Name: Miles Johnson
Hometown: Duluth, MN
Year Graduated: May 2011
How did you decide to attend CSB/SJU?
It was a simple process at the time because I was mostly concerned with scholarships and resources. It was my understanding that CSB had recently adapted its chemistry curriculum to a higher standard, and with smaller class sizes and a secluded community I felt assured that I would receive proper attention and preparation for a professional role in that field. My greatest concern was a proper return of investment via a stable job with a salary adequate for meeting the rising cost of education, likely by keeping in step with my family's tradition in medicine.
How did you decide to be an English Major?
It was a rude awakening from my initial plans to realize that not only is there no guarantee of a career simply by enrolling in a good institution, but that some individual vision for one's subject is required for success. This may seem obvious, but it took me two years to understand that I had no real interest in or appreciation for chemistry, and without that I did not have a future. Although it seemed almost tragic at the time, this realization forced me to look on my private passions with new confidence. These private passions are not definite things by any means, but for me they'd been drifting among Blake, Bukowski, Stevie Bernstein, Flagman Thiel, Equus, A Hunger Artist, Ulysses, Divina Commedia, clinging to a few passages at a time. I took up the major, I suppose, out of gratitude to literature and poetry for anchoring my will and faith.
What are your plans post CSB/SJU?
I have a one year contract with CSETC to teach English in China, during which time I will be applying to graduate schools either for a Master's in Education or further study of Literature.
What do you like best about the courses?
I love it when a semester comes together, when you can draw on all your courses simultaneously as if they were a single riotous conversation, relaying questions and answers from one professor to the next, one text to another. Those are the most enduring moments, if they can be called moments at all. They're more like dreams. Few people other than the student have the chance to live in a dream, to constantly reflect and explore, from one day to the next.
How do you feel about the professors?
It depends on the professor, certainly. All the more our fortune at this campus to have the option of a personal relationship with every professor in every faculty. The professors who've been able to stand my company have served not only as models for thought and study in their field but often as models of character. They are human beings after all, and you can enjoy them as the mountain of habits they are, not just the disciplines at their core.
What was your greatest challenge while being here?
I hate to use this phrase, but these are "difficult times" for higher learning. It seems difficult to justify the price, the process, and the goals for many students. I've reached no essential conclusion to this challenge, but I'm not content to forget about it in my future. I've received a great privilege, and I must justify this education with my accomplishments.
What are the class sizes like?
You can't pick your nose with impunity.
What other activities were you involved in at CSB/SJU?
I worked as a co-editor for CSB's literary journal, Studio One, for two years, and dabbled as a critic and DJ for the campus radio station. These are my official involvements on campus. If you're social enough, you'll get roped into an activity for almost every department one way or another.
How has your time at CSB/SJU helped prepare you for the future?
Universities present students with the world in miniature and chances to play several disparate roles they may never encounter again, slowly putting away childish things in the process while retaining the enthusiasm and receptivity of youth. Not everyone learns to do even this; not everyone gets the time to prepare for adulthood and for the world itself. Even the humblest university is a refuge in every possible way to the willing student.