St. John's College, Annapolis, is a horse of a different color. I had known it as the "great books" college. I had not visited before. We had a fine long discussion with two enthusiastic students, one introvert and one extrovert. This is a good combination -- I recommend it to all admissions offices.
St. John's is for people who seriously want to understand the Great Conversation. It has no sports, no Greeks, none of the trappings of college life which can become so important to students who are not at college primarily to deeply engage ideas. The whole curriculum is really a long and detailed philosophy seminar.
From the pounds of college mailings I got when I was in high school, the only one I remember was from St. John's. It was entitled: "College as Paradise." I was sorely tempted. In the end, I chose Swarthmore because I was very interested in contemporary politics.
Endub is ... thinking about it. She really liked the seriousness, and the close community. She does, though, want to make a difference in this world, and is still unclear on how the Johnnies make the connection. This one may take a second round.
One of the most intriguing things that both young men said, in answer to my daughter's question, "Who should not come to St. John's?" was "people who are intellectually arrogant." They said this very diffidently and humbly. They told the story of someone who dropped out of St. John's after one term. He had already concluded that he hated Aristotle, and Aristotle had nothing to teach him. He also objected to the tutor's (not "professor's") insistence that he go back to the text to see what Aristotle himself said. Instead, the disgruntled student wanted answers now. The two admissions workers were taken aback at the idea that one could come right out of high school, begin to learn Greek, start to read Aristotle, and conclude that you could already know enough about him to know that Aristotle had nothing to teach. I admire their humility in the face of such a challenge.