Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Robots, 3D Printers, and Why We Need Classical Education

“The restructuring of human work and association was shaped by the technique of fragmentation that is the essence of machine technology. The essence of automation technology is the opposite. It is integral and decentralist in depth, just as the machine was fragmentary, centralists, and superficial in its patterning of human relationships.” 
“Our education has long ago acquired the fragmentary and piecemeal character of mechanism. It is now under increasing pressure to acquire the depth and interrelation that are indispensable in the all-at-once world of electric organization. Paradoxically, automation makes liberal education mandatory.” 
Marshall McLuhan

What is 3D printing?

For example: custom-fit titanium horseshoes printed by 3D process

The increasing use of automation in factory production:

Self-assembling cube robots:

In the age of robots and computers assembling and disassembling themselves, additive manufacturing (3D printing) making small-scale, customized and even intensely complex production possible, and automation increasingly taking over the essential production of goods, the contemporary person finds himself in a position similar to that of the ancient Greek citizen. In that world, production was done by others (slaves and menial laborers) freeing up the citizen for creative and civic action. Only a few received this ‘liberal’ education since the great majority were needed for basic production and only the few could afford the luxury of education; the majority were trained for production.

We find ourselves in just such a world, except that now the majority are increasingly no longer needed for the production of basic needs, or even luxuries. The general standard of living rises with less and less actual production work required of fewer and fewer people. This does not mean that people are not needed, but that their time will increasingly be spent in other pursuits, that work will change to resemble more and more that of the artist. (We will all, as McLuhan says,  become artists. While this may be hyperbole, the artist is a type of the kind of worker who will be the norm rather than the exception.) Creative and integrated work will increasingly fill our work days. And for this kind of work, training in specific ‘job skills’, which become obsolete with the next generation of machine or software, is completely inadequate.

The calls for more technical training, more math training—while in themselves not wrong—entirely miss the greater point. Mere training in technical proficiency without a broader understanding of the world, people, and self, risks relegating the student to merely serve the function or task he has been trained to do. It is only a liberal arts education that can free people for other things. They may, of course, choose to use their education in technical fields, but they will only have the choice if they have a liberal arts education. All other mere training will condemn them to servitude alongside the mechanisms they will service—indeed, in many ways they will only be trained to be servants of the machines.

The kind of education we need now is focused on broad and flexible learning, probing deeply into questions of meaning and connection, rich in developing across-the-board tools of learning including memory, logical thinking, and effective communication. This education then, rather than being for the few, must be for the many. It is like the ancient world in that education is for the free citizen with time and creative energy and the ability to contribute to his community, except that now this could, and must, include the majority. The grim alternative is a training that prepares people for a life of service to the productive mechanisms, punctuated only by periods—increasingly long as automated processes grow more productive—of amusement (entertainment, politics, and even religion) designed by others, to be consumed by the unaware.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Maturing Effect of Classical Education

E. Christian Kopff in his 'The Devil Knows Latin:Why America Needs the Classical Tradition' has the following lengthy quotation from Albert Jay Nock concerning the formative nature of a classical education:

"The literature of Greece and Rome comprise the longest and fullest continuous record available to us, of what the human mind has been busy about in practically every department of spiritual and social activity; every department, I think, except one--music. This record covers twenty-five hundred consecutive years of the human mind's operations in poetry, drama, law, agriculture, philosophy, architecture, natural history, philology, rhetoric, astronomy, politics, medicine, theology, geography, everything. Hence the mind that has attentively canvassed this record is not only a disciplined mind but an experienced mind; a mind that instinctively views any contemporary phenomenon from the vantage point of an immensely long perspective attained through this profound and weighty experience of the human spirit's operations. If I may paraphrase the words of Emerson, this discipline brings us into the feeling of an immense longevity, and maintains us in it. You may perceive at once, I think, how different would be the view of contemporary men an things, how different the appraisal of them, the scale of values employed in their measurement, on the part of one who has undergone this discipline and on the part of one who has not. These studies, then, in a word, were regarded as formative because they are maturing, because they powerfully inculcate the views of life and the demands on life that are appropriate to maturity and are indeed the specific marks, the outward and visible signs, of the inward and spiritual grace of maturity."

Monday, September 30, 2013

Education and Training

In 'The Devil Knows Latin: Why America Needs the Classical Tradition', E. Christian Kopff has the following passage distinguishing between education and mere training:

"There is a yet more important reason we should receive a classical education while in our youth. Such an education provides, in quite pure form, true education, as distinct from mere training.

This distinction between education and training is [Albert Jay] Nock's and it is a compelling one. According to Nock, education is the study and mastery of a body of knowledge which is formative in character. Training, however, involves the learning of information aimed at the solution of an immediate problem or the accomplishment of a specific goal. Now, both training and education are important for a society. But anybody can be trained to do something. (The complexity and difficulty of the jobs will vary, of course, from short order cook to brain surgeon.) Fewer students today, however, know how to profit from education; perhaps fewer are capable. This becomes clear once the nature of education is grasped. The goal of education is to produce thoughtful people who have at their disposal a wealth of general knowledge, and who, in the light of this knowledge and with the courage to face facts, can judge matters of significance in a disinterested manner. Obviously this kind of formation is limited to the few who possess the character, the talents, and the stamina to be educated this way. A society without trained workers will not get its work done. A society without educated citizens will collapse in times of crisis and will wither away in times of ease and prosperity. Simply put, a civilization without educated citizens will cease to be civilized."

Kopff will be speaking at Veritas October 18, and at George Fox University as part of the sessions introducing GFU's William Penn Honors Program.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Student's Calling and Teaching with the Ends in Mind

At the Veritas Teaching Conference in August we had the privilege of hearing from Leland Ryken of Wheaton College. His closing talk was on ‘The Student’s Calling and the Teacher’s Role in Fostering It’. In this address, Dr. Ryken encouraged the group of teachers, administrators, board members, and parents to think carefully and biblically about what the purpose of education ought to be. With the student in mind, Dr. Ryken addressed the key questions that must be asked—and answered—in any school setting.

What kind of education is best? Behind this basic question there is an even more important one, because the answer to ‘what kind of education?’ depends on the answer to the question, ‘what kind of person are you trying to get in the end?’ The purpose of education is the shaping of people. Indeed, whatever else schools may think they are doing, they are more than anything developing a certain kind of person, with assumptions about the world and about life. The aim of education, Dr. Ryken reminded us, should be that the student will come to value the things they ought to value, and this means that they ought to value what God values. A Christ-centered education will work toward this in all that it does. A secular education will find this goal meaningless and irrelevant, and frequently hostile.

A secular education has, by its very nature, a secular-minded person as its goal. This person will be taught to think, and will unconsciously grow to feel, that the world is, generally speaking, made up of unconnected bits of data that just happen to be in existence. Some attempts may be made to organize some of the bits into broad fields of knowledge, and perhaps even to think of some of the bits (people, animals, the planet) in somewhat ethical—though selectively ethical—ways. But no attempt is made, and indeed cannot be made because it is utterly contrary to this way of viewing things, to account for where the world came from ultimately (and not merely mechanically), why and how it came to be, and—most importantly—what it all means. These questions, which are really the only ones that truly matter, the secular ‘neutral’ schools of our time cannot begin to answer. In fact, they have ruled out from the beginning any exploration of these questions. They will not allow the one, central fact that all Christians hold to, that God created all there is for his glory and for the good of his people. This foundational truth of the existence and creative nature of God is excluded from the very start.

This willful ignorance is claimed as a virtue and it becomes the central idea in secular schools. Students who attend these schools are taught these assumptions accordingly and will, but for the grace of God, believe and live the way they are taught. (While it is true that some secularists certainly know how to find out true things about the physical world, and even to some degree the mental and spiritual world, but their understanding is darkened. They do not—cannot—know what these things ultimately mean.)

I once had the tremendous privilege to spend a summer studying gothic architecture in France. It was, of course, a marvelous experience, but studying gothic cathedrals with the materialists who led the group was eye-opening. Chartres Cathedral for them was only so many bits of structural element, measurements of lengths, degrees, type of stone, dates of construction, etc. The meaning behind it all was lost because is it non-sense to them. There was an element of  tragedy in this, because they could sense something more there, but they couldn’t—or wouldn’t—understand it. In the same way, for the secular person and the secularly-minded school the study of creation and all that is in it is an ultimately futile exercise. The person shaped by such a  training sees the world in the way his or her training conditions—that is, as so much material only vaguely (if at all) related to a God only partially (if at all) known.

Some, even within Christian educational circles, may adopt these assumptions, promoting merely material means (such as an emphasis on technology tools or a standardized curriculum) though these are only ‘machines’, and can at best be a means to an end, not an end in themselves. But, even then, the means themselves assume an end, they teach an approach to and certain assumptions about, what life and learning is and ought to be. One cannot divorce the process from the result. We become more like what we spend our time doing. Means and methods are not neutral vehicles that transport us to some predetermined site, they are more like food that nourishes us—or poisons us. And so the question still remains, to what end? What is the purpose?

That God might be the most important piece of ‘data’ in the universe is absurd to the secular mind—it is utter non-sense. And yet to the Christian, God is the only sensible starting place, and, indeed, ending place.  For us, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (Proverbs 9:10). Education is the process of nurturing souls toward the Good. It is the growth in wisdom, virtue, and godliness that can only come when right content, right teachers, and right methods join together toward the end that the students will love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength, and their neighbor as themselves. This cultivation of wisdom, virtue, and godliness is not a neutral, abstract process. Education is always the education of a person by other persons. The servant is not greater than his master, and as the master is, so will the disciple be. The teacher’s role, then, is to fix his or her mind on the ends, which is the kind of person intended by the education, and within that to foster the student’s calling to love learning and grow in loving God.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Parents and the Portrait of a Graduate

In his end-of-year sermon in 1869 C.H. Spurgeon preached on Luke 16:2. He emphasized the stewardship responsibility of parents, and fathers in particular toward their children: “And the father’s influence,--oh! Fathers, you cannot shake off your obligations to your children by sending them to school, whether to a Sunday-school or a boarding-school. They are your children, and you must give an account of your stewardship concerning your own offspring.” Spurgeon stressed that parents must be concerned not only for their children’s temporary happiness but for their eternal happiness. 

Paul in Ephesians 6:4 has a similar message for parents, that they are not to “provoke their children to wrath” by “bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Similarly, Deuteronomy 6 includes the command that parents are to diligently teach their children the words of God. During the Reformation, in encouraging parents to take seriously this duty, Martin Luther wrote, “Where the Holy Scriptures are not the rule, I should advise no one to send his child.” The consistent message (which could supported by multitudes of additional witnesses) is that parents have the responsibility before God to steward the education of their children in the things of God.

True education is that which is dedicated to the growth in wisdom, virtue, and godliness, and  is intended to be a partnership between parents and the school. Parents are called to raise their children in the “discipline and instruction” of God, to be good stewards of the trust God has put on them. Schools assist in this important work, but the ultimate responsibility rests with parents.  Veritas’ ‘Portrait of a Graduate’, a set of statements that describe our ideal graduate, helps to guide our work with students both in and out of classroom. Under the parents’ authority, we seek to see these things lived out in our students, including that our graduates will:
·      -  spend some of their leisure time actively pursuing the liberal arts and attending to the fine arts
·        -use logical reasoning to draw valid conclusions, recognize invalid reasoning, and make wise decisions
·      -  practice their Christian faith in thought, word, and deed

How we choose to use our leisure time will indicate what we think is important. It may be too much to say that it is a window into our soul, but it certainly reflects our priorities and our view of our place in the world. Just as parents are called to be stewards of their children’s education, we are all called to be good stewards of our leisure. We desire that our students will want to use at least some of this time (which is increasingly abundant in our automated world) in an active, rather than a passive, pursuit of things that are distinctly human.   To make this possible we work to equip them with an understanding of, and a growing love for, the arts in many forms—literature, inquiry into the physical world, mathematics, music, painting, sculpture, etc. Parents, of course, must model this interest for the school’s impact to be most effective.

One of the hallmarks of classical education is the training of logical reasoning that supports wise decision making. To foster these habits words and truth in discussable propositions form key element in our curriculum. Writing, debate, and discussion are frequent classroom activities designed not for mere personal expression but for the development of sound thinking. We want our students to understand that wisdom comes primarily with the use of words that carry ideas, not images laden with vague impressions. Again, in their role of stewards of their children’s education parents will provide the most potent example of commitment to words, and particularly to applying the word of God to all of life. Words and ideas, not images, pervade the home where children are growing up into thoughtful and wise adulthood.

Of course, it is of vital importance that the elements of the Portrait are lived out in concrete ways and are not merely nice ideas to assent to. This is emphasized in the last of the points under consideration, that of practicing the Christian faith in thought, word, and deed. It is not enough to have correct theological positions. Christianity is to be incarnated. (There is a potential danger, perhaps, of hypocrisy here, but if students are encouraged to rely on the grace of God for these things in their lives, then the genuine strengthening of the faith of the humble is worth the risk that a few might try to fake it.)

The forces of modernism have reduced education to a system which trains humans to fit their roles in serving the machinery of the modern economy. This reduces people to mere interchangeable parts in this vast machine. Biblical education, however, offers a challenge to this view of a godless, materialist cosmos and man’s place in it. Classical and Christian education is a critique of these modernist assumptions, and it is built instead on a world where God is Creator and sustainer, where people are unique individuals made in the image of God for the worship of God and the service of others, and not for servitude to the state, the economy, or mere appetites. Classical, Christ-centered education supports the nurturing in wisdom, virtue, and godliness that parents, as stewards of their children’s souls, seek to encourage.

We rely on--and we rejoice in--the fact that only God can do these things. Faith is a work of the Holy Spirit not of classical, Christian schools. Wisdom and virtue can be cultivated, but God alone can give the harvest. But God uses means—parents, school, and churches. If our Portrait of a Graduate is to be realized in the lives of our students, if we all are to be found good stewards of the responsibilities that God has given us, then it will require a partnership of all of these God-given means ultimately led, directed, and supported by parents. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nolan Lynch's Veritas Benefit Dinner Speech

(Nolan Lynch (’05) spoke at Veritas School’s  Benefit Dinner, March 2, 2013.  Below is the text of that address.)

It’s hard for me to stress enough what an asset my Veritas education has been - and this has nothing to do with my particular career path. In fact, the reasons an education of the kind and quality offered at Veritas is valuable and useful to me as a writer are exactly the same reasons it is valuable and useful to everyone else.

As a screenwriter, you get about 120 pages before people stop reading. 120 pages to create a world, fill it with complex, believable characters, and use those characters to tell a complete story.

The point is: the attention of any reader - or a listener - is a delicate thing that must be treated with the utmost respect. Say what you’re going to say, say it quickly, say it right, and don’t leave anything out. Accuracy, simplicity, and grace. Truth, goodness, and beauty. We use these words a lot, but they are first and foremost very practical because it doesn’t matter what’s in your head if you can’t share it with other people.

On the other hand, of course, is that there had better be something in your head worth sharing. This is another reason learning to write is so important: writing isn’t just writing. It’s thinking on paper.

Every time I start another script, I buy a new notebook, fill my fountain pen, and start brainstorming. This is more than just a good way to keep track of ideas. This is a way of making ideas. And it’s a way of forming mental habits. If you learn to write critically and systematically, you will also start to think that way. How we organize our writing inevitably becomes how we organize our thoughts, which is why I probably owe more to Mrs. van Hoornbeek and eighth grade English than any other teacher or class I had at Veritas. We may not all be writers, but we’re all thinkers, which is why we all need to learn to write.

This is not to say that the most important thing I learned at Veritas was how to talk and write good and outsmart people. Cleverness is not the point. Mere cleverness is useless. My dad is perhaps over-fond of quoting Marshall MacLuhan who said that the medium is the message. But maybe it’s better to say that the medium is a message. The other message is what you’re actually saying and it had better match up with how you’re saying it.

Here’s another way of looking at it: what story are you telling?

I met a lot of people at film school who had studied film as undergraduates. They had seen a lot of movies, they had already mastered the screenwriting format, which is very specific and very formal, they knew all about film structure, and so on. They knew everything. You might think that everything would be enough. It’s not. The reason it’s not is because on a certain level you can only write about what you know, and if all you know is film, then you end up writing movies that are essentially about other movies, rather than about the world. Because you have nothing new to say. You have no stories to tell. You’re all medium, and no message.

So where does story come from? The answer is simple: Worldview. As a writer, or any kind of artist, your ultimate subject is the world. And the work that you create is the product of your perception of the world. Which is why cultures are most truly revealed in the art that they create and in the stories they tell. Story is worldview incarnate.

And this doesn’t just apply to artists. Everybody has a story to tell because everybody has a worldview. Even the people who are just going through the motions. The people who are all medium and no message, all form and no content. Even that has a message. It says “I don’t care.” It says “The world doesn’t matter.” Whether we like it or not, the way we live tells a story about the world. It may be true, or it may be false. But worldview is not just how we think, it’s how we live.

And in an age when the federal government is largely determining the stories our children are living, this is why a Christian education that helps students develop a Christian worldview is so extraordinary.

And that is where Veritas really excels. You don’t just learn. You learn to learn. Facts are meaningless without a worldview to tie them together, without a story to give them order and purpose. The story that Veritas tells, above all else, is that God made the world and died for it, and as a result, it is a world that is worth learning about, thinking about, forming opinions about, and telling new stories about. That is a worldview that sticks with you for the rest of your life, and will serve you well no matter what you decide to do.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Education and Longing

(This post contains my welcome to guests at Veritas's Third Annual Benefit Dinner, March 2, 2013.)

The author of The Little Prince once said, “if you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” A Veritas education is extraordinary b/c this is precisely the kind of thing we’re aiming for. In the midst of a learning richly steeped in the broad liberal arts and sciences, using and passing on the classical tools of grammar, logic and rhetoric, we desire for our students to grow in wisdom and virtue and godliness.

We want them to long for the things of God, to serve and honor Christ, to love the beauty of his creation and to see God’s glory in it. We desire them to use all of their learning and gifts to be fruitful citizens of Christ’s kingdom.  Ultimately, all of our work in and out of the classroom is to pass on to our students the attitude of heart and mind that is reflected in the 42nd Psalm:
“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2)

We are committed to classical, Christ-centered education because we believe this is the best way to form in students love for the right kinds of things, and it is the best way to equip them for effective service as they are motivated by this love.

 By the grace of God, our students have extraordinary academic achievements: top 11% in the nation on the SAT, 21 National Merit scholars in eight years, acceptances to excellent colleges and universities such as Wheaton, Stanford, George Fox University, New Saint Andrews, Hillsdale, and over 70 others.
But what is truly extraordinary is not the tasks or the school work but the kinds of people we are diligently partnering with parents to form, day by day, year by year.  

Our ‘Portrait of a Graduate’—a set of characteristics we seek to cultivate in our graduates—guides our daily practice, even as we sing state facts in 3rd grade or discuss Milton’s Paradise Lost in high school. In the 'Portrait'  are our goals, such as:  we aim to graduate young men and women…
-who demonstrate godly discernment in all their dealings with the world
-who speak and write persuasively and wisely in any situation
-and who honor Christ by leading in their communities through their individual callings

Education  is not about job training or even college entrance, not even about what we like, but it is about who we will, and should, become. The total environment the student is in—curriculum, teachers, student culture, teaching methods—shapes the student consciously and unconsciously into the person he or she will become. It is inevitable. Where they learn and why they learn will influence them as much as, if not more than what they learn.

Classical, Christian education is education for living because it aims to shape lives. Veritas aims, in the end, to cultivate a longing in our students for wisdom and truth, for the things of God and for God himself.
And in the floundering and foundationless world of modern schooling options, that is extraordinary.

Thank you again for being here this evening and for your support of this important endeavor. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

From the Commonplace Book: Jamie Smith on The Purpose of Education

" is not primarily a heady project concerned with providing information; rather, education is most fundamentally a matter of formation, a task of shaping and creating a certain kind of people. What makes them a distinctive kind of people is what they love or desire--what they envision as 'the good life' or the ideal picture of human flourishing."
James K. A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom (pg. 26)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Classical Education and Leadership

 (This post appears in the Fall edition of Verbatim, Veritas School's newsletter.)

         A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a Veritas graduate who is an engineering student in his final year of college. This past fall, he was asked by his professor to be the project manager for a team of seniors working to design low-cost wheelchairs for handicapped children in third-world countries. In his letter this alumnus made a direct connection between the benefits of his classical education from Veritas and his accomplishments as an engineering student (“especially in a field like engineering” were his words): “The training I received at Veritas has prepared me as a worker, as a thinker, and most importantly, as a leader.” The link between leadership and classical education is no accident, and this student's experience is not unique. In fact, classical education, as it has been practiced for two thousand years, has at its core the preparation for active leadership and service.
        Classical education, since at least the time of Cicero in ancient Rome, has emphasized that the purpose of education is for living a life that is both active and contemplative; that the mastery of the arts of learning are for the benefit of your own soul but also for the good of those around you. The object of this has varied over time, from the community or state, to church and neighbor, but leadership and service in whatever field one was called to has always been an integral part of classical learning.  John Milton wrote in the 17th century about the importance of classical education preparing people for “all the offices, both public and private, of peace and war," for anything that might be required of them as citizens and as God’s people. This idea of classical education as preparation for leading is an enduring one, even to our own day.
At a recent 'Leadership Newberg' meeting I had the opportunity to share about Veritas, classical Christian education, and how these work together to instill leadership skills in our students. I was able to tell the group about how our approach to education, which emphasizes the cultivation of wisdom, virtue and godliness and the formation of well-rounded graduates well prepared for anything, is truly the best foundation for leaders in any field. I discussed our Portrait of a Graduate that describes the specific traits we are working to instill in our students, including serving others actively in humility, and “honoring Christ by leading in their communities and callings." Our Portrait provides constant direction that informs our specific choices in curriculum, teaching methods, and activities, many of which directly relate to developing the attitudes and skills needed for leadership.
          Our curriculum itself builds leadership. For example, our high-school humane-letters reading list acts almost as a series of case studies on being a leader. In my 11th-grade Humane Letters class we read and discuss Paradise Lost. In the climatic event of the story, Eve, having already eaten of the fruit, comes to Adam. He is faced with a monumentally important decision that will impact not only him, but all succeeding human generations. Does he obey and trust God and so save all his descendants from pain and death, or does he “follow his heart” (as Disney might have it) and thus follow his wife into sin? This is a question of leadership in its most stark form. He will lead his people one way or the other, and the choices—and their consequences—could not be more clear. As is usually the case, Adam’s failure of leadership was first a moral failure, not of information or analysis. Here we see the terrible, long-term consequences of bad leadership. Milton, of course, gives us the glorious contrast of the humble, servant leadership of the Son who, for the benefit of his people, offers to die in their place. That is great leadership. Similar lessons are discovered in reading other ancient works, from the Iliad to the Aeneid. And this is true not just for grand, political or military narratives. In the coming weeks my class will explore the failings of family leadership displayed by Mr. Bennet in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. The phrase “all the offices of peace and war” comes back to mind. Reading and discussing, learning to listen carefully as well as to persuade, are preparations for a life of leadership where-ever one finds oneself.
         But reading must be accompanied by action—remember Cicero’s ideal of the contemplative and the active. Students at Veritas are given frequent opportunities to exercise leadership in a variety of ways, beginning as early as the elementary grades. Serving as line leaders and having class-cleaning duties, for example, prepare students for more challenging leadership roles later on such as assisting with car line, being in charge of the Geography or Latin clubs, and taking active roles in athletics, Concert Choir, drama productions, etc. Our high-school students assume much of the responsibility for leadership in our House service projects, such as the Toy-and-Joy drive and FISH food collection,  Secondary students are closely involved in planning and leading in and through our Supper Club and Protocol events, as well.
        Classical and Christ-centered education is first and foremost concerned with forming people who understand and practice wisdom, virtue, godliness, and a truthful, faithful eloquence. This is the best and most lasting foundation for biblical "success" in every sphere of life.  Students who learn to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, souls, and minds, their neighbor as themselves, and “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” will find that all other things—including strong leadership skills—will be added, as well.