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Plato in prison

A Maryland university organized a philosophy course - taught at a local prison.

It's a really interesting idea, and I applaud the effort. One of my favorite bits:

"For me, education is, like, transcendent," said John Woodland, 55, of Baltimore, who is serving a life term for murder. "Whenever I'm in a class or reading a book, it's like I'm out of prison."


All I could think on reading that was, word. It's practically Platonic.

Two gripes, though:

1. Plato, taught by an English teacher? And Buddha by the philosophy guy? Maybe that worked, but as a philosopher I was a bit upset that *we* didn't get to talk about our representative.

2. That last line about uni members needing to venture into the real world? That assumes the university *isn't* the real world. And it's not the whole real world, but it is *definitely* part. It's made up of real people dealing with real situations. Too often we treat the university like it's some fairy-kingdom in the clouds. I don't buy that.

But basically, I love the idea and wish I had the challenge available to me.

*******************************

ETA: Or maybe not, on the second point. Between beginning and finishing this post, I read the header on a RSS post - basically the title and first however-many characters of a post made to some website, in this case a Beliefnet blog. The header said "Biola University prof: 9/11 attacks are a depressing indictment of humani". And my mind immediately filled it in as humanities (you know, what I do). A lot of academic blogs tie everything from a drop in the Dow to the release of Justin Bieber's latest video to why we do or don't need to teach the humanities. Maybe us academics are on a different planet, or maybe I'm just self-absorbed like that. *g*

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