Monday, September 1, 2008

Opening Day: Our first EDL7110 Class

The theme for the class was hopes and fears, with an emphasis on the fears. As a class and as individuals, we feared being guinea pigs, having cruel and unusual experiments performed upon us (or by us) in the name of science, humanity, or education. Some of us wondered while we wandered in and out of various states of consciousness whether or not we would be a test case that would result in the professor's beautification or damnation in the educational Valhalla of contemporary society. This was not to mention that some wondered as they wandered in and out of consciousness, whether or not we may run out of time, with experiments and surgeries half-done and internal organs left exposed whiles the surgeons scampered off to golf games and other pressing adventures. This was a reasonable scenario having reflected on the reading list that included two full sets of Encyclopedias, one written in French and the other old Norse.

But there were also hopes, hopes that we would not get just another one-sided story, either of the excellence of one singular theory or philosophy, implying the banality of all others, or the damn fool idea that one was just as good as the next. All involved wished both objective and subjective views expressed upon all points and critical examination of even the most treasured theories, including absolutes where they existed and options where they did not.

Some in the class had become wearied with the absolutist pronouncements of professed relativists. A case in point is as follows: "There are no absolutes." If that is not an absolutist statement, then we should all retreat to the sandbox. It would be much more authentic to say that some disciplines function on a model of absolute truth and others do not, or, for some disciplines there are best (or one best) practices, but for others there are not.

So how did our initiation go? Well, there were no fatalities by the end of class which creeped into the late hours of the night (or early hours of the morning, I was too bleary eyed to remember). But again, the roll has not been taken for this week as of yet. There may have been delayed reactions to the medicine.


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