Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sara Devil

Sara Devil,
                    I was checking the links that we have for the Shimer Blogs. I am not able to find all of them and post. Do you have time to do this??? I feel like we need to solidify the online community by making it easier to bounce back and forth between the various blogs…


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

An Actual Letter to Chris Hawkins-Long

Dear Chris Hawkins-Long,

     What about Shimer College and the Future? Really, much more than semantic, I think. It is an admission. The most notable aspect of the dialogue is the powerful influence of money. Not monies that may or may not have moved Shimer but the influence of a global economy on the most powerful nation in the world. The admission is that this new world is about educating people that help other people get rich. That is what the society “needs”. The future of Shimer is surely about the needs of the society. Society wants employees with a less ethereal focus. Employees focused on a very old Protestant view of success and wealth and the wealthy.

     What does Shimer serve now? Is it still about a better education? Is it still about a more holistic approach to education? As I may have mentioned before, I am a CPS teacher. My school most definitely reflects the economics of the surrounding area. The neighborhood is poor, the school is poor. Waukegan is poor. Shimer’s move was about making sure that school was financially sound—not about loftier goals of say: Putting power in the hands of the people.

     If we are going to discuss Shimer’s Future I feel we must talk about the paradigm shift that is fast making good public education a thing of the past and any good education something for rich people. Let’s talk about preparing students to do battle in a society where only the wealthy can run for or hold high political office.

     I know that someone mentioned earlier in this blog that corporate America had integrity in regards to its stand on good writing skills et al. If I had had time that day I would have pointed out that my experience in corporate America revealed it to be the home of whispering religious conservatives. I heard the disparaging remarks about homosexuals, African Americans, and cursing about political correctness as an Albatross around the necks of plain talking people. Certainly, it is only my experience and even worse my perspective on my experience. But the experience was sadly disheartening. I lost faith in the ability of people to make healthy decisions in the spirit and tradition of Rousseau.

How can you condemn all women to the boundaries of a faith they may not even share?

Why can’t CEO’s be held accountable for screwing up and what sense does it make to pay millions to executives of a failing company and blame the failure on the pension and insurance benefits or 500 or so $50-70,000.00 a year employees?

At the rate of regentrification in Chicago, IIT, in a very short period of time will be serving a very affluent community. I know because I have lived through several waves of regentrification.

Shimer was more than an education to me. It was a cause. Yeah, I’d like to know. Exactly what is the great plan for Shimer in Chicago?

P.S. It was Sara devil’s idea to change the name. I thought “What’s in a name?” Then I thought about you Chris. Really what is the future of Shimer College? What can we expect the school to maintain in regards to its integrity? What about the leadership?
What the hell does the school stand for now anyway?

Fight the Power!

Letter to David Shimer via C. H-L

Dear Chris Hawkins-Long,

Please forward the following letter to David Shiner. Tell him it is a question about baseball. Here is the question in two parts:

Given the “Hoop Dreams” like focus of young ball players in the Dominican Republic, the expansion of the internet into third world countries, new concepts of the global economy as being “flat”, (meaning that the internet has made the third world a serious competitor in the world market place) what has been the influence of the exploding global economy on Major League baseball?

Will Shimer have a baseball team in Chicago?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sonia and Sara

Hey Ladies,
Thanks for posting. Sara, I thnk you are right. The blog has to stay up. My opinion though is that it should stay of an activist nature. We need to keep an eye on what is happening with Shimer. As I have said before I want Shimer to succeed. That success was not contingent on it's location but on it's integrity. So much integrity has been lost in the worlds of art and academics that it makes me weary. This blog allows me to be active without losing myself to it.

Sonia, I can't say that I will make the Plato discussion-- although he is my favorite but I will make some of the dialogues definately...okay so now i am really considering the Plato thingy...

Damn You!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Notes from Sonia... Shimer Carries on....

hey Bill,

I have some news which I am hoping to use you as a tool to publicize. You even, I hear, have a virtual Shimer group.

The news: on Wednesday, March 15 at 7:00pm at the Uptown Border's on Lawrence, there will take place a discussion on Plato's The Republic, the topic: the role of the church in the state. This will be the first meeting of a new great books discussion group facilitated, at least in the beginning - I expect anarchy no later than the 2nd meeting - by me. Anyone who has done the reading recently is welcome to participate.

For further details (there aren't any but people do so like to think that there is always more), I can be emailed at

Thanks and let's have coffee sometime.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Shimer College Blogsite

I will leave the site up for a month or two. If there are no postings then I am closing it down.