Several years ago, we had an intern from St. John’s College, in Annapolis — this is the Great Books college that has been favored by serious students for generations. His name was Ian Tuttle — and he was very St. John’s, and very wonderful. He came back the next summer for another internship.
How strange it was for someone like me — a long way past college daze — to look up to an intern. But you couldn’t help it, or I couldn’t: He had a maturity unattached to age. He seemed to have been born wise, or at least open to wisdom, which is itself wise.
After college, he came to work for us as an editor and writer. He is thoroughly NR, or so I like to think: talented, literate, thoughtful, respectful, wide-ranging, fun — with a taste for politics, an appetite for policy, a thirst for arts and letters, and an embrace of universal values, indeed transcendent ones.
Now Ian is leaving NR to enter a Ph.D. program (in political philosophy). This is a loss to journalism and a gain to other fields, whatever they prove to be. And who knows? Maybe he will dip back into the grubby and ungrubby world of journalism from time to time.
Anyway, WFB would have sighed over him — of that I feel sure — and so do the rest of us …