Wishful thinking and New faculty orientation

UC Berkeley has now started offering modern Icelandic instruction, which is of course good news. When I was an undergraduate there and a graduate student, they only offered Old Norse as a one year graduate level course intended to prepare students to read the sagas in the original language (or the normalized Fornrit editions actually). So it is a big change to offer modern Icelandic now to undergraduates. For me personally, I am feeling very out of the loop, since I had understood that Jackson Crawford was just a one semester fill in for a faculty member who was on leave. From the way the media is treating it--Jackson always seems to get tons of publicity--it is like he is permanent. So well maybe I missed another boat, another chance to get home to my son in California because I didn't even apply for that half-time position when I saw it announced. 

But I've been going through new faculty training up here at Pacific Lutheran University, and am grateful for the remarkable community I am a part of. Curriculum development, and course offerings, here are not a matter of upper management deciding something should be done, but rather a grassroots effort of the faculty, built up with consensus. The faculty member conducting the training spoke about the Scandinavian, Lutheran egalitarian ethic that permeates Pacific Lutheran University, where no one really puts on airs, or acts like they are better than anyone else. It is nice to feel part of something with a moral, ethical core to it, somewhere where we emphasize students becoming well rounded, responsible, contributing members of society. Where love and caring for one another is the norm, that's a place worth being at.  


Comments

Jono said…
I had the same atmosphere at the Midwestern Lutheran college I attended. A much better situation for me than a large university would have been.

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