After posting and deleting this several times. I believe now I have it posted on the first page. I felt the need to be a star and be at the top of the page. It is amazing that I actually looked at the posting instructions to finally get it right. Noah, use this how you will, I just wanted everyone to see it. Your survey helped greatly to formulate an opinion.
I believe discussion classes and self-directed learning where my main reasons for attending Shimer. I’ll have to admit the location was rather unappealing as well as living space and lack of amenities. Lack of an arts program was also a pretty big issue.
I initially left Shimer to explore the world a bit more. I also realized that I no longer needed Shimer. I realized that I could learn on my own, which is part of what Shimer is teaching. I returned to Shimer after traveling and moving around a bit in order to finish my degree. I felt that I needed a degree and Shimer was one of the few places I could stomach getting one. During my final year or so I moved to Evanston and commuted. I also spent a semester at Weekend College. Living away from Shimer helped a lot. I found myself able to participate in Chicago’s artistic community and lead a life not so steeped in the small community. I could come back to it refreshed and ready to listen.
It looks like from the above statement I’d be for the move, but I don’t believe I am for it. I am definitely for some physical improvements of the existing college. I think if the College were to go to Chicago I’d rather see it not affiliated with another College. If it had to affiliate with another college to survive I’d like it to be an institution with similar values. I’d like to see Shimer in Chicago or Waukegan with a broadened curriculum, taking other approaches to education that fall in line with dialogue classes and self-directed learning techniques. I’d like to see music, art, performance art, gender studies, global studies, technology and classes concerning political activism added. I believe this would attract more students of differing backgrounds and abilities. Speaking as a bit of an anti-intellectual, I’d like to see less intellectual types attend Shimer. I’d like Shimer to broaden its scope a little whilst maintaining the great books core curriculum.
I see some talk on this blog of Shimer students being a certain ‘type’. And, that somehow ‘other’ types might ruin the experience. I’m more of a mind to share the love. To seek people out who may not be the exact ‘type’ and bring them in to see what they are able to do. I certainly didn’t feel like the typical Shimer student when I attended. I often felt frustrated with the attitudes and intellectual dogma of a great deal of the student body. However, I felt I contributed a lot by being different. Diversity is a beautiful thing.
- Chris Heinisch