This past weekend was the inauguration for the new president of Prescott College, Dr. Kristin Woolever. For me, this was an extraordinary occasion that created an exciting and hopeful future for the school.
The inaugural speech that Kristin gave was in my belief, spot on, and focused upon many important aspects of how she views the school in its current state, and after listening to many, where she believes it would be most effective to move toward .
Like anything in life, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and how this ties into the current blog entry is quite parallel to how the school should be viewed from the landscape of a prospective student. I will be blunt in saying that Prescott College is not perfect, and like everything else created by the hands of human beings, there is always room for sustainable improvement. Alternatively though, the question must be asked, “Are we perfect for each other, Prescott College and myself?” To make this equation even more blunt, this school is not for everyone, but for some this is an opportunity that will create more growth than one could ever imagine, and this is where perfection is found.
I have seen some students create for themselves a world of living chaos, but alternatively, there are many more who take on the aim of what Prescott College stands for, and a man by the name of Howard Zinn put into words as the goal of education:
“Eliminating war, poverty, race and national hatred, governmental restrictions on individual freedom, and in fostering a spirit of cooperation and concern in the generation growing up.”
In effect, reading the mission statement of any organization that we choose to be affiliated with is of the utmost importance. Moreover, equally vital is whether or not the institution truly follows this quest they have set out for themselves.
The mission of Prescott College is:
“to educate students of diverse ages and backgrounds to understand, thrive in, and enhance our world community and environment. We regard learning as a continuing process and strive to provide an education that will enable students to live productive lives while achieving a balance between self-fulfillment and service to others. Students are encouraged to think critically and act ethically with sensitivity to both the human community and the biosphere. Our philosophy stresses experiential learning and self-direction within an interdisciplinary curriculum.”
After reading the two quotes above, many would agree that they both have much in common. In essence though, what does living the mission of Prescott College truly mean, and how does one do this most effectively? Through causation, I will not be so arrogant to say that I have the answer to this question for everyone to follow, but in the most humble of ways, I believe that doing what we love will always be of the greatest benefit for the entire biosphere. From this, the question comes up yet again, ‘Is Prescott College where I want to continue my journey in education?”
Furthermore, let me say that the true answer to this question cannot be found in any view-book, or by speaking with an admissions counselor, although these are great resources to make a better informed decision; the true answer is found in ourselves and what we believe is needed.
In this blog entry, I am not trying to be grim, but paint a picture about the projected idea of attending a school, and the actual reality of what this could mean. Is going to an institution with course sizes in the hundreds favorable to your learning, or are small, intimate classes with field trips of greater necessity? Does living in a large community of thousands make you feel more connected, or sharing a free community lunch every wednesday with everyone on campus? These are important questions that take much reflection, and to put this metaphorically, in order to hit a target, we are the only ones who must commit and let go of the arrow - no one can truly let go of the string for us. And, it is always why we let go of the arrow that makes all the difference.
Live the Journey,