Friday, July 22, 2016

in L.A.

I am in Los Angeles for a family reunion and away from my wood shop.

I have been reading Fareed Zacharia's new book In Defense of a Liberal Education, and nearly finished it on my 3 1/2 hour flight from Arkansas. The book starts out telling a bit about his own life and then a bit about how our universities became what they are. Then he explores jut a bit of what universities may be destined to become.

I received this book from a student at MASW who said that it was a good book except for the fact that Zacharia said too little about the hands. About that I agree.

My wife reminded me that in her last trip to New York she and my daughter had seen Fareed Zacharia in Metro Diner on the upper west side. In response to reading Zacharia's book, I am attempting to conceptualize what an ideal university might be like. It would be much more like a think tank except that the participants  would have real things to think about. They (professors and students) would  be making beautiful and useful things within it.

As they worked under the tutelage of expert philosopher/craftsmen to create objects of lasting beauty, students would discuss life and philosophy, the materiality of the substances (sciences) they transformed, and reflect upon and write about what they had done and how their ideas and ideals connect and shape community, human culture and the world at large..

Just like the colleges that gave universities their starting points, they would be small and their work would be intense.

Make, fix, create and extend to others the love of learning likewise.

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