Posts Tagged ‘Carol Quillen

05
Apr
14

4.5.14 … Max Polley: “He wasn’t just passionate about things he cared about. He was passionate about lifting up things we should all care about.” …

Dr. Max Polley, RIP, obituary, Davidson College:  Max, the Axe!

And I am especially grateful for the phrasing Vance Polley used in remembering his father’s passions for his community, his college, his church, his beloved theatrical stage: “He wasn’t just passionate about things he cared about. He was passionate about lifting up things we should all care about.”

Thank you, Max, for sharing your “place of seeing.”

via Max Polley: A Passion for Things We Should All Care About.

kith/kin, Koko, sociology: My son wrote a college paper on Koko … Does Koko have “selfhood?”

Legendary comedian Robin Williams meets the most famous gorilla in the world, Koko, who is fluent in American sign language. Hilariously, Koko and Williams have an epic tickle fight just shortly after meeting one another.

via Robin Williams has a tickle fight with Gorilla. [VIDEO].

Lent, Praying the Parables, Maren Tirabassi:

Praying the parables – March 31,2014

Matthew 25: 31-33

God, be praised for this season

of the kidding of goats –

my new friend’s Nigerian dwarf kid,

my cousin’s

Tennessee fainting goats —

the vulnerable joy

in newborn sweet slickness,

the more-than-a-metaphor

tender freshening of does.

God, make us careful in our

glib recitation of parables –

for you taught love,

not division

not how to judge ourselves or others —

least of all the breech-born kid,

just saved,

bloody, wet and eyes wide open

in your loving hands.

Amen

via Maren Tirabassi.

 Atlantic 10’s postseason, Davidson basketball, The Davidsonian – Davidson College:  Next year …

Dayton’s success caused Krzyzewski’s criticism to ring hollow, especially since Coach K and his Blue Devils stumbled out of the gate against 14-seed Mercer in the tournament’s biggest upset. Yet aside from the Flyers’ out-of-the-blue tournament run, the conference as a whole was shaky at best through the tournament’s first weekend. Were it not for Tyler Lewis’s jumper rimming out at the buzzer against Saint Louis, the A-10 would have seen five of its six teams bow out in the Round of 64. Certainly the Atlantic 10 will field steep competition for the Davidson men’s and women’s basketball squads next year. But in light of this year’s flimsy performance, the conference will just as certainly receive fewer bids next time around, adding to the  Wildcats’ difficult task of earning at-large bids in future seasons.

via Evaluating the Atlantic 10’s postseason – Sports – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

96.9 NASH FM, LOL, snarly1527108_645756898798998_1345406788_n

via 96.9 NASH FM.

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor,  A Stroke Leads a Brain Scientist to a New Spirituality – NYTimes.com:

Her desire to teach others about nirvana, Dr. Taylor said, strongly motivated her to squeeze her spirit back into her body and to get well.

This story is not typical of stroke victims. Left-brain injuries don’t necessarily lead to blissful enlightenment; people sometimes sink into a helplessly moody state: their emotions run riot. Dr. Taylor was also helped because her left hemisphere was not destroyed, and that probably explains how she was able to recover fully.

Today, she says, she is a new person, one who “can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere” on command and be “one with all that is.”

To her it is not faith, but science. She brings a deep personal understanding to something she long studied: that the two lobes of the brain have very different personalities. Generally, the left brain gives us context, ego, time, logic. The right brain gives us creativity and empathy. For most English-speakers, the left brain, which processes language, is dominant. Dr. Taylor’s insight is that it doesn’t have to be so.

Her message, that people can choose to live a more peaceful, spiritual life by sidestepping their left brain, has resonated widely.

via A Stroke Leads a Brain Scientist to a New Spirituality – NYTimes.com.

Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy:  I loved re-reading classics from my childhood!

Adult Read: Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy was way ahead of its time. It deals with difference in class: Harriet is upper-middle-class, whereas her best friend has an absent mother and an absent-minded father, and knows how to pay bills and balance a budget at the age of 11. Fitzhugh has Harriet go to a therapist long before this was the thing to do with “problem children.” The issue of privacy—which is on everyone’s minds recently—comes to the forefront when Harriet’s secret notebook is passed around between all the kids in her class who then stop talking to her because she wrote mean things about everyone. It’s a book to pick apart (a new way to enjoy it) now that the years of wanting-to-be-Harriet have passed.

via Classic Childhood Books That Grow With You | Zola Books.

Pope Benedict, Catholic Church, ‘conscious uncoupling’, The Week:

When Pope Benedict XVI announced he was stepping down as pope a year ago — dropping the news almost casually, in Latin, at a meeting about an upcoming canonization — nobody was sure what to call it. No living pope had handed off the keys of St. Peter since Gregory XII in 1415. If Pope Benedict had only waited some 14 months to announce his retirement — or abdication, or vacation — we might have had an apt phrase at the ready: Conscious uncoupling.

via How Pope Benedict unwittingly made the Catholic case for ‘conscious uncoupling’ – The Week.

UNC Athletics, Marcus Paige,  “Trust Me We Can All Read”, susankingblog:

I was not surprised when I saw the news reports of Marcus Paige’s appearance, along with a few other athletes, at the UNC Board of Trustees this week. They were there representing the top sports: football, basketball, soccer and lacrosse- all teams who are the pride of UNC. I laughed when I saw Paige’s quote. ‘Trust Me. We can all read.” I laughed because it seemed like the kind of smart quote a PR major might turn to after he’d witnesses all the bad coverage of UNC athletics that have filled the newspapers and airwaves of late. If there had been UNC athletes who had been cheated out of a first rate education and channeled into weak courses and sham majors that didn’t’ demand much – Paige was making it clear he was not one of those athletes.

via Trust Me. We Can All Read. | susankingblog.

Jerry Reid, University of Virginia senior, The Wall Street Journal: Fun story!

Jerry Reid will graduate from the University of Virginia this spring with a résumé that would attract the attention of any potential employer.

Under extracurricular activities, Mr. Reid lists membership in a campus literary society, brotherhood in a fraternity and two intramural flag-football championships. His academic accomplishments include a thesis reinterpreting Stonewall Jackson’s legacy. He counts rooting for Virginia’s men’s basketball team as his primary hobby.

Are you a March Madness basketball fanatic? Do you bow at the altar of the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament? If the answer is no, Simon Constable explains why you should care.

Then there is his work experience: 45 years as a conveyor-belt salesman.

via At University of Virginia, 70-year-old Undergrad Cheers Cavaliers in March Madness – WSJ.com.

Tha Hugs, kith/kin:  At the Georgia Theater in Athens. See Tha Hugs on the Marque!

Photo: At the Georgia Theater in Athens. See Tha Hugs on the Marque ;)

Ed Lindsey for Congress:

The Truth-O-Meter Says:

Georgia has recovered more than $60 million that was lost to Medicaid fraud

Edward Lindsey on Thursday, March 20th, 2014 in press release

Lawmaker’s claim on Medicaid fraud recovery correct

,,,

Our conclusion: Georgia has submitted documentation to the feds that it has recovered $159.4 million lost to Medicaid fraud in three years in both federal and state money. Lindsey was very conservative in saying the amount recouped was “more than $60 million.”

We rate Lindsey’s statement True.

via Lawmaker’s claim on Medicaid fraud recovery correct | PolitiFact Georgia.

DST, daylight saving switch,  lost sleep,  heart attack risk,  Society | theguardian.com:

Custodian Ray Keen changes the time to daylight savings time on the 100-year-old clock on the Clay C

Switching over to daylight saving time and losing one hour of sleep raised the risk of having a heart attack the following Monday by 25%, compared to other Mondays during the year, according to a new US study released on Saturday.

By contrast, heart attack risk fell 21% later in the year, on the Tuesday after the clock was returned to standard time, and people got an extra hour’s sleep.

The not-so-subtle impact of moving the clock forward and backward was seen in a comparison of hospital admissions from a database of non-federal Michigan hospitals. It examined admissions before the start of daylight saving time and the Monday immediately after, for four consecutive years.

In general, heart attacks historically occur most often on Monday mornings, maybe due to the stress of starting a new work week and inherent changes in our sleep-wake cycle, said Dr Amneet Sandhu, a cardiology fellow at the University of Colorado in Denver who led the study.

“With daylight saving time, all of this is compounded by one less hour of sleep,” said Sandhu, who presented his findings at the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology in Washington.

A link between lack of sleep and heart attacks has been seen in previous studies. But Sandhu said experts still don’t have a clear understanding of why people are so sensitive to sleep-wake cycles. “Our study suggests that sudden, even small changes in sleep could have detrimental effects,” he said.

via Daylight saving switch and lost sleep increase heart attack risk, study says | Society | theguardian.com.

Charlotte Mayor Cannon Scandal, Kevin Siers’ Editorial Cartoons | CharlotteObserver.com.

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Kevin Siers’ cartoons are distributed to over 400 newspapers nationwide by King Features Syndicate. He and his wife and son reside in Charlotte.

via Kevin Siers’ Editorial Cartoons | CharlotteObserver.com.

Carol Quillen, Davidson College, liberal arts education:  I heard Dr. Quillen speak on 3.29 and was intrigued by her re-imagining of the liberal arts to include both original work and entrepreneurship.

Our rapidly changing world urgently needs creative, disciplined, eloquent leaders with the courage, integrity, resilience, personal presence, and intellectual tools to tackle complex challenges in health care, education, sustainability, economic growth, and social justice.

At Davidson College, we are using new technologies both to expand our impact and to ensure that Davidson can lead in this new environment through four key strategies: 1) seeking out talented young people from around the country and world irrespective of their financial circumstances, enabling them to thrive at Davidson and beyond; 2) building a challenging curricula based on students doing original work, so that they graduate with a portfolio of work, rather than simply a transcript with grades; 3) offering students significant opportunities in emerging crucial fields, like computer science, global languages, computational biology, cognitive sciences, digital studies, and environmental studies; and 4) moving our students efficiently from our campus to meaningful work in the world.

Ultimately, our societal value is measured by what our graduates do, the lives they lead, and the impact they exert. The world is changing quickly, and we can’t wait. Join us.

via Carol Quillen, Davidson College | The Inauguration of Alison Byerly.

Ed Lindsey for Congress, Neighbor Newspapers – Barr leads in District 11 U S House poll: Update …

In a new poll regarding the District 11 U.S. House candidates in the May 20 primary election, Bob Barr leads the six Republicans running for the seat being vacated by incumbent Phil Gingrey, who is running for U.S. Senate. The district includes Vinings and parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs.

The poll, conducted by phone interviews March 10 and 11 by Alexandria, Va.-based McLaughlin and Associates, included 300 likely Republican primary election voters in the district. It was ordered and paid for by candidate Ed Lindsey’s campaign. The results were as follows: undecided: 41 percent, Barr: 25 percent, Lindsey: 15 percent, Barry Loudermilk: 13 percent, Tricia Pridemore: 4 percent and other (including candidates Allan Levene and Larry Mrozinski): 2 percent.

In favorability ratings, Barr led the way with 38 percent, followed by Loudermilk (26 percent), Lindsey (21 percent) and Pridemore (9 percent). The poll has an accuracy of plus or minus 5.7 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval.

via Neighbor Newspapers – Barr leads in District 11 U S House poll.

Los Angeles Dodgers, The New York Yankees, Highest Payroll, Business Insider:

However, for the first time since 1998, the Yankees do not have the largest payroll in baseball. That distinction now belongs to the Dodgers with an estimated 2014 payroll of $235 million, up 147% in two years and $32 million more than the Yankees.

via CHART: Los Angeles Dodgers Surpass The New York Yankees With Highest Payroll – Business Insider.

 

 

20
Mar
14

3.20.14 … Six weeks after Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, winter is finally over …

Vernal Equinox, First Day Of Spring 2014 Arrives On Thursday March 20:

Six weeks after Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, winter is finally over. The first day of spring, which falls on March 20, hints that higher temperatures are not far off.

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, the vernal equinox (or spring equinox) takes place in March when the sun passes over the celestial equator. This year, the sun will move across the invisible line between hemispheres on Thursday at 12:57 p.m. EDT.

Earth experiences the astronomical events we know as equinoxes and solstices four times a year. They signify the end of one season and the beginning of another.

Equinoxes occur in March and September and herald the spring and fall, while solstices — in June and December — indicate the beginning of summer and winter. While the people in the Northern Hemisphere welcome spring, people south of the equator enter autumn.

Here are some myths associated with the annual spring equinox:

The length of the day is equal to the length of the night.

Well, not exactly. Though some believe the day is just as long as the night on the spring equinox, it turns “days of day-night equality” take place just before the vernal equinox, National Geographic notes. Geoff Chester, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Naval Observatory, explained that it all hinges on location.

“Exactly when it happens depends on where you are located on the surface of the Earth,” Chester told National Geographic.

The spring equinox falls on the same day each year.

Not always. While the spring equinox tends to occur in late March, the exact date differs from year to year. This has more to do with the number of calendar days than the equinox itself. It takes the Earth slightly more than 365 days to complete one revolution around the sun. However, the Gregorian calendar rounds down to 365 days and does not account for the extra 0.256 days. So the vernal equinox may fall on March 20 several years in a row and occur on March 21 in a later year.

via First Day Of Spring 2014 Arrives On Thursday, March 20.

Charlotte NC: There is a debate going on following this HuffPost article.  I commented that it was scary, but true.  I really do believe that there is a grain of truth in the items on the list.  But I love the debate, and almost universally people who live in Charlotte love Charlotte.  It is nice.

Lately, it seems like Charlotte is topping the list of just about everything. While it is a great place for young professionals and anyone in banking, it can also be a truly bizarre place to live and an even more bizarre place to visit.

via 15 Reasons Why Charlotte Is The Weirdest.

Every time you try to describe it, you interrupt yourself and think of something better. Most people give up on trying to attach any one label to it, so they just say it’s nice.

via This is Charlotte | Our State Magazine.

Have a Sip, Davidson Wine Shop:

All the pieces are coming together – including a last-minute name change – for the Friday opening of downtown Davidson’s newest retail store, Davidson Wine Shop.  Al and Robin Gardner plan a grand opening for the new wine store in South Main Square Friday from 11:30am to 9pm with wine tastings, music and a live radio broadcast from the tasting room.

via Have a sip – Davidson Wine Shop opens Friday | DavidsonNews.net.

Shneeka Center ’14,  Watson Fellowship – Davidson College, female social mobility through sport: Kudos, Shneeka!

The TJW Fellowship, awarded through the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, is a one-year grant for independent study and travel outside the United States awarded to graduating college seniors nominated by participating institutions. It offers college graduates of “unusual promise” a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel – in international settings new to them – to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, openness and leadership, and to foster their humane and effective participation in the world community. Each fellow receives a $28,000 stipend.

Center will travel to Sweden, India, Senegal and Peru to study and research the topic of female social mobility through sport.

“My project strives to examine how participation in athletics is enabling females to positively or negatively influence their position in society,” said Center, who will graduate in May from Davidson with a degree in political science. “My Watson year will take me to four locations where sports are providing girls with unique opportunities to change their social standing. I aim to answer case-specific questions and uncover the methods by which sports have an influence on girls’ lives worldwide.”

via Shneeka Center ’14 Awarded Prestigious Watson Fellowship – Davidson College.

authentic pho, Korean BBQ, Pho Nam – Cornelius NC, Living Davidson – The Davidsonian – Davidson College:  I have been saying that pho was the next dish I wanted to learn to appreciate.  As with sushi, I had to have it quite a few times before I knew what good sushi or authentic sushi was.   … And now I will try this exit 28 restaurant and visit the Molls.

One of the best barbecue restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia, is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Heirloom Market BBQ. Although barbecue joints abound in the south, Heirloom consistently has lines of people waiting out the door and down the street for their barbecue. Heirloom Market BBQ is so popular because it is unique: It specializes in and serves Korean barbecue.

When I’m home in Atlanta, Heirloom Market is always a great place to eat, and I miss their unique barbecue while I’m at Davidson. Here, I’ve not been able to find anywhere that rivals Heirloom’s Korean barbecue—until now. Pho Nam, an authentic Vietnamese restaurant located off exit 28, serves delicious Korean barbecue.

Although the barbecue was the highlight of my Pho Nam experience, the restaurant also offers a wide selection of food including vermicelli (an angel hair rice noodle), com dia (steamed rice with a choice of toppings), Com Chien (fried rice), Pho (beef and noodle soup), and a selection of chef’s specials.

The small, humble restaurant boasts a friendly staff and delicious food. The staff focuses on creating authentic Vietnamese food and a home-like atmosphere. The owner personally greets every customer when he or she walks into the restaurant; and it is the owner, his brother and son, who run Pho Nam and work at the restaurant every day.

Tai Bassin ’15, frequents Pho Nam weekly. His favorite dishes include the Korean barbecue over white rice and the pho dish. Put quite simply, “It’s Pho Nom-enal,” Bassin said.

via Family restaurant offers authentic pho, Korean BBQ – Living Davidson – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

2014 NCAA tournament bracket, March Madness, Davidson College, Matilda: Loved this! The Mathematician vs. the Matildas – Video – NYTimes.com.

toast, $4 a Slice, Bon Appétit, latest artisanal food craze, Trouble Coffee San Francisco, Pacific Standard: The Science of Society :

Back at the Red Door one day, I asked the manager what was going on. Why all the toast? “Tip of the hipster spear,” he said.

I had two reactions to this: First, of course, I rolled my eyes. How silly; how twee; how perfectly San Francisco, this toast. And second, despite myself, I felt a little thrill of discovery. How many weeks would it be, I wondered, before artisanal toast made it to Brooklyn, or Chicago, or Los Angeles? How long before an article appears in Slate telling people all across America that they’re making toast all wrong? How long before the backlash sets in?

For whatever reason, I felt compelled to go looking for the origins of the fancy toast trend. How does such a thing get started? What determines how far it goes? I wanted to know. Maybe I thought it would help me understand the rise of all the seemingly trivial, evanescent things that start in San Francisco and then go supernova across the country—the kinds of products I am usually late to discover and slow to figure out. I’m not sure what kind of answer I expected to turn up. Certainly nothing too impressive or emotionally affecting. But what I found was more surprising and sublime than I could have possibly imagined.

via How Did Toast Become the Latest Artisanal Food Craze? – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society.

Carol Quillen, President of Davidson College, Misadventures Magazine:

Pres­i­dent of David­son Col­lege for the last three years and a pro­fes­sor of his­tory, Carol Quillen is both the first woman and first non-alumnus to lead the col­lege, which was founded in North Car­olina in 1837 but didn’t admit women until 1972. Its biggest head­lines over the last six years have starred for­mer bas­ket­ball player Stephen Curry (maybe you’ve heard of him). Yet David­son, which con­sis­tently ranks among the top 10 lib­eral arts col­leges in the coun­try, is enjoy­ing new media atten­tion and some­thing of a growth spurt since Pres­i­dent Quillen arrived. Under her lead­er­ship, the col­lege has begun to explore online edu­ca­tion, launched an entre­pre­neur­ship pro­gram, and announced the con­struc­tion of a new “aca­d­e­mic neigh­bor­hood.” Sounds magical.

Pres­i­dent Quillen her­self has been in the spot­light recently: she spoke at Tedx­Char­lotte, and was just last week named to Pres­i­dent Obama’s Advi­sory Coun­cil on Finan­cial Capa­bil­ity for Young Amer­i­cans (yes, she flew on Air Force One).

When Carol Quillen arrived at her office for our inter­view she walked quickly and with pur­pose. In one breath she apol­o­gized for being late, beck­oned us into her wood-paneled office, told us to take a seat around an oak table, and asked her sec­re­tary to bring in a Fresca. She had the econ­omy of motion of a per­son whose days are packed. She speaks quickly, though thought­fully, and takes time to laugh. Our con­ver­sa­tion ran the gamut from moments of adver­sity to the mys­ter­ies of Twit­ter. We were riveted.

via Carol Quillen, President of Davidson College | Misadventures Magazine.

22 Hours in Balthazar, NYC, NYTimes.com:

Over the course of what I will be repeatedly told is a slow day, 1,247 people will eat here. (Normally, it’s about 1,500.) But within a narrow range, Balthazar knows how many people will come through its doors every single day of the week, and it can predict roughly what it will sell during every meal. It mass-produces high-quality food and pushes it out to customers, and its production numbers are as predictable as the system that churns out the food itself. Just about everyone who works at Balthazar calls it a machine.

via 22 Hours in Balthazar – NYTimes.com.

3.18.14 lunar eclipse:  I loved the tongue in cheek list, but missed the lunar eclipse …

Tonight will be the darkest night of the past 500 years

Thanks to a lunar eclipse on the longest night of the year, tonight we’ll be experiencing the longest, darkest night in a very long time. It’s been nearly 500 years since the last solstice lunar eclipse.

via Tonight will be the darkest night of the past 500 years.

recipe,  Ginger-Chicken Meatballs with Chinese Broccoli,  Meet Your New Favorite Meatball – Bon Appétit:  I must e hungry because this looks really good.

Ginger Chicken Meatballs with Chinese Broccoli

When it comes to meatballs, who says that pork and beef get to have all the fun? In this light and healthy recipe, chicken takes center stage: It’s doctored up with plenty of big flavor—garlic, ginger, soy, and scallions—and served with spicy Chinese broccoli to round out the meal. Healthy and fresh, plus easy to pull together on a weeknight, this is your new go-to. Why exactly? Because not only is this a great meatball recipe—it’s a great chicken soup recipe as well.

Get the recipe: Ginger-Chicken Meatballs with Chinese Broccoli

via Meet Your New Favorite Meatball – Bon Appétit.

Entering World of Literature’s Great Sleuth, NYTimes.com: Looks like a fun exhibit.

From original manuscript pages from “The Hound of the Baskervilles” to props from the current BBC hit “Sherlock,” the exhibition aims to engage all levels of enthusiasts. Galleries feature an examination of Conan Doyle and late 19th-century London, the science behind the Holmes stories and pop culture artifacts, past and present. There is also an immersive interactive Victorian-era murder mystery that visitors are asked to solve, clue by clue, after an introduction to Holmes’s scientific methods of crime-solving.

Careful not to confuse young visitors about reality and fiction, galleries are clearly delineated as containing actual artifacts and scientific data. “We separated the science lessons from the interactive mystery so the mystery was a place to practice and use the information you already learned, not a place to learn the science and history itself,” Mr. Curley said.

via Entering World of Literature’s Great Sleuth – NYTimes.com.

23
Jun
13

6.23.13 … The Humanist Vocation: “The job of the humanities was to cultivate the human core, the part of a person we might call the spirit, the soul” …

humanities:  Great essay on the value of humanities!  Love this … “Teachers like that were zealous for the humanities. A few years in that company leaves a lifelong mark.”

Back when the humanities were thriving, the leading figures had a clear definition of their mission and a fervent passion for it. The job of the humanities was to cultivate the human core, the part of a person we might call the spirit, the soul, or, in D.H. Lawrence’s phrase, “the dark vast forest.”

One of the great history teachers in those days was a University of Chicago professor named Karl Weintraub. He poured his soul into transforming his students’ lives, but, even then, he sometimes wondered if they were really listening. Late in life, he wrote a note to my classmate Carol Quillen, who now helps carry on this legacy as president of Davidson College.

Teaching Western Civ, Weintraub wrote, “seems to confront me all too often with moments when I feel like screaming suddenly: ‘Oh, God, my dear student, why CANNOT you see that this matter is a real, real matter, often a matter of the very being, for the person, for the historical men and women you are looking at — or are supposed to be looking at!’

“I hear these answers and statements that sound like mere words, mere verbal formulations to me, but that do not have the sense of pain or joy or accomplishment or worry about them that they ought to have if they were TRULY informed by the live problems and situations of the human beings back there for whom these matters were real. The way these disembodied words come forth can make me cry, and the failure of the speaker to probe for the open wounds and such behind the text makes me increasingly furious.

“If I do not come to feel any of the love which Pericles feels for his city, how can I understand the Funeral Oration? If I cannot fathom anything of the power of the drive derived from thinking that he has a special mission, what can I understand of Socrates? … How can one grasp anything about the problem of the Galatian community without sensing in one’s bones the problem of worrying about God’s acceptance?

“Sometimes when I have spent an hour or more, pouring all my enthusiasm and sensitivities into an effort to tell these stories in the fullness in which I see and experience them, I feel drained and exhausted. I think it works on the student, but I do not really know.”

Teachers like that were zealous for the humanities. A few years in that company leaves a lifelong mark.

via The Humanist Vocation – NYTimes.com.

27
May
11

5.27.2011 … old news now … I went to Davidson for the public announcement of its 18th president, and SHE is wonderful. She has to be … there are at least 10,000 living alums … and she just got our dream job!

Davidson College, Dr. Carol Quillen, kudos:  Congratulations to Dr. Quillen, Davidson College’s 18th president, to DC’s Presidential Search Committee for a job well done and to Davidson College for being open to an outsider and a woman … the future is bright. I also had the privilege of joining John, a member of the Board of Trustees, for a quick dinner with Dr. Quillen … not only is she everything listed on her cv, she is charming, warm, engaging and humorous.  It a great time to be a wildcat! …

Carol Quillen understands all facets of the academic enterprise. A brilliant administrator and a talented teacher and scholar, she can articulate not only the value, but also the necessity of a liberal arts education. Her values are Davidson’s values. She inspired us, and we could not be more enthusiastic about welcoming her to Davidson.”

via Davidson College – Presidential Search.

At Davidson, a particular religious tradition grounds a foundational commitment to cultivating a broadly diverse and collegial community, where people possessing different talents, from different cultures, whose deepest convictions differ, can learn from and with each other in an environment of warmth and respect. Davidson creates a distinctive culture of inquiry and trust within which students grow as humane thinkers and perceptive leaders precisely because they are simultaneously engaged in the production of knowledge and challenged to build creative, purposeful lives. Davidson graduates morally courageous persons who are not afraid to take intellectual risks. Most important, Davidson somehow enables each student to discover the remarkable human being he or she could become, such that each student seeks to fulfill his or her highest potential—not because they have to, not because other people expect it, not because they will get in trouble if they don’t, but because they genuinely want to be that remarkable human being that this college shows them they are capable of becoming. Somehow Davidson gives students the courage to make their own decisions and to take responsibility for those decisions, so that, whatever they choose to do, they live lives of purpose and consequence in pursuit of their highest aspirations.

I do not know precisely how Davidson has done this—that is why I need to spend some time just listening. I do not know what it will take for Davidson to do this in and for an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world. That is something we will need to figure out together, the whole Davidson family, and it will be both challenging and exhilarating.

I do know this. Davidson is uniquely able to re-imagine and to exemplify this profoundly valuable kind of education at this crucial time. And because Davidson is uniquely able to do this, Davidson is also obligated to do so. It will be a great privilege to contribute with you to this daunting, urgent and profoundly rewarding task.

via Davidson College – Presidents Office – Remarks by President-Elect Carol Quillen.

colleges, liberal arts:  Some interesting thoughts of the value of a liberal arts education.

Fortunately, as Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, has pointed out, superior arts education also teaches many of those same skills. High-quality arts and humanities instruction is almost perfectly suited to stimulate imagination, creativity, and the ability to find adaptive solutions. Like Daniel Pink, I believe in enhancing “STEAM” in our institutions of higher education–with an extra “A” in the center of STEM incorporating the Arts as central.

Finally, the value of a liberal arts education cannot be minimized without also minimizing the lessons of history, literature, and science for the present-day. There is a reason why Congress created the National Endowment for the Humanities. I don’t ordinarily quote from statutory language to explicate the value of education, but the provisions of the U.S. Code outlining the purpose of the NEH bear repeating. The law states that Congress finds “an advanced civilization must not limit its efforts to science and technology alone but must give full value and support to the other branches of scholarly and cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future.” Democracy,” the statute goes on to state, “demands wisdom and vision in its citizens.”

The founders, from Thomas Jefferson on, understood that the study of the liberal arts and civic obligation was important– not just to learn the lessons of history, but to preserve a functioning Republic. Walt Whitman once called America “an aesthetic democracy”– and that is a pretty good metaphor for the intellectual life of a liberal arts college.

via The Relevance of Liberal Arts to a Prosperous Democracy: Under Secretary Martha J. Kanter’s Remarks at the Annapolis Group Conference | U.S. Department of Education.

While the tradition of the liberal-arts education may be on the wane nationwide, the most elite schools, such as Harvard, Swarthmore, Middlebury, and Williams, remain committed to its ideal. These top schools are not tweaking their curriculums to add any pre-professional undergraduate programs. Thanks to their hefty endowments, they don’t have to. As the economy rebounds, their students, ironically, may be in the best spot. While studying the humanities has become unfashionable and seemingly impractical, the liberal arts also teaches students to think big thoughts—big enough to see beyond specific college majors and adapt to the broader job market.

via Jobs: The Economy, Killing Liberal Arts Education? – Newsweek.

inns, travel, lists:  Top 10 to-die-for inns and B&Bs.

truth, family history, memoirs, quotes, kith/kin:  A distant cousin has written a semi-autobiographical account of his childhood … which involves much of my family and extended family … So when I came across this NPR story, it just struck home … “‘It’s your own personal truth, and it is not necessarily factually accurate, and it’s not necessarily the truth that other people have possessed.”

In the best-selling memoir Running with Scissors, Augusten Burroughs told the story of his bizarre and occasionally brutal upbringing as the son of a mentally ill mother and an alcoholic father. When the book hit the best-seller lists, it not only established Burroughs as a well-known writer, but it also paved the way for the rest of his family to tell their own versions of the story. His older brother, John Elder Robison, wrote about their childhood in his memoir Look Me in the Eye, and now their mother, Margaret Robison, has added to this family saga with her memoir, The Long Journey Home. Taken together, the three books raise interesting questions about truth, memory and the much-maligned genre of the memoir.

Memoirs have to be true, says Lee Gutkind, a professor at Arizona State University and a specialist in creative nonfiction. But you can’t apply journalistic standards to a memoir — there’s a difference between facts and the truth.

“It’s your story, that’s what a memoir is,” Gutkind says.

“It’s your own personal truth, and it is not necessarily factually accurate, and it’s not necessarily the truth that other people have possessed.”

via In Burroughs’ Family, One Saga, Three Memoirs, Many Competing Truths : NPR.




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