Archive: Jan 2013

Dear Tabitha,

Your description of Winter City demonstrates the fire in the belly that a good organizer needs. You are properly outraged. However, what you wrote in the second part of your message is why you will become a great organizer. A heart without a head leads to many defeats and burnout. A head without a heart leads to a manipulator of people. A heart and a head in tandem is the formula for a lifetime of successful struggle. Authentic passion and strategic thinking are the balance you are now seeking. Remember, many of us went through years of apprenticeship, making every mistake in the book. Then one day, it just jells and you have the chops to take on the impossible battles–and emerge victorious.

Dear Seminar Participants,
Welcome to the MLS 600 Introductory Seminar. We are a small group. That will be both an advantage and a disadvantage: You will experience an intimate salon of stimulating and rigorous conversation, with both the living and the dead; you will also be expected to come to class prepared to a degree that perhaps you’ve never previously done. That does not mean that any of us (including your instructors) will have mastered the materials. What it does mean is that each of us, according to our abilities, with have engaged in a dialogue with the authors assigned for that evening. Then, as a learning community, we will share our individual understandings so that we may collectively come to terms with the readings.

We promise you two things. One, we will never bore you. Two, we will do our best to confound and provoke higher order thinking. We hope that you will do the same for your teachers. While we will certainly fall short, we seek to make this seminar a cognitive and affective experience that is a significant marker along your journey as a self-directed, lifelong learner. In the bluntest terms, that means metaphorically killing your teachers and becoming your own teacher. Anything less would be unworthy of a Master of Liberal Studies degree.

The theme for the first night is “What Liberal Education Ought to Be.” Attached are the readings for that class. We meet on Wednesday, Jan. 16 in 250 St. John’s Hall. We look forward to getting to know you and setting off on this odyssey.