Bright Future: Trinity student attends Vanderbilt Summer Academy

Published 1:21 am Wednesday, August 2, 2017

By Christian Coffman

NATCHEZ — When it comes to academics, Seth Blattner is many steps ahead.

A Trinity Episcopal Day School senior, since his eighth-grade year Blattner has spent his summers focused on his studies.

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Blattner recently attended the Vanderbilt Summer Academy for gifted students and advanced learners.

The three-week academic experience provided Blattner with a taste of college life while taking courses with a Vanderbilt doctoral student.

Blattner’s English and history teacher, Linda Rodriguez, said she has known Blattner as a student who is always up for a challenge.

“He likes being in the upper-level classes,” Rodriguez said. “Seth has consistently taken AP classes whenever they’ve come up.”

Although she was not Blattner’s teacher until high school, Rodriguez said she has watched him become a very self-motivated and self-driven person.

“He has never shied from a challenge. Now he is actively looking for opportunities that will allow him to stretch academically,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said Blattner is a higher-order thinker, looking at topics from different directions and is savvy on current events.

“He’s really one of those people who can make connections in unique and interesting ways, and that’s really what the 21st-century market is looking for,” Rodriguez said.

Blattner said he has always been serious about academics.

“I’ve always been more of an English, history, humanities oriented (person),” Blattner said. “I was never really into sports, so academics is where I put most of my attention.”

At the summer Vanderbilt program, Blattner and other students were taught a course called addiction in the modern age.

Blattner said he and his peers covered the political and legal side of addiction. Addictions from drugs to behavioral addictions such as gambling and kleptomania were discussed as well.

“We went over the psychological aspects of that and how people get addicted,” Blattner said.

Blattner also attended the Great Ideas program this summer at Samford University’s Summer Institute.

Classes consisted of roundtable discussions about Greek and Roman philosophy, the foundations of the American government and inspirations for the U.S. Constitution.

“It was almost more about … analyzing writings from philosophers and politicians,” Blattner said.

Blattner said that Rodriguez has been an inspiration, encouraging him to do better on his work.

But ultimately, the idea of making the world a better place is the main drive for Blattner and all his studying.

“It’s about sacrificing my own self-interest to make the world a better place to live in for everyone,” he said.

Blattner will be a senior this year, and he is considering attending Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., Georgetown University in Washington D.C. or Samford College in Birmingham, Ala., after graduation.

Blattner is the son of Mike and Sharon Blattner.