We were pumped to team up with Johnson’s Nursery & Gardens, Forestvale Cemetery, and historian Ellen Baumler for some fun days of pumpkin picking and hayride ghost story cemetery tours. After playing at Johnson’s Nursery & Gardens, folks loaded into our hayride wagon and took a ride down the road with us to Forestvale Cemetery, where heard ghost stories, wandered the cemetery grounds, and learned more about its residents and history! Check out the video and photos here!
During our Winter session we continued our journey into the world of film & philosophy via the Twilight Zone! Our young thinkers split into two groups — with one group focusing their efforts on a philosophical piece exploring time travel, consciousness, and environmental justice and another group focusing their sights on a piece about time travel and racial injustice. Filming began….and the kids were on their way. But then….(as if in our own modern day Twilight Zone)…COVID-19 hit. And things changed. Our young philosophers responded brilliantly. Access photos & videos here!
This project invites people to explore Helena afoot & consider questions about “place.” A space is abstract; a place is a space with meaning. From its historic storefronts and iconic architecture to its meandering natural walls and pathways, Helena is packed with “place.” But why? What is it about Helena that continues to call out — not as a dot on map but as a unique lived experience that beckons and makes one feel at home?
“What Say You?” is a fun and casual internet-based philosophy in the community activity inspired by our belief that physical distancing need not equate to social distancing. Each week philosopher Dr. Barry Ferst will share some of his philosophical musings on our Merlin Facebook page and invite readers to comment and discuss. Think SNL’s “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy”….only with somewhat more gravity (maybe).
In the past several weeks, COVID-19 has taken our communities by storm, forcing the closure of schools, businesses, restaurants, libraries, transport, and more. In other words….a real time, real world Twilight Zone. In response to this, our young philosophers have opted to take on COVID-19 in a manner that would make Rod Serling proud. Their adaptability, creativity, and resilience is inspiring!
During the Fall session, our group first watched a series of selected short films & Twilight Zone episodes, followed by youth-led, facilitated classroom discussions. Young thinkers were asked to identify, reflect and respond to various philosophical elements and themes present in the films, as well as make comparisons to experiences in their own communities and lives. Later in the Fall session, we began a series of story creation endeavors inspired by our classroom discussions and a little game we called “And the Moral of the Story Is…” . Access photos & videos here!
Sponsored by Merlin CCC and the Carroll College Philosophy Department, this free evening program was an informal conversation about greek philosophical insights and how they relate to and can help us navigate our everyday lived experiences. Invited guest scholars included: Barry Ferst, Professor of Philosophy (Carroll College); David Nowakowksi, Philosopher & Senior Mentor for Fellowship Scholars (Merlin CCC; and, Mark Smillie, Professor of Philosophy (Carroll College). 2019 Merlin Student Scholar Fellow, Henry Kramer, served as moderator. Access audio-video & photos here!
During phase 2 of our BiLP program, our young thinkers engaged in a “Know Thyself” project aimed at helping them gain insight about what examination of things that brings us joy can tell us about ourselves. The “Know Thyself” project culminated in a community showcase — in the form of an art exhibition highlighting their philosophical work and Q & A session — at the 5th Annual Reeder’s Alley Block Party. Check out details, photos, and more here!