Two days of Senior Week done, with five full days to go.
I know you’re asking, “How would Dean Elmore do up Senior Week?” Well, here you go. Each day this week, Dean Elmore will sketch (and yes, emphasis on sketch) out how he thinks you should be spending your Senior Week – from what to do during the day, what to jam to as you prep and what you should be donning at all of the events.
Your Monday agenda, from the Dean himself.
Do you need Harbor Cruise tickets? Some are still available for sale.
Tonight’s other event is the Harpoon Brewery takeover. That is sold out. If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket, use the hashtag #BU13Harpoon on Twitter and Instagram and tell us what your favorite pretzel dipping sauce turns out to be.
In the midst of your learning, I hope your reflection continues.
I look for poetry in the ordinary and grace from the terrible. The chorus at the end of The Cure at Troy in Seamus Heaney’s translation of Sophocles’ The Philoctetes keeps me hopeful:
Human beings suffer,
They torture one another,
They get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
Can fully right a wrong
Inflicted and endured.
The innocent in gaols
Beat on their bars together.
A hunger-striker’s father
Stands in the graveyard dumb.
The police widow in veils
Faints at the funeral home.
History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.
So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracle
And cures and healing wells.
Call miracle self-healing:
The utter, self-revealing
Double-take of feeling.
If there’s fire on the mountain
Or lightning and storm
And a god speaks from the sky
That means someone is hearing
The outcry and the birth-cry
Of new life at its term.
And, of course, music brings the tone for my active reflection.
* a shoutout to James Baldwin
Last week I had a chance to take it to the stage. As part of an open mic night I got a few minutes to stand in front of bunch of folks being wonky and geekin’ out about the future of higher education in the States. Instead of a speech, I dropped a little Nina Simone and Digable Planets as background and asked a few questions:
Yo-Yo Ma was an English major?
Can higher education continue to support the annual, massively-televised-over-several-weeks March blacksploitation event? Or, is the madness in March simply the athletic department for the un-college movement?
Face-to-face: can a true higher education exist without it?
Why make the distinctions? Can community college students really not think beyond the boxes they’re supposed to check? And, do they really not need inspiration?
Can folks working in higher education be witness for the proposition that all children should share rooms?
Is socioeconomic status the new diversity? International?
Universal instructional design: can we really expect faculty to change course and change courses?
It’s a STEM and big data world. Time to do away with the liberal arts and their science brethren?
Is mentorship over-rated?
What will cause higher education to go the way of the car industry? Are we there already?
Yo-Yo Ma was an English major, yo?!
Time to have single-payer universal gap years?
Change the drinking age?
What have you changed your mind about? What questions are you asking your self?
What’s the useless activity of higher education we must continue to pursue? Who should run universities? Are there too many of us? Is the idea of assessment just so out of date?
Could Martin Luther King and his folks have started a revolutionary movement in our time? How many followers? How many likes? How many posts? What kind of comments?
How does Bill T. Jones get you to move and think that way? Why does Toni Morrison make me look at my fears? How does Slick Rick make me catch that groove? Why is my mobile so cool. Why do I feel a kinship to beauty when I hear Johnny Hartman and Trane?
I know I can play, but can I play?
Would we have a message “for college” compelling enough for a young Malcolm Little, Angela Davis, Caesar Chavez, Lech Walesa, or Mandela.
Given today’s tools, could an activist Spring have grown up in Soweto, Beijing, Czechoslovakia, or Birmingham.
Yo-Yo Ma was an English major?
What’s your question?