The Old's Cool Academy is a close-knit family.
Welcome to the Old’s Cool Academy. We believe you can’t buy character–you have to go out into the world and do something worthy of your own admiration. This is a great place to start that difficult journey of self-discovery–we'll do everything we can to help you rise to the occasion and do yourself proud.
Here’s what we expect from all of our students:
Learning is an elevated endeavor, and everything you do should reflect that. Critical thinking, intellectual honesty, open-mindedness, as well as some (unwelcome) rote memorization will be the order of the day. You will wear a uniform, of sorts, and be respectful and polite at all times.
You will “graduate” knowing the difference between the sacred and profane. Rigor and discipline will be demanded, and you can expect the same high standards across the board from everyone involved with the Academy (in theory anyway!), without fear or favor.
You will not be singled out for your ethnicity, country of origin, color or religion. Instead, you will be treated as an individual. (The only exceptions: no Mets or Jets fans will be admitted to The Academy, and anyone associated with the U.S. Navy who does somehow get in will be discriminated against.) While every country will be respected–all of the lessons you will be taught about good citizenship will be based on the U.S. Constitution, but are universal and timeless, no matter where you’re from. Go Army!
Seriously, we are committed to making sure you have excellent English language skills when you leave the Academy–reading, writing, and speaking. Eloquence, coupled with the critical thinking and discernment you'll learn here will always open the doors of success in the wider world. That said, it’s embarrassing that most Americans can only speak English, so we'll also emphasize the importance of speaking at least one foreign language.
All of the Academy’s “arts & crafts” will be based on interests and passions only, and not anything that cultivates narcissism or exclusion. Extra-curricular activities will serve to transport you beyond yourself to the wonders and glory of the world around us, including the world right around us, through art, astronomy, karate, baking bread, or chiselling away on a hard chine or tuning a piano.
Respect is a responsibility, not a right, and will be attained in the only way possible–by earning it.
According to Beowulf, behaving admirably is the path to power among people everywhere. We agree. You will get as much out of Old’s Cool Academy as you put in–reap what you sow as the saying goes.
In other words: love your education and your education will love you back.
"I read Shakespeare and The Bible, and I can shoot dice. That's what I call a liberal education."
– Tallulah Bankhead
The Perfect Candidate
Salena was painfully shy and self-effacing when she came to visit one of our Old's Cool Academy students, and I suggested a game of One Up! to help break the ice, and to see what she was made of.
Come to find out a lot: she quickly got the hang of it, and instead of continuing to be apologetic every time she stole a word, she became gleeful and happily ruthless. By the end of the game she was already a different person–much more confident in her intelligence, and pleased with her own cutthroat victory.
I told her she was the perfect candidate for the Old's Cool Academy: brainy, ambitious, and full of curiosity and humor. She'd never learn what would ultimately make her successful and happy at Salve Regina University–where four-eyed mouses lead other scared chipmunks and capons down dead-end rabbit holes to conformity and obedience.
And her parents, Chinese-born immigrants, would demand she get a diploma, even though they told her she wasn't as smart as her Ivy-League siblings and cousins–which would leave her boxed in, trapped forever in feelings of mediocrity and obligation.
She's got a lot wrapped up emotionally and financially in her diploma at this late stage of the game, but we can still encourage and inspire her to break her bonds, come aboard, and set herself and her fabulous potential free, loosed upon an unsuspecting but welcoming world.
Why Old's Cool is "epic."
"The teaching style is a dialectic, essentially. Learning centers around interesting, non-traditional narratives, which we explore together by asking questions. I've had many discussions regarding race and racism, slavery, presidential elections, the soul-destroying reality of the hand-to-hand combat practiced by the ancient Greeks. I know how bloody hard that type of warfare is since I'm a Muay Thai boxer. History has almost always been about conquest and subjugation, which I never knew.
More importantly, I've learned how to be much more measured and sober, less critical and more discerning, and I always try to keep an open mind and not let my own prejudices get the best of me. It's been an eye-opening and really, really fun experience. I'd recommend Old's Cool to anyone who might not want to go to college, or who wants to take a "gap" year and figure themselves out first. You won't regret it."
– Julian John, Class of 2022