Technology in the Classroom

In a time where on-line distractions are at an all-time high, is there room for technology in the classroom?  More precisely, can technology if used correctly help facilitate student engagement & enhance learning?  Recipient of the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer and Chemistry Lecturer and Ohio State …

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The Power of Metaphor

Metaphor is a powerful tool.  Philosophers, poets, scientists, artists, authors, and thinkers across the ages have turned to metaphor to help clarify ideas, make connections, enlarge perspectives and scope, and cross intellectual & emotional terrains.  In this wonderful On Being interview conducted on December 22nd of 2016, Krista Tippett and …

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Bringing Existentialism Home

Existentialism is a term that was explicitly adopted by Jean-Paul Sartre to refer to his philosophical work, but became identified with a larger cultural & philosophical movement that flourished in Europe in mid-20th century.  As an interesting sidebar, there are also some 19th philosophers who are referred to as existentialists, …

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A Crash Course on ‘What Is Philosophy?’

At our Beat the Heat Philosophy Party in August, one of our presentations explored what philosophy is, what it isn’t, and why we should care.  This fun video from the Crash Course series provides some additional insight about the matter, including a brief history of philosophy (primarily from a western …

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Lessons on Empathy & Compassion from the Classroom

Empathy and compassion are some of the greatest life lessons we can ever hope to learn. While expanding our minds is (and should be) a goal of our educational systems, lessons that help to expand our hearts are often (sadly) less of a focus. In this award-winning documentary, Mr. Toshiro …

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Separating Violence from Masculinity

More than twenty years after the war in the Balkans, generations of young men & women are still thick in struggle. Desperation, anger & frustration have led to increased violence by many young men and ideas about what masculinity entails have fueled the fire. According to Aleksandar Slijepsveic, youth coordinator …

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Our Final Moments & Things That Matter When Dying

A poignant, moving, and beyond insightful presentation, Executive Director at Zen Hospice Project & palliative care physician, BJ Miller, offers a clear-eyed view of mortality & things that matter to us all when dying:  grace, dignity, respect, existential peace, wonder, comfort, feeling unburdened (and unburdening), enlightenment and love…those spaces in …

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Empathy v. Sympathy

Merlin | Empathy v. Sympathy

On a recent ‘Little Philosopher’s Walk’, one of our fun ‘Merlin Meanderings’ that we held here at Merlin Nature Preserve, we discussed & explored the importance and value of imagination.  In the course of our conversation, the work of Dr. Brené Brown, Research Professor at the University of Houston Graduate …

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