting school.

Laurali Breeden:
It is, they just did renovations, so it's pretty small, but they're trying to expand.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
When I was there, I was in the middle of renovations, but I could

Laurali Breeden:
Oh,

Soren Schwab (CLT):
see kind of what the future would look like. And yeah, it's

Laurali Breeden:
yeah.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
a really interesting student body, very diverse student body, but all coming around, kind of a Christ-centered and classical education. So you now are at... St. John's College, which is one of our CLT partners. How were you, how did you first hear about St. John's

Laurali Breeden:
At first I heard about it from a lot of alumni. I was involved in an online discussion group and we were going through the works of Plato and, you know, of course, you know, who's interested in a Plato discussion group, mostly St. John's students.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Hahaha

Laurali Breeden:
So at some point they just said, Lola, you should really look into St. John's. I think you would really enjoy it. And for a while I kind of struggled. with a sort of indecision, am I good enough, you know, am I smart enough to go to this college? And then once I finally kind of bit the bullet and looked into it, I went, well, there's no where else I really want to go. So yeah, the rest is history really. I'm loving it. I'm going into my junior year.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Fantastic and you're not far from us here at the at the Annapolis

Laurali Breeden:
I'm

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Heavy

Laurali Breeden:
a

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Industries.

Laurali Breeden:
10 minute walk away.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
All right, slow walk, right slow

Laurali Breeden:
That's

Soren Schwab (CLT):
or

Laurali Breeden:
true, yeah.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
quick scooter drive. That is exciting. Thank you for sharing that. Let's go over to Brayden. Brayden, I know you were you were homeschooled, were you homeschooled all the way through graduation and was it a classical homeschooling and then how did you hear about CLT?

Braeden Farley:
Yeah, so I actually went to kindergarten and public school. That was the extent of the public school

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Hahaha

Braeden Farley:
education that I had. Um, and then from first grade up through graduation, I was homeschooled. So for the past, uh, two years, there are the last two years of high school. So junior and senior year, I did mostly dual enrollment, um, primarily through Grove city college, which is the college that I attend and in terms of classical education, we did more of a classically based education. So. I didn't have any role in the curriculum selection. That was, my mom was like, these are all the curriculums I think are gonna be great to use. So a lot of them were very classically based. So it wasn't a pure classical education, I don't believe, but it was very, very close. And then I don't remember how my mom heard about CLT, but she was like, hey, you should take this test. And I was like, okay. I think I took the first and the ninth grade, and then I took it all the way up until senior year.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Oh, wow, every year. Well, thank you for that. That's exciting. I assume, you know, I mean, obviously, I work for a testing company, and my wife likes to remind me that, you know, taking a standardized test is not the most exciting thing. And then I always say, well, I get to talk about taking a standardized test. I mean, that is peak, right? But as a student who's received, you know, this beautiful, classically-based education, was there something when you got exposed to CLT that was... that was different or that resonated or was it really, it was just a test and you kind of have to get it over.

Braeden Farley:
Um, I think there's kind of each in its own way. I don't love taking tests. I don't know any student that does. I will say I enjoyed the CLT a lot more than the other ones that I took. So I took SET, ACT, all of it. Um, I took the CLT way more than took the other ones because it was a better material on the reading passages. And then from a student point of view, it's a lot shorter. It's a two hour test. So it was much, much easier to take and you can do it from home. So. I much prefer taking the CLT over the other ones that I took.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
And I guess it at least had a small part in your getting into Grove City. So now you're at the

Braeden Farley:
Oh yeah.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
college of your dreams. So, and you no longer have to take, well, at least not a college entrance down. I'm sure there's going to be some testing later on. And. Yeah. Right.

Braeden Farley:
I would rather take a college entrance exam than another Calc II final. Yeah.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Don't hopefully your professors are not listening. Brayden.

Braeden Farley:
Yeah.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Awesome. Faustina, you are also interning in the, in the operations department. Talk to us a little bit about you are still in high school. Is that correct?

Faustina Wodzinski:
So I just graduated this past ney, and basically my high school education was, it's a little bit hard to explain, I'm still trying to understand it myself actually, but I took a charter school, just a local one that was offered through my county. It wasn't entirely classical based, but my parents have both had classical education as a goal because my dad teaches at Thomas Aquinas College, which is actually one of your partner schools. So they would add a couple things like Latin and classic study and... classical history. So I kind of got that foundation too, which I'm very grateful for. So that was my education from kindergarten all the way through high school.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
the way through high school. So you've just kind of gone through the ever so grueling college search process and college application process. Was that how you were first introduced to CLT or have you known about it before?

Faustina Wodzinski:
My parents knew about it, especially from my dad's connections with your partner schools through Thomas Aquinas College. And so they suggested that I take it because they knew that it promoted education and values that were in line with what I myself was searching for college. And also it would... The colleges I was looking at were CLT partner colleges specifically, so I could use the test scores to get scholarships for colleges. So that's how I used that too.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Fascinating. And we'll talk a little bit about next steps for you later on. Let's go over to Faith. Faith, I've gotten to know you the most because you've been in our marketing meetings, which has been absolutely delightful. So talk to us a little bit about the education you're currently receiving. You're not in the United States. So talk to us about that. What school you're attending and the kind of education that you're getting.

Faith Walessa:
Yeah, so I'm in Canada, which is fun, because there's not a lot of us that are international and still work with CLT. I was homeschooled up till grade five, which was really great. We was a classical-based homeschooling. We were always encouraged to try new things and read good books, and that set me up really well for transferring schools to a little private school in Newmarket called Innova Academy. They were also very classical. We learned Latin and Greek and all those fun things. But then last summer we moved, so now I'm going to a little Christian school, or high school, here in Hamilton.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Which is not classical or is that classical

Faith Walessa:
It's not,

Soren Schwab (CLT):
as well?

Faith Walessa:
no.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
It's

Faith Walessa:
There aren't any classical

Soren Schwab (CLT):
not.

Faith Walessa:
schools in the area, but I still read, so we're good.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Yeah, you're at least were. You got that instilled in you. I know about Innova Academy. They're actually one of our K-12 partners. I assume then that was how you were told to take CLT, I suppose, in

Faith Walessa:
Yeah, we didn't

Soren Schwab (CLT):
your...

Faith Walessa:
get a choice. It was a school assessment day, but honestly, nobody was mad about it because in Canada, we don't really have standardized tests for university entrance. That's not a thing. No Canadian college will ever require it or ask for it. So we have elementary school standardized testing instead called CCAT testing, and everyone hates it. It's terrible. So when we were going to take a standardized test that was classical, everyone was at least open to the idea of anything other than that. And we ended up enjoying it, I would say, just because it gave us things to talk about afterwards. I remember everyone coming in the next day and being like, how did you do this question on the math section? Is that even possible? And then the reading sections were fun too, because I would be sitting there writing down the names of texts that I wanted to read later, because they were just so interesting.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Wow, that is amazing. Yeah, that's great. I think sometimes it's almost insulting to our students, right, when teachers say things like, oh yeah, it's just a test, the kids don't care or they don't, I think they notice, right? I mean, you notice when something is absolutely different or disconnected from what you're usually reading, right? Or the kind of math you're usually learning. And so, yeah, I think certainly students realize that too, even though,

Faith Walessa:
No.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
like Braden said. That doesn't mean that everyone is super excited about taking a test, right? But there's still some value in that. But Faith, you and I, we're the internationals here, same for me, right? In Germany, no one takes standardized tests. I didn't even know about the concept. And I'm still trying to, whenever I go home, try to explain the concept of a standardized test and how a score that I have can be in a way the same as a score you took in this state, even though you took it on a different day. I mean, just the idea of psychometrics and it's very different, but Then again, I like to remind people that when I got my Abitur, we had to take three five-hour examinations in subjects. So I had five-hour chemistry, five-hour literature, five-hour English exam, and then a one-hour history oral examination. And so when you compare to that, maybe a two-hour standardized test doesn't sound so bad after all, right? So there's always ups and downs. So all of you have heard about CLT. Most of you have taken the CLT and had that kind of experience. But it was an experience of a test taker, right? So your exposure to CLT was mostly limited to those two hours and maybe the test that your teacher gave you or maybe a customer service inquiry. And you went from there to being an intern, right? Being in all the team meetings and reading together and working for us this summer. So what was that? transition like? Was there anything that stood out? And maybe what was the highlight of your internship so far? And we'll mix up the order a little bit and start with Faustina. Can you speak to that a little bit?

Faustina Wodzinski:
Sure thing. So as far as what that experience was like, I really, really have enjoyed it. When, back when I took the test back in junior year, two years ago, it was, it was very nerve-wracking. I've, I took the remotely proctored one and I felt like, oh my goodness, I can't make a move or else this whole test is going to be voided by these really, really picky people who just want to get this job done and move on with their lives. But then

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Perfect.

Faustina Wodzinski:
I've sat in on many tests myself, being part of the operations team. and helped on the support chat and all. And it's really made the experience a bit more personalized for me. I've realized that everyone who works here really does care about the testers and that they get the best experience possible and that they're not just trying to get this over and done with. They really care about transmitting this type of education and this type of test to others. So that's basically my experience interning here. As far as my experience actually taking the test, as a test taker a couple years ago, aside from being paranoid about it a little bit, I really liked the actual test itself, the actual content and all. It was just kind of, it was very familiar to me. It was what I had been brought up on and what I was hoping to go and study in college later. I felt like it actually was meaningful to me, the questions it prompted and... I also got very into the texts. I remember I would be reading the passage and then, oh, I'm on a timer. I gotta actually answer these questions. I can't just spend the whole time reading and thinking about this text. But there are a lot of texts too I've revisited afterwards and got to think about them more. So yeah, so that was my experience.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
It's really neat to be, you know, from being the person behind the screen that might need customer service in case something goes wrong and being a little anxious, right, to then being the person on the other side, so to speak, trying to, in case someone has a technical issue, right, to be there for them and support them. That is really, really neat to see and I guess kind of alleviate some of the anxiety that students inevitably have, even if they're... They're very well prepared and so wonderful. What about you, Braden? Obviously you've taken CLT and so you've had that experience but what was it like joining this summer as an intern? I think I mentioned earlier, you interned also in the operations, on the operations team but not as much on the customer service side. Talk to us a little bit about your work these last few weeks.

Braeden Farley:
Yeah, so I primarily worked with the school's team for the operations department, which I really, really enjoyed. So a lot of what my internship was focused on was working with data and automating various processes. So I'm guessing I'll talk about this a little bit later, but I'm a computer science major. So I like working with code and automating various processes. One of the things I really liked and had the privilege of working with was the CLT company culture is very, very unique. I've worked a couple different jobs in my time, none quite like this, and that CLT is very focused on the mission of the company, right? Pursuing classical education, pursuing virtue, all of those various goals that we have in our mission statement, and it's always done with that priority in mind. In addition to that, I always liked being able to talk to my coworkers, and they're very open to new ideas, various ways of solving problems. And that really fostered a lot of creativity and innovation, I think, is what makes this company, after working here, work so well in a lot of ways. That we're always innovating, we're always solving with the goal of getting to our goal of promoting classical education. Obviously, I was working less on the sales and ideal side, that you work with Soren and more in the nitty-gritty fixing data stuff, which is what I like working with and what I really enjoy doing. So... I'd say overall the highlights were, I like to get my hands dirty in the data and like writing code and stuff. But also really just working with my coworkers and experiencing the culture was my favorite part.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Well, Braden, and as the sales guy, who is not always the most process oriented as you probably

Braeden Farley:
Hahaha

Soren Schwab (CLT):
should be. Jeremy and I are always grateful when we find people that are just brilliant and gifted and love structure and analyzing data and creating these processes because it makes really everyone's life, including our customers' lives, better, right? If all these sequences are in place, the communication is smooth. And so we really are grateful for the work you do, even though I have to say, you did go to a couple of homeschool conferences.

Braeden Farley:
Yes.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
as well and I've heard that you are an incredible salesman. So I might have to talk to the operations team for a year, maybe bringing you on the sales side.

Braeden Farley:
I see the appeal of sales as well. I wouldn't mind getting into some of that as well. Yeah.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Awesome, wonderful. Lorelei, you've been helping on the sales side and especially the college side. As a college student, obviously you've gone through the process of finding the right fit for you in the right college. Now you're kind of on the other side and trying to help more colleges recognize CLT. Talk to us a little bit about your experience at CLT this summer and the kind of work that you did.

Laurali Breeden:
Yeah, so I always, I mean in high school and you know starting in college, I always knew about the CLT test. I didn't know really anything about the CLT as an organization and actually in high school one of my main concerns was that classical education was disappearing, that you know we didn't have enough schools dedicated to it, that we didn't have any colleges focused on it. So when I found St. John's it was like this is the only place, you know. everywhere else it's just kind of dying out. So coming to the CLT as an intern and seeing the really, I mean it seems really exponential, the growth of classical education across not just the United States but the world and how the CLT is impacting that and trying to kind of help it and, you know, get a step into the university side of things as well. It was really inspiring and being on the sales team, talking with colleges, being the person to kind of reach out and be like, hey, do you know about us? It was a lot of fun and to set up the meetings and just organize all of that, it was really great just to know I was helping to make a difference in something I really care about.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
And you have been, you really, really have been in the number of meetings that you have set up and conversations that you started. And what I love about the emails that you that you that you crafted so much of it was not just sure highlighting the test itself, but it's really not about the test. It's about the kinds of students that do think that CLT is a good reflection of their academics. Right. So it says more about the kind of students that ideally these colleges would want to recruit and that CLT is kind of a means to. to connect with them. And so I think that's why your campaigns were so successful. And yeah, I'm really grateful for that. And of course, we'd love to see that CLT list, the partner college list grow. We're just past the 250, and I know several of those were due to your hard work. So it's very, very excited about that. Faith, you worked with us a little bit on the marketing side. And so I kind of got to see you interact with... with everything from the blog to the website to the podcast, all kinds of things. Talk to us a little about your experience with CLT the company and maybe some of your highlights this summer.

Faith Walessa:
So I was really excited when I found out I was going to be working here because I've looked up to CLT as an organization for a very long time, promoting something that I do care about as well. Classical education is very important to me and I'd like to see it do better in the modern world. And so when I was joining here I was very interested to see the kinds of people that would be working for it because it matters. The faces behind the organization are the most important part. And I was not disappointed. I loved the big company meetings when we all get together and read. poetry and we read short stories and have discussions and put out theories and give feedback to each other and I was just so excited like, is this real? And this is my job. I was over the moon happy and then we go into the marketing meetings and I'm positive marketing was the right division for me to work in because there were so many chances for me to be able to use skills that I just started developing and then get professional experience with people that would give me feedback on it. and give me advice and give me new opportunities. And I never felt patronized. I felt like you were all willing to let me have a chance and do my best and then come back with good advice instead of just being like, you can do some easy stuff because you're young. It was a really, really great opportunity for me to practice some new skills. So yeah, I got to write for the blog, which is probably my favorite part because I love to write. But I also got to write marketing emails and I got to develop ideas to reach out to homeschool students. And I got to... create a list of podcast guests and reach out to them and ask if they'd like to join. There were so many different ways I got to try new things and I just loved it.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
That's awesome. Thanks for sharing that faith. It has been an absolute, absolute delight getting to know you and I know Taryn and Annie on the marketing team were just blown away and they kept on telling me, like, Sorin, I think we've got to give her more work. She's so fast and everything comes back so quickly. So absolutely delighted. Well, the internship is coming to an end. In fact, at the time of the recording you all have Three more days left two more days left. So it's almost over. I know sniffle really sad to end it But there's obviously big things for you coming up. So I'd love to hear about kind of your future plans dreams Obviously if you're writing college, what do you think in post college? And if you're not in college yet? Maybe what are some of the schools that you're interested in exploring? And so we'll start this time with Braden. You're at Grove City. You mentioned already some of your passions, but yeah, tell us a little bit about what the next few years look like for you.

Braeden Farley:
Yeah, so I'm at a wonderful growth city college, of course, one of our great partner colleges, computer science major. And I have three minors, one in AI and machine learning, one in cyber security and one math. So next year's gonna be a little bit tough with all the math courses. It'll be okay. I'll get through it. But I'm not exactly sure what I want to do post college, obviously, into the workforce somehow. I'm not quite sure if I want to get a master's degree or not as of yet, but I'd generally like to work somewhere in the realm of AI and machine learning.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Yeah, I actually wasn't aware that just how incredible GroveCity's programs, especially in that field are. And I think sometimes that's unfortunately still a little bit of the misconception of parents sometimes even. You know, well, if you want to go into math or science or engineering, you really can't go to a Christian school. And it's not true. Right. And sometimes it just takes a little bit more digging and come to find out that GroveCity, I think, is one of the top computer science programs in the country that you're now benefiting from. Is that accurate?

Braeden Farley:
Yeah, they have, I'm not sure if there's an official ranking for it, but they have definitely a top tier faculty. Like they have people who like to help design AI for Google, for example, is one of my professors. So absolute top tier faculty. I've had nothing but good things to say about their computer science department. If you look at STEM overall, they have a lot of engineering, a lot of computer science, a lot of math students. It's a very rigorous program, which on the plus side, you get a really good education on the downside. lower grades in there, maybe some Bs, even if you're a 4.0 student. Um, but it's well worth the fact that you get a much better education than you would if you went to a less rigorous program.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Absolutely. Well, Lorelai, I got to go to you next because you just heard, well, during this major and these three minors and here you are, a Johnny, right? Where that is not possible, but you're also getting so much. So you are a rising junior, I believe, at St. John's. What's, what, what's kind of planned for you the next, next few years?

Laurali Breeden:
Yeah, so obviously, you know, Sorin, but for everyone else, St. John's has a very odd educational model. So we all take the same classes, we all major in liberal arts. The credits we get equate to a double major, double minor. I could go into what they are, but half the time I forget. So my focus, you know, coming into St. John's was philosophy, because I started in the philosophy and my first text was the Mino. And it kind of just sparked this love of learning and this really, I don't know, this intense interest in what virtue is. So that's kind of, that's my preoccupation while I'm at St. John's. I'm looking into a possible graduate program at Notre Dame for philosophy, focused in the ancient Greeks. If I decide not to do that, I'm also interested in university administration. Just sounds fun. I'm not sure why. No one else thinks

Soren Schwab (CLT):
the

Laurali Breeden:
that. So I figure, you know, if I have a niche interest, why not pursue it? So yeah.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Interesting, interesting. Yeah, that's, there are a few, I think, careers that people like, is that something that you've always wanted to, you know, I've talked a lot of folks that are in education policy, and probably none of them were really like, oh, I'm going to go into education policy, right? But then they realized, oh, I actually my skill sets and what I'm interested in actually would, you know, match really, really well. So maybe we need more philosopher administrators in higher ed, you know, so.

Laurali Breeden:
I'd say so, certainly.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Right, yeah. Faith, what about you? So you're gonna finish high school? Do you already kind of know what you want to do after that or you're gonna take it one year at a time?

Faith Walessa:
Yeah, I've known for a while what university I want to go to, because it was like in grade eight or grade nine. I had three teachers come up to me in the same week and be like, have you heard of Hillsdale College? I think you'd like it there. And when something like that happens, you pay attention to that. So I went and looked into Hillsdale College, and I know I want to go there. It's the perfect school for me. I'd want to major in English and minor in philosophy. And I went to visit this spring. It's fantastic. I have so much admiration for the school and that's a popular choice at CLT. So many people I worked with like, oh I graduated from Hillsdale. You should go there, you'll love it. So yeah, you too, sorry.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
But I promise I didn't have to say anything. I didn't have to say anything. That was all you. You already came in knowing that, right?

Faith Walessa:
I've known for a while their motto to strength rejoices in the challenge. I want to be challenged. I don't want to go to a school and leave with perfect grades and not knowing anything. It's not worth it. It's only four years. I'll take the best four years I can get. So that's really exciting for me coming up. If all goes well I'll be there next year, but that would be that would be fantastic. And after Hillsdale

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Well, I...

Faith Walessa:
I want to write books. That's the dream. So if we can get there any way possible. I could be paid. That's my job to write. I've made it. That's it. Yeah.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
That would be pretty fantastic. We'll be praying for you and but I don't think you need that even. You're so stellar. Hillstead would be silly to pass up on you. So we're really, really excited. But yes,

Faith Walessa:
Just tell

Soren Schwab (CLT):
it

Faith Walessa:
them

Soren Schwab (CLT):
is.

Faith Walessa:
that.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Right, yeah. It is challenging and I can tell you, I graduated over 10 years ago and I like to tell people there's absolutely no way I would still get in. So I'm glad that I went to Hillstead when I did because it is getting hard to get in. You got it. You got it. Palestina, what about you? You are, you finished high school. What is next for you?

Faustina Wodzinski:
Yes, I have finished high school. So this actually in less than a week, I am leaving for college. I'm going to go to Christendom College in Virginia, another one of our wonderful partner schools. And it is a liberal arts school of only 500 people. And yes, very, very wonderful classes and professors there. I cannot wait. It's gonna be the best time of my life. And I would like to major in theology because they have an amazing theology program there. And it's a subject that I've been interested in for years. And so that is what I would like to do, maybe minor in English, because that is another favorite of mine. And then after college, my plans are very indefinite, but that's okay because I still have four years. But I am hoping to do a small job in customer service somewhere because I love, love dealing with people and customer service. And the seat LT internship in the customer service has made me even more solid on that. So those are my exciting plans for the years ahead.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
That is so exciting. And we still have human beings in customer service. And I know, Brayden, with your AI stuff, you're trying to take over. But we still have, we try to have as much as we can, kind of that personal touch. And one of our core values is being humane. And so, Faustina, you've done an amazing job. And we're excited. You're not far from us in Front Royal, Virginia, beautiful part of the country. And I think Christenham just built this new chapel. massive beautiful structure

Faustina Wodzinski:
Oh yes

Soren Schwab (CLT):
and

Faustina Wodzinski:
it did,

Soren Schwab (CLT):
it's

Faustina Wodzinski:
I

Soren Schwab (CLT):
just

Faustina Wodzinski:
have

Soren Schwab (CLT):
gorgeous.

Faustina Wodzinski:
to keep pinching myself. I can't believe that thing is real and I'll be living right next to it. My dorm is right next to it.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Wow, exciting, exciting. Well, we're very happy for you and I know you'll stay in touch. And like I said, you're not far away from Annapolis either. And we usually go out to Christenham at least once or twice a year to visit. Because like you said, they're dear, dear friends and partners. Wow, wonderful. You guys are just incredible. I have one more question and it's oftentimes really the hardest. Our regular listeners of Anchored know what's gonna come. And so, I know we prepped you for it and said you got to stay somewhere short because if you ask people that love to read and write about books, it can go on and on. We have a philosopher here too, so we got to keep it to about a minute or so. I'd love to hear about if there's one book or one text in particular that has had a major impact on you and maybe is your favorite. Which text or book would that be and why? We're going to start with Faith.

Faith Walessa:
Yeah, I lost sleep over this. But it's okay, because I have

Soren Schwab (CLT):
I'm sorry.

Faith Walessa:
an answer and it's one book. I'm not cheating. Really, when I thought about it from the book that's had the most impact on my life, there could only be one answer. I learned to read when I was very young, and so you have, I was two or three and you get these little novellas and they're not that great. I was enjoying reading, but the book that turned me from being able to read into a reader was The Hobbit by JR Tolkien. I read it when I was six and I've never looked back. It was just something about the first book I'd read that ever dealt with topics that big, like death and loyalty and friendship and greed and all these things that I'd never encountered before in the little child literature you get in the kids section of the library. It changed me definitely from someone that was like, I can't put this down now. And I've reread it every single year since then, just because I love it so much. It's probably not the best book I've ever read by technical standards, but I can't... I wouldn't be here if it weren't for it, so I have to pick that one.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Well, I got to ask a quick follow-up question, and I'm just going to give you a number. On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rate the movies?

Faith Walessa:
They're not very good.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Okay, just

Faith Walessa:
Maybe

Soren Schwab (CLT):
want to

Faith Walessa:
like

Soren Schwab (CLT):
make sure.

Faith Walessa:
a four. I love the Lord of the Rings movies. They do such justice to the books, even though they left out Tom Bombadil and I love him. But

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Right.

Faith Walessa:
the Hobbit movies, they added too many characters and too many scenes. They left out parts that I wanted to see in the movies as devastating.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Always read the book first. That's the lesson we're learning here. Lorelai,

Faith Walessa:
Always.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
what about you? What would be one text or book that has impacted you very much?

Laurali Breeden:
I kind of spoiled it already. It would be Plato's

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Amino.

Laurali Breeden:
Meno, I

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Yep.

Laurali Breeden:
know. It was the text to first spark my interest in philosophy. It led me to St. John's College, and it actually also aided in my eventual conversion to orthodoxy. So it has been really impactful. I am still obsessed with it and still trying to figure out what the answer is.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
talking 20 years and you're probably still going to be the case and that's okay

Laurali Breeden:
It sure will.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
and that is okay wonderful. Faustina what about you?

Faustina Wodzinski:
Well, Suren, I cannot lie, but this was the easiest question for me. This one book has been a

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Oh,

Faustina Wodzinski:
favorite of mine

Soren Schwab (CLT):
you're right.

Faustina Wodzinski:
for at least two years. It is Emma by Jane Austen. I really, really admire Austen as a writer in all of her books, but in Emma most particularly because I find that that's the one in which she most delves deep into the I cannot believe just how well she knew human beings, especially her title character Emma and Mr. Knightley. Just- It was uncanny in certain ways, just the thoughts she brought up in their minds. And the way she tells the story is almost exclusively through Emma's mind, which I also found very engrossing and you need to have talent to think and to write like that. And so I've really loved that. And that made an impression on me.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
Wow, I think this is a first. I don't think we've had Jane Austen's Emma as an answer. So that's absolutely beautiful. Thank you Faustina and Braden, what about you?

Braeden Farley:
My answer is definitely not going to be a first. I'm going to say the Lord of the Rings. Yeah, I'm sorry, but it's just the best in my opinion. So there's a lot of reasons why the Lord of the Rings is like one of the peaks of literature in my opinion. One thing I really like about it is it's just in my perspective, like the quintessential battle between good and evil done perfectly, right? It's not... It's terribly complex and like the themes, although you do get some very interesting, well-developed themes about characters, about human nature, even though a lot of them aren't humans. But it's just a beautifully written story with very well-done characters. And I really like fantasy and especially its ability to draw upon like our world and take something from it while also giving you kind of inspiration while also telling you something about your own experience. And I think Lord of the Rings does that better than any other book.

Soren Schwab (CLT):
I'm hard to argue with you on that one. So amazing. You're wonderful. It's been an absolute delight having you on this podcast, but really having you with CLT all summer. I know Jeremy, his dream of having this internship program has come into fruition, and you're such great representatives of the kind of education that we really want to promote here at CLT. We pray that you have a successful fall semester and please don't be strangers. Again, we're here with the CLT summer interns. For anyone listening right now who might be interested in interning with CLT next year or in the future, it's never too early to reach out. And so feel free to email us at info at CLT exam.com. That's info at CLT exam.com. And once again, thank you all so, so much for being on today. This has been delightful.

Faith Walessa:
Thank you for having us.

Braeden Farley:
Thank you.