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Alumni Profile: Patrick Caughron

1 minute

Summary

At Thomas Aquinas College, I no longer fought to be always right. I allowed the truth to speak to me rather than trying to make it conform to my opinions.

I am the oldest of 14 children, born and raised in the Midwest as a Catholic country boy. My parents and all my aunts and uncles graduated from Thomas Aquinas College, so I always took for granted that I would finish my homeschooling, start TAC, and that would be the way that life would go. Reflecting on my journey, I realize that this complacency led me to have an understanding of myself and of the curriculum which was incomplete and immature.

Growing up, I fancied myself a philosopher, and I greatly enjoyed reading. As a result, I came to TAC with a high opinion of myself and a determination to show other people how great I was. I once commented in Natural Science that I enjoyed catching other people in error. One time after Euclid class, I told a girl whom I liked — after she had just perfectly demonstrated a Euclidean proposition — how she could have improved it, how she stumbled in the presentation, and other such things. For some reason, she didn’t enjoy my comments. But the story has a happy ending, don’t worry: We’re getting married this summer!

The Road Humbly Traveled

Not everything ended up so well. Bluntly put, I was an obnoxious know-it-all. Fortunately, freshman year knocked that out of me.

The beating really began with the first philosophy class, when we read Plato’s Meno and talked about Socrates’ dialogue about virtue. I exited that discussion shaking, realizing a question that I had considered simple was in fact more complicated than I had ever imagined.

I was humbled and slowly began to have a new disposition, a disposition of true humility. I no longer fought to be always right. I allowed the truth to speak to me rather than attempting to make it conform to my own opinions.

My growth was not limited to academics, however. Once I had been made humble, God was able to more fully enter my life. It became easier to surrender to His will. Having easy access to the sacraments was an incredible blessing, and more and more I came to appreciate my faith and, especially, the Eucharist. I can truly say, never before have I been so close to Christ.

Only the Beginning

TAC has prepared me well, but preparation is only the beginning. I fully intend to take the blessings of my college experience and apply them to the two huge endeavors which I will undertake next: marriage and medical school.

One of modern science’s most ignored questions is: “Now that we are able to do this thing, should we do this thing?” Before, I doubted my own ability to satisfactorily answer this question.

However, now I am confident — when the time comes — I will be able to answer that question and make the right decision.

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