Anchored by the Classic Learning Test

A Testament to Traditional Education | CLT10 National Award Winners

January 25, 2024 Classic Learning Test
A Testament to Traditional Education | CLT10 National Award Winners
Anchored by the Classic Learning Test
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Anchored by the Classic Learning Test
A Testament to Traditional Education | CLT10 National Award Winners
Jan 25, 2024
Classic Learning Test

On this special episode of Anchored, Soren welcomes three of the 2023 CLT10 National Award winners: Jack Ferrell, William Adkison, and Maylivia Barrett. The National Award winners are among the very top-performing sophomores on the CLT10. Tune in to hear the students discuss their test-taking experiences, share their future plans, and examine the unique challenges of the CLT10. They also explore the value of removing the pressure of test prep materials for a standardized test. 

The new Honors College at the University of Tulsa has announced it will be offering a full tuition scholarship for all CLT10 National Award winners! To learn more, visit

Show Notes Transcript

On this special episode of Anchored, Soren welcomes three of the 2023 CLT10 National Award winners: Jack Ferrell, William Adkison, and Maylivia Barrett. The National Award winners are among the very top-performing sophomores on the CLT10. Tune in to hear the students discuss their test-taking experiences, share their future plans, and examine the unique challenges of the CLT10. They also explore the value of removing the pressure of test prep materials for a standardized test. 

The new Honors College at the University of Tulsa has announced it will be offering a full tuition scholarship for all CLT10 National Award winners! To learn more, visit

Soren Schwab (CLT) (00:03.933)
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 of Anchored. I've been looking forward to this one for a few weeks now. We talk a lot about classical education, liberal arts education, trying to define it and discuss its characteristics. And while that is crucially important, I'm of the opinion that the best way to learn about this kind of education is to simply speak to students who are its recipients.

So today I am joined by three such students, Jack Farrell, William Atkinson, and Maylivia Barrett. Not only are these three students receiving a fantastic education, they have also succeeded at the highest level on the CLT-10, which is our assessment for ninth and 10th graders. It's essentially our analog to the PSAT, and it comes with unique award and scholarship opportunities for top performing students. Jack, William, and Maylivia have achieved just that.

and can proudly call themselves CLT-10 National Award winners. And we are honored to have them on the show today. William, Jack, May Olivia, welcome.

Jack Ferrell (01:14.196)
Thank you for having us, Soren.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (01:16.385)
Oh, absolutely. It's a joy, you know, as some of our listeners might know. I'm a former teacher, and so I'm not gonna lecture at all. I'm just excited to talk to you all. This is gonna be really, really exciting. And we're still following the typical Anchored format. I know you're a little bit younger than our typical guests, but you still have an educational background. And so let's start talking about your own educational journey. You are all...

Maylivia Barrett (01:16.852)
Nice to be here.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (01:44.233)
juniors now, you took the assessment and won the award as sophomores. So you're now juniors and some of you are homeschooled, some of you in school. So let's talk with William. Talk to us a little bit about your educational background. I know you are homeschooled and kind of your educational journey to date.

William Adkison (02:06.392)
Yes, sir. So we were introduced as a family to classical education and homeschooling in our local area at a enrichment cottage school. And then we gradually kind of separated and went more toward a family style education where we took literature, the great classic books, and use that instead of any class or traditional textbook style education. And I used that up until about eighth grade. And then from there we transitioned into more of a

contemporary classical style, where we've used Memoria Press Academy, which provides online classrooms for students which connect the students with teachers across the country, allowing for a very similar interaction experience to a real classroom without any of the drawbacks such as mask mandates, etc.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (02:57.526)
All the things during a worldwide pandemic. And so, and by the way, I love what Memoria Press is doing. We got some dear friends at that organization. You know, especially growing up, were you aware that you were receiving a classical education or was it to you just the kind of education that you were receiving?

William Adkison (03:18.372)
It was kind of a realization for both me, myself and my parents as we understood kind of the world that the classical education program was, where we sort of drifted slowly into it as our exposure grew in the books that we were reading and the people that we were interacting with. The CLT was first introduced to us by HSLDA, Home School Legal Defense Association, in its member newsletter. And when they mentioned that it was a classical test,

Primarily directed toward homeschool students, we were very happy to jump on board and see what all the fuss and excitement was about.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (03:55.393)
We're going to talk about the fuss and excitement here in a little bit. But no, thanks for sharing that. That makes a lot of sense. I'm thinking about when you're receiving a certain kind of education, how much you're actually thinking about philosophically, the kind of education you are actually receiving, or that's just what you're getting. Maybe not always thinking about what are other students receiving. Let's go over to you, Jack. You are going to a brick and mortar school, so to speak. Lexington Latin School has been a wonderful CLT partner for a while.

How did you get there and talk to us a little bit about your background?

Jack Ferrell (04:29.848)
So my mom, when she was back in school, she had a classical education. So when we moved to Lexington and she found out that there was a classical school, Lexington Latin School, she decided to send my siblings and I, sorry, my siblings and me to that school. So that's, that's how I ended up in a classical school. I've had, so when I was in seventh and eighth grade, my family moved to Germany and I actually went to a public school there.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (04:45.857)
Well done.

Jack Ferrell (04:59.084)
It was on an American air base. So I have gotten the contrast between a public and a private school. And I honestly, I much prefer the private school. To be fair, I also only go to school three days a week. But the classical school I really enjoy because we get to read great books and there's a lot of religion in the school, which I enjoy. And I mean, that's all I have to say as far as my educational background. Private public.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (05:28.466)
You were in Germany, so we can speak a little German together, right? Just a little bit.

Jack Ferrell (05:31.464)
Yeah, just a little bit. Enough for ordering a restaurant or just a conversation, but not complicated.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (05:42.185)
That's just, you are, I guess I gotta switch back to English. That is wonderful as a German citizen. I am very proud of you, Jack. That is absolutely wonderful. So follow up a little bit, talk to us a little bit about the model at Lexington Latin because it's not a five days a week. And so what does that look like week by week?

Jack Ferrell (05:58.269)

So on Mondays and Fridays, we have, those are our off days, and we go to school Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. So our school, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, it's very similar to college model. The classes are pretty much just lectures, and we do hardly any classwork, and any work that we would do, we just do on Mondays and Fridays. So it gives you a lot of free time, and it makes school feel very efficient.

Like, you're always doing something in school. Now, yeah, that's it.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (06:34.493)
Yeah, and you get essentially long weekends, but not really because you still have to Work, of course, but a little more flexibility I'm sure same for your for your parents getting a little bit more flexibility there wonderful May Olivia moving over to you from the beautiful state of Minnesota You are a homeschool student as well Tell us a little bit about have you been homeschooled since the beginning and talk to us about your educational?

Jack Ferrell (06:39.472)

Maylivia Barrett (07:01.038)
Sure, so I haven't been homeschooled from the beginning. From kindergarten all the way through fifth grade, I went to a public school here in Minnesota. It's actually supposed to be one of the best in the state according to the experts. I was in a full-day gifted program there and it was supposed to be really challenging, but after fifth grade, my mom and dad decided to homeschool my sister and I.

And we homeschool through classical conversations now. And we've enjoyed it a lot more since then. Public school had a lot of disjointedness for us and surprisingly not as much challenge as we found in homeschool, especially with the classical model, classical conversations.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (07:45.581)
Interesting. So you went to a school that supposedly is one of the best by whatever standards or measurements, but you yourself actually, and you were in a gifted and talented program, and so you were in the program that was supposed to be the most challenging. I guess, walk us through a little bit. Was it the content? Was it the workload? Was it the level thinking? I guess, how was it?

Maylivia Barrett (07:54.198)
Uh huh. Yes.

Maylivia Barrett (08:00.106)
Full day.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (08:14.401)
to you not challenging work, especially compared to your classical education, kind of the conversations education.

Maylivia Barrett (08:21.57)
Yes, so it was actually challenging in some aspects of the curriculum they were giving us, but it was presented from very much a globalist worldview, not a Christian worldview, and very disjointed. There was no God, of course, and then it was also kind of inconsistent because there would be challenging aspects in some of the literature we might read.

but we might be using everyday math as our math curriculum, which is supposed to be one of the failing math curriculums across the nation. And so there was a lot of inconsistency in that. It was definitely not challenging in thought process because although they challenged our ideas about God, they didn't actually challenge us to search for truth, beauty or goodness, which is a main component of classical education, at least for us. And so...

Yeah, we really found a lack of challenge there. And also the public schools are really not about pursuing excellence and mastery, which is, can be another component of classical education, such as it is for us. So we have enjoyed classical conversations much, much more. And we are finding that classical conversations has met, um, what we wanted in searching for beauty, truth and goodness, thinking after these things. And then.

discussing them with our fellow classmates.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (09:47.993)
Wow, wow, I mean, you're a great spokesperson for classical education and class of conversation certainly So your parents and you I'm sure you had a say in it Of course chose a different kind of education right not the traditional kind of public school But more in a way a more traditional kind of education the way education was done for essentially millennia, right Given that how did you hear about or discover?

the classic learning test. And William, I know you alluded to that already a little bit, but yeah, how did you first hear about CLT? And then maybe once you kind of looked at what a test looks like, kind of what was your first kind of reaction to it? And we'll start with William.

William Adkison (10:35.224)
So before being introduced to CLT, I had never actually experienced any sort of standardized test or any regulatory exam administered by any sort of organization because not being in public school, we didn't have star tests or any sort of finals or anything like that. It was merely the comprehension exam provided by our literature-based programs directors. But upon viewing the content and the author bank especially,

My family and I were very excited that growing up, our family, and I have four younger siblings who are happily following in my footsteps in classical education, was delighted to find something that can develop as we do and become hopefully one of the best and most prominent tests in the country. And yes, like you said, it is just a test, but it's a test that provides consistency and

fairness across its questions in a way that is predictable and yet also challenging. Because the challenge comes not from the trick questions of it, but the truth that must be gained from the information that you're reading on each page.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (11:51.925)
That's really, really interesting. So you felt like it was a challenging test, but the way in which it was challenged was different. Is that accurate? Interesting. May Olivia talk to me a little bit about your, coming across CLT, I guess, and then kind of your initial thoughts and experience.

William Adkison (12:03.993)

Maylivia Barrett (12:16.75)
Sure. So in the state of Minnesota, standardized testing is required by law for all homeschoolers. You're not required to turn in the test, but you are required to test at home. And so since we started homeschooling, my mom learned of that and she decided to have us take a version of the SAT such as the SAT 10 or 8 or whatever level it was for our grade. And she didn't find out about the CLT until actually through Classical Conversations.

They promote the CLT very much. And before with the SAT-10 and other SAT whatever grade tests, we really hadn't gotten much out of it. We were doing it because we had to. And it didn't really give us any gauge at all for how well we were actually doing or how well we were actually comprehending the information that we were learning. But once my mom saw the CLT-10, she got really excited. She told me, come look at this.

And so I did, and I was surprised by the content of the test. Um, it was very enjoyable and it had a level of depth of thought to it and wideness of skills that you were being tested on, such as like different literary devices, grammar, and very hard math that I had not seen on the standardized test that we had been taking. And so I was really pleased with it.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (13:45.449)
The math is challenging. I'm a former English teacher. And so for me, certainly the math was challenging when I interviewed with CLT. I had to take a practice test. And it was certainly a little humbling. But at the same time, it was interesting because especially on the math, I felt like the test was not trying to trick me. They actually wanted to, it wanted to know what I know about math, which I have to sadly admit it was very little. But at the very least, I felt like, wow, no,

I have to think about this. And I think sometimes our human instinct is immediately to compute, right? Especially on the math, right? You see something, well, let me look that up, right? Let me figure this out on the machine. But it actually forced me to take a step back and just think, which I know seems so simple. But I think in our culture today, that's oftentimes what's not asked of us anymore. So thanks for sharing that, Melivio. That's, and obviously, yeah.

William Adkison (14:42.632)
If I may, I was going to share one more thing. So I like that you said that because a lot of my math teachers at Memorial Academy have talked quite a bit on that subject where our modern society is made to computate and so they have taught in a way such that the calculator is to be the last resort and that has prepared me especially well for the CLT. I think. So just, just wanted to say that.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (15:11.151)
That's fantastic. Yeah, no, I can see that, yeah.

Jack Ferrell (15:15.304)
Yeah, that's definitely true in comparison to the PSAT, because the PSAT math, like, I don't really wanna call it mind numbing, because that feels a bit dramatic, but it kind of is, because, I mean, I took the PSAT, and I like the PSAT from the standpoint of, I have a big ego, so I'll actually go ahead and flex right now, I got a perfect score on the PSAT. But that's just because on the math section, I could just, I would get a problem, and if I had...

Like if I couldn't just do it immediately in my head, I would just take out the calculator, bam, done, super quick. And especially because you can program it. So I just programmed the quadratic formula in it. And so like a quarter of the questions were immediately like took less than 15 seconds. So CLT is definitely, it tests a much wider range of the math skills. And it's more math related to logic and knowing how to do the problem than just being able to do the problem.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (16:09.87)

Jack Ferrell (16:12.896)
Because if you gave me infinite time on the CLT, I could probably do all the math. It would just take me a really long time with number crunching. Because I don't know the method. I just know how to number crunch. So yeah, CLT is definitely better from a, you have to be sharp.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (16:19.539)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (16:29.725)
It's interesting because I don't know if you all know that. So the SAT and of course PSAT, the A actually stands for aptitude. So it's a scholastic aptitude test. They don't call it that anymore because they unfortunately, well, I think personally, unfortunately, they moved away from that. But the older tests and maybe the ones that your parents took were actually similar to CLT. And it was really more about reasoning and logic.

and these word problems, right? Where you had to really like, almost like these puzzles that you had to kind of think through. And so really, I mean, we talk in our modern society a lot about critical thinking, right? But that's really what it was. It was not just can you plug it in, right? Or can you regurgitate? It was can you solve these complex problems? And when they started to align the test with those common core standards, it became a different test. And I think the math is...

has suffered from that quite a bit. And it's just not assessing the same thing anymore. And then, and Jack, you, I'm sure, were exposed to it through your school, right? Was that something that you took as a school?

Jack Ferrell (17:41.604)
Yeah, so I just took the CLT because my school had me do it. I didn't go and seek it out. I just showed up on test day and was like, oh, is this what we're doing? Okay, let's do it.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (17:51.508)
I mean, I guess you did okay.

Jack Ferrell (17:53.304)
Yeah, yeah, I did alright. So, you know, don't worry about tape.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (17:54.977)
It turned out okay. But that's, so let me ask you that. So you didn't go and you bought 15 like prep books and you studied for hours and hours on test, taking strategies and all the things, right?

Jack Ferrell (18:09.656)
Nah, I just showed up.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (18:11.889)
So that's kind of beautiful. You're receiving this amazing education, and then you're taking a test that is better aligned with that amazing education. And so it's removing a lot of the need for students to feel like they kind of have to do all this test prep. And that's interesting. It should be that way, right? But that's not the lived experience of a lot of students that go to school, and some schools that say they're the best schools in the country, and then you have to take an entire semester of just doing test prep. Well, there seems to be conflict there.

Right? And so we're kind of trying to trying to get rid of that. So obviously all three of you. Oh, go ahead. May love you. I know by all means.

Maylivia Barrett (18:50.698)
No, I wanted to add to what Jack said about not having to do any prep. I actually just came home from my last day of Classical Conversations, our end of second semester, and I sat down and took the test that night. I had no prep and I was actually kind of tired out. So it's amazing what Classical Education can do to prepare you for something like the CLT.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (19:12.545)
Wow, okay, you know what Jack was flexing, I feel like that's the ultimate flex millivie. Yeah. Oh my God, wonderful, wonderful. So you all three did incredible. I mean, it is, and I talked about humbly taking CLT. I mean, it is not an easy test. It is not. It is challenging. I think your education prepares you for it, but you have to have a combination, I think, of being very bright, but also being a good test taker.

And you know, you are obviously both. Well, with this award, which is only awarded to about 50 students around the country, and there's obviously thousands and thousands and thousands of students that take the test, you are in an elite kind of realm there. You now are eligible for this $2,500 scholarship. I know you have to finish your junior year and then you have to finish your senior year. But I'm sure you are starting to think about, you know,

What am I going to do after I graduate? And so let's talk a little bit about that. What are kind of your plans maybe post high school? Have you thought about this already? And it's OK if not. But what are your plans? Do you have any certain colleges that you might be interested in? Or what are kind of your criteria to find a college? And let's start with me, Livia.

Maylivia Barrett (20:33.23)
So I'm actually not sure if I want to go to college. I still am working on what I want to do, but I'll probably have some sort of job in author or ministry, discipleship, and entrepreneurship. So I have looked at a few colleges near me, though. Free Lutheran Bible College in Plymouth, Minnesota is a CLT partner college. And

Really, they would be a perfect fit for me, but I'm still not sure if I wanna go to college. So that's what I'm looking at. And then maybe also the Master's University in California, which is run by John MacArthur, or a college that I'm hoping will join the CLT partner college list, the Master's Guild in New York, which is run by Lamplighter Ministries International. That has seemed very promising to me too.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (21:12.033)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (21:28.233)
Wow, well, fingers crossed, we hope we can get him on board before you graduate. And so you have a passion for obviously ministry and the Lord, but you love writing as well.

Maylivia Barrett (21:40.006)
Yes, I love writing very much and if I were to choose a conventional job it would be an author but I may not go that way so we'll see what happens but God has in store.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (21:52.225)
We'll see. Exactly, exactly. Wonderful. Jack, moving over to you, you have a, obviously you've got a couple more years there with perfect scores and I'm sure there's a lot of colleges that already have knocked on your door, right? I mean, it's that time when you're starting to hear from colleges. How do you navigate that, right? When you're trying to finish high school and you're trying to focus on that, but also there's already this pull.

to higher education and how are you navigating that and kind of what thoughts go into kind of your next couple of years?

Jack Ferrell (22:29.832)
Well, I've already exposed myself as a clout-chasing degenerate with the Harvard pick. But I really haven't given a whole lot of thought to what I want from a college. I know I definitely want to take languages because I am... They make me take Latin at the Latin school. But if I could, I would take every language that I could. I absolutely love just...

Linguistics? Is that the? I think that's the word. But I don't know what college to go to. If I could get a full ride somewhere, I'll probably just go with that. But, you know, if I can get into one of the big name schools, you know, that I'll have to weigh. Do I want the name or do I want the like financially practical decision?

Soren Schwab (CLT) (23:24.201)
Yeah, that's really, really interesting. Obviously, the affordability of the institution is a big factor. Even for someone, obviously, who's receiving a classical education and is intelligent, there's always the cost and the way. And I'm sure your parents have that conversation with you. Right? It's like, well, you want this great education, but also how much in-depth do you want to go for this great education?

Obviously, you're taking Latin and languages. I think one thing to certainly look for is, do some of these colleges still offer languages? Because unfortunately, it seems like there is a trend to gut some of the humanities in general in favor of STEM and nothing against obviously the science and knowledge and math and engineering. But there certainly seems to be a movement away from the humanities and languages. So that might even be a criteria for you to look at.

which of these schools still allow me to take all these language classes for sure. And then I guess from Lex and Latin is a smaller school, right? You have smaller classes. I used to...

Jack Ferrell (24:33.561)
My grade is 16 people in it, so it is a very, very small school.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (24:38.725)
Right, I mean from there to potentially something with 500 in a lecture hall, is that a consideration do you think about? Is that good for my kind of style of learning? Have you given that any thought?

Jack Ferrell (24:51.296)
So I said before, I've been to a public school, an American public school in Germany. So I've been in this style before where there's like 200 people in my grade and like 40 people in a classroom. And I'm a very extroverted person. It doesn't affect me as much, but so I don't think that will be a big bearing, but I understand for some people, like my brother, he's nowhere near as sociable as I am. So.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (24:54.457)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (25:06.982)
No. Go.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (25:19.177)
Yeah, yeah, well that makes sense. I mean it's we talk a lot about finding the best fit college For each student right and it's not a it's not a one-size-fits-all And so that's good. Um, yeah, what about what about you? Well, you're uh, you've got two more years um, obviously you seem like a very thoughtful person that ponders Uh on these on these big big, uh decisions Um, yeah, what are your thoughts going into the next couple years of homeschooling and then college and beyond?

William Adkison (25:49.948)
So there's definitely some in consideration. I do think it would be in my best interest and to the best of my ability to go to college. I have definitely considered not doing so because I think it's more financially practical, but I think I would enjoy the immersion and experience that would provide over the next four years. And as Jack has sort of touched on, there's a big difference between public school and private school and also between large colleges and small colleges.

So I've kind of built a couple of different options into my sort of college resume. So I've been looking at Hillsdale College, obviously. It's probably the top of the list. And then after that, some local options, which are Baylor University Honors College, and then Abilene Christian University. And then if all else fails, and if they are accepted into the CLT partner colleges, Texas A&M University, because that is my family's college of choice in every instance of my family tree. So.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (26:49.985)
And there's a lot of legacy and legacy thinking. Right, right, right. Wow, that is fantastic. Well, those are all really good options. As a Hillsdale graduate, I'm a little bit biased, probably. But all really good options. I guess the way I thought about it before, and so I went to a big public university before I transferred to.

William Adkison (26:53.281)
Yes. Yes, Corps of Cadets, all that. All of the above.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (27:18.613)
to Hillsdale. And so I've kind of had both the 500 students in the lecture hall with the professor coming out with a microphone, you know, lecturing and then leaving never to be seen again and to Hillsdale where really it was, you know, you had office hours with your professor, with a PhD, right, professor, not the TA and really this individual attention. I think

I've thought about it quite a bit and to me the biggest differentiation or distinction was the learning skills. I think I could have learned the same skills in a way at the bigger university that I had at Hillsdale. I think education as formation, as forming me as a human being.

I think it might be a little bit more difficult at a massive school where I sometimes felt like I was just a number. And so I think I probably would have gotten the same skills had I attended, I don't know, Michigan State, but I probably would not be the same human being, the same person. I think that's something that I thought about a lot. And when I speak with high school students, that oftentimes what I at least urge them to think about, right, it's not just, you know.

What job do you want to pursue? Or what skills do you want to have? But after four years in college, what kind of person do you want to be? What kind of husband or father or mother do you want to be? And I don't think we think about that too much, which sometimes I get, right? We think about the practical and the financial and I don't and the cloud, right? Of course we think about all these things. But truly, you're going to be a student for four years, right? You're going to be a human being for the rest of your life. And so that's not a small.

small consideration. So see, I couldn't help it. You know, I'm going into lecture mode, take it with a grain of salt. You're welcome. Oh, this has been so delightful. I am. Oh, go ahead. Okay. There you go. There you go.

William Adkison (29:03.828)
That's good, I forgive you, thank you.

Maylivia Barrett (29:08.595)
Very true. We're lifelong learners.

Jack Ferrell (29:14.208)
Well the subject of legacy, I had this idea, and this is totally off topic, but as a college guy do you think it is a viable idea to be legally adopted by someone who went to a certain college you wanted to get into? Harvard for instance. And if you got legally adopted by someone who went there, could you get counted as a legacy?

Soren Schwab (CLT) (29:18.462)
Go for it.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (29:30.548)
For it's a...

William Adkison (29:30.844)
Just think about here.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (29:38.373)
That might be the topic of another podcast episode, so stay tuned for part two of Anchored. That is a good question, that is a good question. But it's interesting, I mean it is certainly, and then there's some high schools too, where it's a lot about not even what you know, right, but who you know and what's on your, what is on your degree. And certainly in certain, for certain positions, that is true. Even though to play devil's advocate a little bit, I think there are now also some...

Jack Ferrell (29:40.8)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (30:05.541)
organizations and companies that Where it's almost a liability to have gone to certain Ivy league schools, right because they feel like oh they're turning out students that might not be the best fit. So It really is. Uh, it's been Yeah, it can get can get intricate. So so maybe that that's another conversation jack, but I appreciate the thought Well, let's um, let's get to our last question the one I always look forward to the most because we love talking about books and so um

I'm going to start with you here, Jack. In your young but illustrious life, what is the one book or one text that has had the greatest impact on you so far and why?

Jack Ferrell (30:48.864)
To be completely honest with you, I referenced a bunch of books earlier, but I think the most influential one, the most impactful one on me, would actually be Virgil's Aeneid. And the reason for this, probably because of the theme that was highlighted in it, one of the biggest themes in the Aeneid is duty, because there's multiple times where the main guy, Aeneas, wants to do, you know...

wants to just go off and do what he wants rather than what the gods have laid down for him. So, and that like sense of duty, I feel like it really speaks to me, especially after hearing, you know the parable of the silver bars, or I think the talents, the parable of the servants with the talents, it's like to whom much is given, much is expected. And I feel like that really speaks to me. I don't-

I don't have a whole lot of motivation, but I know that I have ability, so I feel the obligation to be useful.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (31:57.613)
That's really profound. Thank you for sharing. Will, what about you?

William Adkison (32:02.172)
So for me it would be very difficult to choose one, but I will try to condense it down as much as possible. In terms of the influence it has had on my education and my love of learning in literature, I would say David Copperfield for sure, because there are two aspects of that book which can be equally missed or seen through the first reading, but which become more clear as you read it over and over, which I admittedly have, and those are...

Soren Schwab (CLT) (32:08.192)
Ha ha!

William Adkison (32:32.668)
Firstly, the familial, the storyline, the basic storyline, which follows so perfectly through so many tragedies and to so perfect a climax and resolution that you can hold up any other book to that as its perfect standard and find the shortcomings and highlights of any other book. Secondly, the

greater truth revealed about myself and those around me that you can find in such a book, such as revealing your true feelings, which is difficult as a teenager. It might not be so much for an adult, but it is for a teenager, as I'm sure we all know. And having a book as your guide to do that is an extremely valuable tool. And then I will move toward a second sort of category, which is the books that have influenced my worldview.

and my outlook in policy towards politics and the actions of people around me in our culture. And those would be The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and The God Who Is There by Francis Schaeffer. And for these books, I would say that I could read nothing else but those books for the rest of my life and be content, because the lessons and the valuable wisdom and the

are enough to sustain me as a person.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (34:04.848)
Incredible. Thank you, William. That was really, really thoughtful. May Olivia, what about you?

Maylivia Barrett (34:11.338)
Well, I'm not sure how I can follow up William with that, wow.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (34:14.18)
I was going to say that that's a tough setup right there.

Maylivia Barrett (34:17.826)
But I think I can match it, maybe. I do have to agree with William. There are so many books I would love to pick, but we don't have 500 hours, right? So I would say the books or texts that have had the greatest impact on my life would be firstly, the Bible, and then Francis Schaeffer's How Should We Then Live, which I read last year. It really revealed to me the weavings of philosophy.

through human history, especially in the West, and how human history and human philosophy, especially humanism, has evolved and degraded into the downfall of the West that we are seeing today. And then for another one, the book of Proverbs. Ever since about fourth grade, we bought a proverb study, which was produced by Kevin Swanson with Generations.

Just some commentary and discussion questions to help you as you read through the Proverbs. But we have been doing that ever since and we're on our second time through. And it is probably one of the most impactful family devotions we have ever done. And so that's something for a great impact, but for fun, for favorite, although most people wouldn't call it fun. They'd probably call it boring, but it's Stepping Heaven Word by Elizabeth Prentice. Um,

That book has had a great impact on me in that it has helped me to relate and understand the ideas and emotions people go through as we try to follow the life that God wants us to lead and as he sanctifies us in our daily struggles in life and how eventually we do reach heaven. It's just a long and toilsome path, but Christ is with us every step of the way. So.

That is one of my favorites.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (36:15.852)
Well, I think I have a reading list now that is getting longer and longer, but I really appreciate all three of you and how incredibly thoughtful you are. I mentioned earlier, right, that the best kind of the best case for a classical education or liberal arts education is just speaking to the students that have received it. And all three of you are so eloquent, so articulate, so wise beyond your years. It's truly been an honor to speak with you.

And congratulations again on this great accomplishment of being CLT-10 National Award winners, but more importantly, just being three incredible human beings. And so I am so grateful. Again, I'm here with Jack Farrell, with Maylivia Barrett, and with William Atkinson. CLT-10 National Award winners coming to a university near you in about two years. So stay tuned. All three of you. Thank you so much for joining the podcast today.

William Adkison (37:14.309)
Yes, sir. Thank you very much.

Jack Ferrell (37:14.42)
Thank you for having us, Thorin.

Maylivia Barrett (37:14.614)
Thank you. Thank you for having us.