At a White House ceremony Wednesday, first lady Michelle Obama honored the Waukegan Public Library for setting goals more ambitious than providing a quiet building full of books. The north suburban…
I have to admit that part of my sanguine attitude stems from the fact that Shimer’s pedagogy embodies what independent researchers have already demonstrated to be “best practices” in terms of discussion-centered, small classes — and so if we take the trouble to come up with a plausible way to measure what the program is doing for our students, I’m confident the results will be very strong. Despite that overall optimism, however, I’m also sure that there are some things that we’re doing that aren’t working as well as they could, but we have no way of really knowing that currently. We all have limited energy and time, and so anything that can help us make sure we’re devoting our energy to things that are actually beneficial seems all to the good.
Shimer College cordially invites you to celebrate the Class of 2013Saturday, May 42:00pmDoors open at 1:00 pm
Hermann Hall Ballroom
3241 S. Federal Street, Chicago, IL 60616
Martin E. Marty
Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus
University of Chicago
No tickets required for guests
1:00 pm: Students arrive for regalia and lineup
1:15 pm: Class photo
2:05 pm: Processional begins
3:30 pm: Reception to be held in same location
The story is of a person who starts a bookstore which chooses its books by a very intriguing route. There is a mysterious committee (no one knows who they are, and they are kept, even, from knowledge of one another) which picks llists of 300 or so books, and the contents of the bookstore come from those lists. Each year, they may add some more. So: the bookstore incldues only good books. Yes, a quality distinction. And, the owners — and the committee — actually choose wonderfully good books — even acting in such a way as to create a demand for some long out of print. Their bookstore, it seems. finds a wonderful audience — and has an impact. All those rather trashy books — sometimes called peanut books, often selling huge numbers (sometimes even in airports), arriving with great hoopla to big box bookstores and piled in heaps near the door — are set to the side so that one can actually find the “real” novels.
I will not spoil the plot but I will ask: what does this have to do with Shimer? Is the notion of choosing only good books at all like proclaiming oneself a great books college?