Educator Andrew Kern: The Classics Ignite Our Desire to Learn, to Honor Others


“Triumphant Achilles,” from a panoramic fresco on the upper level of the main hall of the Achilleion in Gastouri, Corfu. Achilles is dragging Hector's lifeless body in front of the Gates of Troy. Andrew Kern considers Homer, who told Achilles's story, to be the source of Western civilization. (Public domain)

Not everyone likes school, but everyone loves to learn. “Star Wars” fans light up when they learn something new about the franchise’s movies or actors. Football fans dote on the statistics of their team’s players, and foodies follow their favorite chefs to glean a new recipe or technique.


Educator Andrew Kern explained that not only does everyone love to learn, but everyone also admires those who excel. Teens into alternative rock prefer the virtuosic guitarist to a mediocre one, and each generation has a Michael Jordan in one sport or another whose prowess is awe-inspiring. We revere greatness.


We watch in awe at nature’s wonder