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Carpe Diem, Understood: An Ancient Motto for the Present Day

Grace Jackson Written by Grace Jackson
Carpe Diem, Understood: An Ancient Motto for the Present Day

The Latin phrase “carpe diem,” derived from Horace’s eleventh ode, has established itself in English idiom as an injunction to seize the day. However impressive the force of this injunction, the poem’s quiet tenor prompts us to prefer a milder interpretation: indeed, we approach closer to the original with such a rendering as, “take up, pick, or pluck the day.” The image of a farmer carefully plucking a piece of ripe fruit from a bent bough should spring to mind. Would a farmer seize his long-tended fruit, snatching it up with a hurried gesture? No, surely he would first measure its weight with his hand and judge its color with his eye; he would then lightly pick from the branch this member of his harvest.

As in life, so also in education Horace would enjoin us to take up tomorrow’s curriculum and courses with an attitude of care. Too often education is imperiled by “carpe diem” misunderstood. Curriculum and courses are snatched up with all the imprecision, randomness, and lack of balance that accompany precipitate action: perhaps the student is thrust into a math curriculum for which his prior training has not prepared him; perhaps he is plunged into a humanities course before he has established the requisite writing skills; perhaps his academic and after-school commitments vie for his attention and he, excited by a whirl of activities, is master of none of them. 

The Diploma Program at Veritas Scholars Academy exists to redeem education from “carpe diem” misunderstood. Our seasoned advising staff shapes each Diploma student’s education by practicing precision in course placement, by honoring logical course sequence, and by positioning the student to achieve a healthy balance of academics with after-school pursuits. As one of our advisors likes to put it, “There are one thousand nuances.” 

You can begin to learn about those nuances by requesting a free consultation. At each step toward and through the Diploma Program, you will be guided by individuals who have your student's education at heart and Horace’s motto at hand.