Tuesday, November 22, 2005

From Alan Perry

Sorry to repeat a comment up here but I'm just figuring out how to post on the top page like so many others. I wanted a current "Official" position and I liked the method used by John and Vicky so that I don't get Lost in the blogosphere.
I think Shimer would have a lot to contribute to the near South side of Chicago and that Chicago would have a lot to offer Shimer. Shimer students would have greater access to museums, and theaters and all of the amenities of a powerful city/state. These tech students would have to take our classes in order based on prereqs. They would likely take maybe 4 or 5 of our core classes tops along with their specialized classes. Perhaps an architect could run through the Soc curriculum and gain a better understanding of how their designs impact the community and environment. An Engineer who took our Nat Sci courses would certainly be shaped in his thinking. We do have something to give in Chicago.
Shimer can be a hard pill to swallow whole. I'm glad I did. And we all know the benefits of a Shimer Education. I see the Shimer "Voice" as the echoes of plato's academy drifting through time. I think it would add to our voice if we are able to give part of our knowledge to the young industrialists. In fact, influencing the minds of engineers and architects etc. Brings our ideas and wisdom into the 21st century which is still largely undefined.
Partial tuition coming from these students fulfilling either their minimalist core requirements or even as electives would be added income. Plus their unique perspectives would add things to our dialogue that may otherwise go unnoticed by those of us full time Shimerians with our heads in the clouds. The campus appears pretty safe to me. It is well lit. The security is like a small police force. They have several cars and bicycle patrols along with radio contact to the Chicago Police department. There are Emergency call boxes on campus. They will even escort students after dark to several campus locations, housing, el station, etc.
I think there may be the potential to recruit part time faculty from the area as well. Perhaps UofC professors or graduates who feel like teaching a core class to a bunch of misfits. More part time professors and fewer full time professors might be a way to lower costs. It would be nice if the forced marriage between administration and faculty could be severed. Perhaps the old timers could semi retire to administration duties and teach at their leisure and rely more on part time faculty.
As far as the assembly is concerned, is it necessary? What is sacred and nearly untouchable to me is the Core Curriculum and the dialogical method. There is a possibility that the function of the assembly has run it's course and it is time for it to dissipate into the final stage of student communism. Perhaps the future of Shimer could be a place where administrators administrate, teachers teach, and students study. I'm still frightened by the idea of this move. But I do have faith in Shimer. I have faith in our method and our place in the modern world. If Shimer does relocate I hope they do it with optimism and hope.
Alan Perry

1 comment :

Alan said...

I would miss Shimerhenge.