Here Also Be Dragons

An Apprenticeship in Wonder

“You are a true sister, a Dragon Friend. You will be honored in our memories as long as there are dragons here on earth.” Rebecca Rupp

Next offering: Thursdays, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Central, June 24 – August 12, 2021
(This class is for ages 8-12; the class for 12-18 is here, and the class for adults is here.)
Tuition $400/student. 10% family discount if 2 or more members of a family register for dragons courses in any combination
Registration extended to Friday, June 18, 2021.

At the beginning of all things, there is love. A child awakens to self and other in the mutual loving gaze of a mother. That is a miracle, a wonder, and so the child knows that the world is a place of wonder, and encounters it as such.

Wonder and love grow mingled in the heart of a child, and as the heart grows to take in more, both wonder and love must grow. The best food for both is stories, and so the best love to promote is the love of reading and literature.

That is what this course will do: help your young child to connect the wonder and love he or she already possesses to books as reliable places to encounter stories that matter. In this course, I will both teach and model deep engagement with a text through close reading, all in a format that values and invites the children’s wildest ideas. In the lifelong journey of developing and guarding a joyous heart, these are the first steps.

This is a 8 week course taught live over Zoom. It has important points of contact with the “Here Be Dragons” courses for older learners, extending the conversation throughout the family, from young readers, to teens, to adults. Here is the schedule for young readers:

Week One: What to Do with Dragons: Friends, Enemies, and Uneasy Alliances
Reading: Kenneth Grahame, The Reluctant Dragon
Week Two: Earning a Dragon’s Friendship: Respect and The Power or Listening
Reading: Rebecca Rupp, The Dragon of Lonely Island, part I
Week Three: Taking on the Dragon’s Mantle: Kindness and Goodness
Reading: Rebecca Rupp, The Dragon of Lonely Island, part II
Week Four: “You Must Let Me Undress You:” The Trials of Becoming Fully Human
Reading: C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, part I
Week Five: To Sail Beyond the Sunrise: Courage and Obedience
Reading: C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, part II
Week Six: Escape from the World
Reading: Michael Ende, The Neverending Story, part I
Week Seven: The Power of Imagination
Reading: Michael Ende, The Neverending Story, part II
Week Eight: Power and Responsibility
Reading: Michael Ende, The Neverending Story, part III

What Former Students Say:

Dr. Johnson’s Dragons class is full of monsters, heroes, fame, destruction, triumph, and glory. It was incredibly fun and thought provoking. I highly recommend it to everyone!

Andrew, former student

Dr. Johnson is a fun, engaging, and personable teacher! This is a class designed to look at great writing and to explore the good, true, and beautiful.

Grace, former student

Junius Johnson, PhD (Yale) is a theologian, philosopher, and literary scholar who has been an educator for over 20 years. His classes have a reputation for combining the hilarious with the profound, for being equal parts fun and rigor.

He is also a lifetime lover of dragons and reader of fantastical literature. He has an impressive number of hours in the field hunting, observing, battling, and conversing with dragons. Perhaps it is this that has earned him the moniker Doctor Draconicus, or “Dragon Doctor.” But the truth may be even more shocking, for he is widely rumored to be, himself, a dragon. And while he refuses to confirm this, he won’t deny it either, which you have to admit is suspicious.

To be notified of upcoming classes, including registration windows for future instances of “Here Be Dragons” please join the mailing list.

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