EDUCATIONrnRefugernby Peter LauriernWhen still relatively small, I sang inrna church choir whose quality wasrnthe envy of our whole capital city diocese,rnso that its members, who includedrna chorus of boy sopranos like myself,rnwere recruited, auditioned, trained, andrnpaid. This last feature helped reconcilernto plain song and Palestrina my careerrnarmy officer father who would have seenrnme in the Scouts, out on the diamond,rnor headed for West Point instead.rnTwo afternoons a week after school, Irngot what was still then an awkwardly attenuatedrnleg up the step of a rusted busrnat the edge of the boonies, rumbledrnacross the rivulet into town, transferred,rnand stepped off at the jewel in peari-greyrnEnglish Gothic granite on its velvet lawnrnin my grandparents’ genteel neighborhood.rnBut there were also the Sundays atrndaybreak for preritual run-throughs, plusrnthe Thursday evenings with the grownrnchoir—not needing, evidently, our regimenrnof diction, intonation, vocalize, eartraining,rnsight-singing, and Latin. Nevertheless,rna night of Thomas Tallis orrnVaughan Williams might have been expectedrnto prove a little intense, exhausting,rnfor children, so at the right momentrnour truly masterful choirmaster wouldrnmasterfully thank us for our grown-up effortsrnat music and deportment. Then wernwere, about 20 of us, and all but me inrneasy position to foot it on home underrnstreetlights, jovfully—noisefullv—dismissed.rnOf course it all had a name, then. Werncalled it The Christian Life. It appearedrnundetachable from what we also thoughtrnof as American life. We could not imaginernnot taking it for granted, hardly awarernthat we were becoming relics (so tornspeak) of its dissolving disappearance,rnrelics with our own nonnegative-growthrnunpopulation-controlled offspring to tryrnand raise as wholesomely as may be in anrnimmoralist, if ecologically smug, warrnzone.rnI was 30 when I came up from my de-rnIn the Heart of Europe,rnAn Alternative forrnAmerican High SchoolrnGraduatesrn/^rasmus Institute, Lausanne, Switzerland. A new one-year tutorial andrn(S) residential college, emphasizing Literature, History, French language, andrncourse-correlated travel in Europe. Located in a beautiful chateau and park abovernLake Geneva, Erasmus Institute can serve as an interim year or a partial equivalentrnof a freshman college year, with preparation for CEEB AP exams in selectedrnsubjects. A schola.stic program, with an intimate, humane scale, in the classical-rnChristian tradition.rnSummer Great Books Course: Classic literature, French, hiking, and travel inrnSwitzerland, France, and Italy. Five-week program for enthusiastic learners of allrnages from 17 up.rns RASMUS f STITUTErnM.D. Aeschliman, Ph.D., Columbia, DirectorrnLe Chateau de Vennes, Praz-Bcrthoud 29, 1010 Lausanne, SwitzerlandrnP.O. Box 236, Free Union, VA 22940 • Tel: (804) 973-7960rnU.S. Fax: (804)973-9128 • Swiss Fax: (011)41.21.652.2682rnsign loft in the big city to be a pallbearerrnat my grandmother’s funeral, the onernwho had helped me into the choir ofrnhappy memory that in turn had helpedrnme lay the foundations of an artisanal,rnmusical, literary, philosophical life. Thernchurch I had not seen since my voicernchanged had been refurbished in thernmanner of Episcopal Woodstock, Tudorrnaltar cloths, damasks, silks, and tapestriesrnwhisked away and upstaged by psychedelicrneyesores mocking the meditativernmajesty of lives of the saints in their harmoniesrnof garnet and topaz leaded glass;rnour minister, now frail and venerable andrnwhite, actually going so far as to ask permissionrn—out of deference to the deceased’srnterm of service—to say thernprayers a “last time the good old way.” I,rntogether with virtually everyone elsernthere, a full house, as it were, mostly descendantsrnof the founders of our obscurernprovincial capital that happened, on occasion,rnto have harbored a WashingtonrnIrving, a Herman Melville, a HenryrnJames whose grandnieccs went to schoolrnwith my mother, had little trouble ploppingrnthe recently renovated travesty of arnprayerbook back in its rack behind thernpew, falling as one to our knees and makingrnconfession from indelible memory.rnA last time. The good old way. Even thernpsychedelic eyesores rippled with reverberantrnreverence.rnIt all came back to me at the gloomyrnend of the summer, as I threadedrnthrough the drizzle and the cobbledrnmaze of Old Amsterdam paying belatedrnhomage to the wraith of my one Dutchrnfriend, an old fellow teacher of Latin atrnwhat was once Melville’s academy, arnwell-known resistor who on the way tornthe usual session in the galley of the usualrnyacht at the usual wharf on the usualrnevening became so overwhelmed withrnnausea he turned back home and missedrnthe SS trap that meant torture and deathrnto his fellows. It came back on the nightrntrain to Basel, the young Swiss matronrnwith her half-Italian heritage from thernisle of Capri commenting, “They try tornmake a big cookie of all Europe. Soon itrnwill be all just crumbs!”rnIt came back as my succinct cab nosedrnup and down smooth stone lanes of Lausannernunder pelting rains, through herdsrnof beaded vehicles, at the moment of therncommencement of a celebrated tradernfair I knew nothing about. “Had I notrncome for the trade fair? Had I not evenrnreserved a room? Was it not a sad end ofrnsummer?”rn52/CHRONICLESrnrnrn