Alain de Botton has always tried to get ideas to impact on the way we actually live. So in the summer of 2008, Alain and some colleagues set up The School of Life.
The School has a passionate belief in making learning relevant – and so runs courses in the important questions of everyday life. Whereas most colleges and universities chop up learning into abstract categories (‘agrarian history’ ‘the 18th century English novel’), The School of Life titles its courses according to things we all tend to care about: careers, relationships, politics, travels, families. An evening or weekend on one of its courses is likely to be spent reflecting on such matters as your moral responsibilities to an ex partner or how to resolve a career crisis.
The School offers communal meals, holidays and a beautiful shop with fascinating gift vouchers and other items. It also has a division offering psychotherapy for individuals, couples or families – and it does so in a completely stigma-free way. For the normally reserved British, it must be a first to have an institution that offers therapy from an ordinary high street location and moreover, treats the idea of having therapy as no more or less strange than having a haircut or pedicure, and perhaps a good deal more useful.
The School attempts to put learning and ideas back to where they should always have been – right in the middle of our lives.
I wish I could attend and send my kids to The School of Life.
The School of Life might be a more appealing alternative to the University of Hard Knocks, which is where I never want my son to learn.
Oct 14th, 2010 / 8:52 pm
Beats the “Board of Education” too, if you know what I mean.
Oct 14th, 2010 / 9:37 pm
It might be good to indicate that most of the text in this post is taken from Alain’s website: http://www.alaindebotton.com/pages/about/index.asp?PageID=199
And I agree, it looks amazing!
Oct 18th, 2010 / 2:12 pm
Yeah, all you’d have to do is put this post in quotes and tag on an attribution such as ” — via alaindebotton.com” .
Oct 21st, 2010 / 10:25 pm