Daily Archives: April 1, 2011
Distinguished philosopher, Larry A. Hickman presented two lectures March 14 and 15 focusing on late American philosopher John Dewey’s written work and ideals as part of a lecture series.
The first lecture, titled “Secularism, Secularization and John Dewey: Post Modernism without Nihilism,” presented Hickman’s argument that Dewey’s philosophy of religion regulates discussion of religious issues, such as humanist alternatives to supernaturalism and dogmatism.
“A vast point throughout the lecture of the first night was that there is a very important distinction between secularism and secularization,” sophomore Ben Wilkinson said. “Secularism, as Hickman puts it, is a situation in which arguments that draw from religious or quasi-religious beliefs are grounded in humanistic understandings of the issue at hand.”
Hickman used that idea to discuss current religious views in America, citing that 60 percent of people believe in a personal God, 92 percent of people believe in some sort of God and 70 percent are absolutely sure of God’s existence.
“He claimed that religion had to give up its dogmatic stance and focus on how it can better the world at present,” junior Josh Bott said.
The second lecture, titled “Genuine Concepts in John Dewey’s Educational Philosophy,” focused on the use of Dewey’s thoughts on framing different political issues that affect education.
Hickman explained that to teach students well, teachers shouldn’t simply give facts and knowledge.
“Education is not simply the transfer of knowledge,” he said.
Sophomore Lynette Cole said she found that the lecture material correlated with her personal philosophy on education.
“I completely agreed with what the speaker was saying as John Dewey was focused on experiential learning, which I also believe to be the best way to teach children,” Cole said.
Sophomore Helena Frueh said she thought the lecture was an insightful look into what she has previously learned in classes such as developmental psychology.
“I agreed with some of his points that opposed some classical views about how children learn,” Frueh said. “He brought up some points that I had never thought of before in regard to how we should educate our children.”
Hickman is a director for the Center for Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University.
The lecture series marked the 40th year that the Department of Philosophy has hosted well-known philosophers at Linfield as part of its annual Walter Powell Linfield College Philosophy Lecture series.
Brittany Baker/Staff writer
Brittany Baker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Faculty Assembly voted March 14 to eliminate the mathematics proficiency requirement from the Linfield College Catalog. This means students under next year’s catalog will not need to meet this requirement to graduate.
Junior Bradley Keliinoi, student representative on the Curriculum Committee, said the Department of Mathematics brought the elimination proposal to the committee in the fall. He said many students already meet Linfield’s mathematics requirement before coming to Linfield and that the requirement had not been evaluated for 30 years.
“College graduation requirements should focus on academic courses at the college level, thus the math proficiency requirement, which ideally should be met before entering college, seemed inappropriate,” Keliinoi said.
The 2010-11 Linfield Catalogue states that students must show proficiency in math by scoring at least 520 on the mathematics portion of the SAT or 22 on the mathematics portion of the ACT, by passing a math proficiency test during Fall Orientation or by completing a three-credit math class above Math 105 (except for Math 135 or 136).
The “Elimination of the Mathematics Proficiency Requirement” proposal states that the requirement should be eliminated, among other reasons, because “in the state of Oregon, Algebra II (the level of Math Proficiency) is a high school graduation requirement” and that the Quantitative Reasoning requirement allows students to develop necessary quantitative abilities.
The requirement will affect the catalogue for incoming freshmen in the fall, but current students can decide to switch to the new catalogue next year.
“Students can always choose the catalog under which they want to graduate,” Chuck Dunn, associate professor of mathematics and Curriculum Committee chair, said in an email. “However, students must satisfy all of the requirements within a chosen catalog. They do not have the option of picking and choosing from among the requirements in different catalogs.”
Students are still required to take mathematics for those courses that require mathematics courses as a prerequisite.
Kelley Hungerford can be reached at email@example.com.
Linfield College students and staff completed a total of 1,162 hours of community service in the Alternative Spring Break program this year.
The locations for service included Tacoma, Wash., New Orleans and Portland.
In Tacoma, students and faculty participated on the construction of four homes and worked with Habitat for Humanity homeowners.
The New Orleans team worked on the construction of a home in the Holly Grove district, which is located in the 17th ward, also with Habitat for Humanity. The team completed work on the floor of the home and framed and raised its walls.
Senior Rachel Mills was part of the New Orleans team and said that seeing the destruction New Orleans is still faced with hit home for her.
“The contrast between seeing the devastation and building the new house was powerful to me,” Mills said.
She also mentioned that she could not see herself spending her Spring Break any other way after her experience with the program.
“It’s worth it. I don’t think I could go back to a normal Spring Break,” she said.
Aside from working on the construction of a home, the New Orleans team also visited the St. Bernard community center, which is a service center for low income people, said Community Service Coordinator Jessica Wade, who was an adviser to the team.
While at the St. Bernard Community Center, the team helped fill the food pantry and planted a community garden.
“The most rewarding part was to witness their transformation, their understanding of the importance of service and the sense of selflessness that they were adapting throughout the week,” Wade said of her team of students.
Senior Kady Kirkendall was part of the Portland service team.
“We mostly wanted to get people familiar with what Portland has to offer to the homeless as far as different resources,” Kirkendall said.
While in Portland, the team made and served meals at the Blanchet House, a soup kitchen that also offers homeless people temporary housing in return for work in the kitchen, she said.
The team worked at Blanchet House for three days and served 300 meals each day. The group also spent time one-on-one with the homeless, by talking and playing games.
“It was great to see the human beings behind the stereotypes,” Kirkendall said.
For more information about Alternative Spring Break, contact Jessica Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chelsea Bowen/Opinion editor
Chelsea Bowen can be reached at email@example.com.
Robinson analyzed Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein” on March 31 in Nicholson Library.
Robinson’s lecture, “It’s Alive: The Monster and Manuscript of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein,’” was largely about the “Frankenstein” manuscripts and the different movie and theatrical adaptations of “Frankenstein” that have emerged over time.
Robinson began the lecture with the journey of Shelley’s novel, from its conception in 1816 to the many editions and adaptions of the text published later. He showed the original manuscript written by Mary Shelley and the edited manuscript written by her husband. “Frankenstein” was first published in 1818, then again in 1823, and revised by Shelley to be published again in 1831. Mary’s husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, served as her editor.
Robinson is an expert on Shelley’s novel and has edited multiple versions of the text. He pieced the original manuscripts of “Frankenstein” together.
“The more you know about the genealogy of a text, the more you know about the mind of the artist,” he said.
Robinson explained that many people confuse the monster with Dr. Frankenstein, who created the monster.
“We know that man is made in the image of his creator,” he said, “therefore, the monster is made in the image of his psychologically disfigured creator and, consequently, the monster is physically disfigured.”
“Frankenstein” is a cautionary tale that warns against the perils of technology, Robinson explained.
“‘Frankenstein’ becomes a cultural metaphor in the sense that technology, which we are supposed to rule, is now ruling us,” he said.
He identified the main theme in the novel as “the dangerous consequences of the pursuit of knowledge.”
Robinson said he was first drawn to “Frankenstein” when he wrote his dissertation on Lord Byron and Shelley when he got his Ph.D in 1967. He said he has taught “Frankenstein” every year for 46 years at the University of Delaware.
“I keep learning from it,” he said.
There was a large turnout for the event.
“It was interesting, especially the commentary on ‘Frankenstein’ being a metaphor on society. Professor Robinson was hilarious,” freshman Robin Fahy said about the lecture.
Freshman Kyra Rickards, one of many students from the English department who attended, said she enjoyed the lecture.
“I loved the anecdotes about his experiences while editing the manuscripts,” she said. “Professor Robinson taught my class on Wednesday, and it was really cool.”
Kelsey Sutton/Staff writer
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The newly hired 2011-12 Associated Students of Linfield College Cabinet presented themselves to senators during the March 28 Senate meeting. They will be approved by vote at the next meeting April 4 in Riley 201.
The proposed ASLC Cabinet comprises sophomore Thomas Bryan, vice president of business and finance; junior Nicole Bond, vice president of programming; freshman Clara Martinez, secretary; sophomore Nic Miles, club director; junior Mitch Edwards, student center director; junior Daniel Teater, sports director and junior Clair Schneider, publicity director.
Bryan, Bond, Miles and Edwards have all held leadership positions and responsibilities within ASLC and Linfield Activities Board this past year.
Junior Rachel Coffey, ASLC president-elect and junior Bradley Keliinoi, ASLC vice president-elect collaborated with senators to create a hiring committee, which included freshman Yura Sim, sophomore Amanda Bowers and junior Joshua Harper. The committee, advised by Dan Fergueson, director of college activities, interviewed the 18 ASLC Cabinet applicants March 16 and 17. Some of the applicants had applied for more than one position. The committee notified the hires by March 18, Coffey said.
“I was looking for people who would be confident and excited in the position that they were applying for,” Coffey said. “I wanted a team that would help keep my goal of improving communication by having a Cabinet that could interact among itself and with students.”
After the Cabinet is approved by Senate, Bond said that she will begin hiring students for LAB next week.
Bond said she reorganized the LAB positions, combining some of them for a total of six positions for the 2011-12 school year. The new LAB positions include Secretary and Publicity Chair, Musical Entertainment Chair, Special Events Chair, On-Campus Programming Chair, Off-Campus Sports Programming Chair and Off-Campus Cultural Programming Chair.
Applications consist of a cover letter and résumé and are due to Bond by April 11 at 5 p.m.
Other leadership positions available through ASLC include Community Outreach and Environmental Education (CORE), held this year by senior Sarah Valentine, and Business Management Assistant, which was held by Bryan.
Coffey said that these leadership roles are paid stipend positions, and students who are interested in applying should contact Valentine at email@example.com or Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due April 11 at 5 p.m. to Coffey or to email@example.com.
Leadership positions for the Campus Information Center, Gameroom and Linfield Bike Co-Op, which are overseen by the Student Center Director, will be filled in May, Coffey said.
The Publicity Director’s team, which consists of five students and the Sports Director’s three commissioners, will also be hired in May, Coffey added.
“I am really happy with the new Cabinet and excited for next year,” Coffey said. “Everybody brings something, and I’m confident that they will help me meet my goals.”
Questions about the new leadership positions or the application process can be directed to Coffey at
Jessica Prokop/News editor
Jessica Prokop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.