Sunday, February 22, 2009

Last Meeting

Last Thursday's meeting was at Cook Library Center. We had tasty Chinese food (YUM!) and Sue, the Director of Cook Library Center, told us the history of the library. Sue mentioned about the children coming to the library after school to do their homework and to read.

Because the children tell their parents they are at the library, their truthfulness increases the trust between them, their parents, their teachers, and their friends. The basis of people trusting one another is the foundation of human community, so says Lewis Smedes. When people trust one another, they may communicate openly and learn from one another. Communication unadulterated by lies and deception is what we strive for. Such truthful communication is one tool we need to mend the brokeness of this world.

Want to know more about Cook Library Center? Watch this YouTube clip!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day is Service-Learning Day, Too

Romantic love is a very weird thing. Come on, be honest, falling in love means giving up half of what you’ve got. Falling in love also creates this feeling that the world is a bed of roses—how much more unrealistic can it get? But no, we learn in epistemology that feelings may be sufficient evidence to prove the existence of love as a valid and logical concept.

Take for instance a hypothetical individual, Jane. Jane’s feelings for James (Jane's hypothetical boyfriend in her hypothetical world) influences the way she carries herself and her behavior toward James. Since the invisible cognitive concept of “feeling” manifests in her visible physical actions, such actions would be empirically sufficient as evidence to knowing Jane does indeed love James.

What has philosophy got to do with service-learning? Lots, since today’s Valentine’s Day (which creates mild cognitive dissonance for lonely souls like me). Besides, isn’t blogging an act of sufficient evidence to suggest that I am doing justice to my feelings for service-learning?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lessons From the Weekend

Because all my friends who have being cutting my hair in the last two years of college have graduated, I had no choice but to visit a barber last Friday. So I went to this barber shop not too sure what to expect, just like every time we do something for the first time. The two barbers were white, the clients there were white, and the hair on the floor was all blonde. I am not white. There was this urge to check if there were any sign that wrote “whites only.” No, this is 21st century America-- a free country. OK. I wondered if the barber would treat me differently. It turned out he didn’t. OK. I wondered if this scene was possible 80 years ago, or even 50 years ago. I got out of the barber shop, sporting a new hair style. OK.

Then in class today, the second week of class, I noticed in one of the lectures that all the students of color were sitting in the last row. White students occupied the first two rows. None in that class really knew each other, so my guess is that most chose their seats based on whom they wanted to sit with.

We have progressed so far, yet so little. Maybe the young ones, who grew up in 21st century America, could learn a thing or two from those who lived through the segregation period. Like my barber--my new found friend.