Vlorbik's Diner

son of owen's cooking show

the swirling beachball of doom

Posted by vlorbik on April 7, 2010

my life in schools.

fast forward.
bill carroll’s humanities initiative
at ohio dominican college.

if word-choice were anything like
as influential as many in politics
(and almost all academics)
like to pretend, why then,
my “indoctrination” would have been
*over* when i got my “doctorate”.

but one door closes when
another one opens and
as far as “turning pro”
goes, i was almost completely
unprepared. (that this was
in large part because of choices
i’d made with eyes *at least*
as wide open as the generic
next-guy player in whatever
game it is we’re here considering
[or are *about* to; somebody
say “go”]… well, that’s very likely
true i hope and feel. so what.
[i hope you don’t like it
and want to do something
about it].)

“i hope and feel.”
“trust” doesn’t enter into it of course.

personal slogans of the season part n+1.
‘our medium is handwriting.”,
“trust no one.”,
“tools at hand.”,
“no yin without a yang.”,
“look again. look closer.”,
and “where was i?”.

to name but a few.
where was i?

bill carroll and humanities at dominican.
of bill i know but little and will
say only slightly less. young administrators
“going up” some career “path”
(a “graph”? a “*tree*”??) will…
or so conventional wisdom has it…
generally try to distinguish themselves
by *changing things around*. if nothing
too horrible happens, they’ll have proved
that they can get people to *do things
their way* (instead of some tried-and-true
*other* way)… which, on some prominent
world-running models anyway, is pretty
close to the *whole point* of “administration”.
(or, as i’d rather call it, “management”.)

anyhow, when i turned pro in ’92
and moved to columbus to work at
dominican (as a newly minted
math Ph.D.), bill was academic V.P.
there and was energetically recruiting
faculty from all departments
to teach in a newly-redesigned
humanities program.

i loved this idea and signed on right away.
so along with teaching my math classes,
i sat in as an auditor-with-benefits
on (young theologian) leo madden’s
Hum101 (as i’ll here style it;
the actual course number is lost
to me and good riddance).

it was great. just for the regular
direct contact with leo, it’d’ve been
totally worth it. but the big draw,
as you’ll’ve guessed if you know me,
was the *texts*: the iliad,
the aeneid, luke and
acts, some readings in plato
(“the death of socrates” and,
the intro to the whole course sequence,
“the parable of the cave”),
and (alas) the confessions
of augustine. (i’m pretty far from
catholic [nanny converted to marry
owen thomas (“senior”); their son
owen thomas (“junior”) was my–
owen thomas (“the third”)…
“owen by the way”…–dad;
dad was raised catholic
but *never* spoke of church
matters (with me) except
in the abstract; some years
after his death i was somewhat
surprised to be reliably informed
that he (dad) had considered
studying for the priesthood
as a young man]; as a lifetime
academic one cannot escape
having a certain respect for
the “catholic school” tradition;
that’s about it.)

anyhow, one semester later i was ready
and led my own classes. and i’m sure
i had a point when i begain this ramble
and i even expect to get *to* it…
at some later date. suffice it to say
here that i taught Hum101 three times
and 102 once (a “team teaching” situation;
we-must-do-our-*ex*ercises…) and
loved it and that i even have some notes
left over (that i’ve had it mind
to port up onto the net for quite
a while now and maybe soon will).

more light!


One Response to “the swirling beachball of doom”

  1. vlorbik said



    We cannot begin a reform of education unless we first understand that neither individual learning nor social equality can be enhanced by the ritual of schooling.

    he just nails it,
    again and again. how
    did i never *read* this?

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