Liberal Arts Weekend
Spring time is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year to work in Tomlinson Hall here at Case. The gallery and hallways are always jumping and filled with visiting students and their families, which is great for those of us who do more behind-the-scenes work in the Office of Undergraduate Admission (and not just because sometimes there are extra snacks around we can munch on).
Spring time gives us a chance to finally see the students we’ve worked hard all year recruiting, and sometimes a chance to meet students and families in person who we had previously only met via e-mail or the phone. All of Case’s spring programs are great, and like Bob has already mentioned, visiting campus is a great way to really see which of your many college options is truly the best fit.
What I really want to talk about though, is a program this year for admitted liberal arts students (coinciding with Case’s Humanities Week 2006 the theme of which was “Childhoods.” Check out this lineup!) called… wait for it… Liberal Arts Weekend! I had the privilege of helping out with the program this year, and it was a complete blast from beginning to end. What I like about the program is that it really highlights what it is like to be a humanities major here at Case and the nowhere-else-in-the-world opportunities that our liberal arts majors get to take advantage of all the time. Lemme hit some of the highlights:
Students each had a SAGES-style seminar taught by some of our outstanding faculty members, Jonathan Sadowsky from the history department, John Orlock from the theater department, Darci Brandel from the English department and Alan Rocke from the history department.)
Students and their families (and some UGA staffers) had a great lunch with some of Case’s humanities faculty members (complete with delicious asparagus and great conversation, especially at my table!). Mark Turner, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, spoke during dessert about the history of liberal arts at Case and the SAGES program.
Our student tour guides and some faculty braved the rain to show off our beautiful campus. (To the left, check out tour guide Sean giving a tour to some parents along with History Professor Ken Ledford.)
Probably the highlight of the day was the reading by author Anne Lamott and follow-up discussion moderated by Florence Harkness Professor of Religion and Director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities Tim Beal. Anne Lamott’s reading was laugh-out-loud funny and her conversation with Prof. Beal, as well as her answers to questions from the audience revealed (if you’ll pardon the cheese) the humanity that makes her such an amazing author. For anyone interested in any type of writing (or as Anne pointed out, any creative endeavor) let me recommend Anne’s book, Bird by Bird, which is full of insight into the creative process as well as some hilarious anecdotes from Anne’s life. (The pictures are of visiting students waiting for the lecture to start, as well as Tim and Anne’s discussion. Quality isn’t the greatest, darn flash!)
I could go on with highlights and tell all about what a great time the UGA staff had hosting the event, as well as what a great time our current students, faculty, prospective students and their families had, but let me cut to the chase: While this schedule seems almost too cool to be true - days chock full of invigorating seminars, opportunities to meet with faculty outside of class, and lectures by world-renowned authors, musicians, scientists, researchers, politicians and civic leaders - days full of chances to extend learning outside the classroom are every day for students of the liberal arts at Case! Don’t believe me? Check out some of our students’ blogs, or slap this puppy on the portable listening device of your choice. Case Western Reserve University offers students the chance to create their own curriculum by building their own major, traveling abroad, and spending time at some of the coolest cultural institutions in the world like the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Playhouse Square, Severance Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art, all with mentorship from our top notch faculty.