“Great Books Saved My Sanity”

We love hearing from Great Books discussion group participants, and especially enjoy when they tell us about the impact reading and discussing literature had on their lives. Virginia Tschanz, a painter and writer from Westminster, Colorado, recently told us about her experience discovering Great Books in the 1960s.  We’re grateful for Virginia’s positive words and for taking the time to share them with us.

“This may sound like an exaggeration, but Great Books saved my sanity when my geologist husband was sent to train Colombian geologists while mapping the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Colombia was then the murder capital of the world and the drug lords were centered there. I was left in Barranquilla, a tropical port, while Mac was in the field three weeks of every month. The tropics are fine for a vacation, but just try to live in them for two years—bugs, snakes, bats, vultures, torrential rains, mold, and mildew. So, miserably unhappy I discovered Great Books and asked a local Peace Corps volunteer to be my co-leader.  The experience changed us and the other participants, including locals. The only requirement was to speak understandable English. Once back in the U.S., I couldn’t rouse any interest among my friends for the program, but for two years it was the center of my life. Thank you, Great Books.”

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