Film critic David Denby, writing of his experience revisiting, in his forties, the Great Books core courses he had taken as a freshman at Columbia University thirty years earlier:
I was reading seriously, reading Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, all the Greeks. But I needed more time. Life got in the way—a good life, but in the way. I had always known it would, but I was determined not to rope off my school adventure, not to become a hermit, anything medieval or cloistered, but to remain a modern middle-class man, living my life as normally as possible. As if I had any choice! There were days when I wanted to be free just to study, to eat at any hour and sleep whenever I wanted to, unshaven and raw as an eighteen-year-old—and then the little one, Thomas, would take my hand and lead me into his room to show me something he had drawn, pulling me away from Plato, and I was exasperated but grateful, because a child’s hand is like nothing else on earth.