Monday, October 03, 2016


Magic Wand

Douglas Belkin, "How to Sell a Liberal-Arts Education," Wall Street Journal (October 19, 2014) (interview with Brian Casey, president of DePauw University):
WSJ: If you could wave a magic wand and make one problem at your school disappear what would that be?

MR. CASEY: I would like to wave a wand and for just some portion of every week have some students removed from the Internet and from telephones, smartphones and social media, and buy themselves time to read. Students these days aren’t natural readers of longer books, and I can recall from my own college days those moments when you fell in love with a book and sat for a sustained period with an important work and lived with that author for a period. They are bombarded with short bits of information constantly, and I would love to free them from that for just a short period of every week. I think they would discover more about themselves, they would learn how to engage with complexity in ways they avoid in certain ways now. They would experience the act of being quiet and alone with their thoughts.
Hat tip: Tim Nagler. The title of the article in the paper edition (October 20, 2014, p. R5) was "How a Liberal Arts College Survives."

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