Saturday, April 6, 2024

#97 / In The Company Of Friends

Page Smith was the Founding Provost of UCSC's Cowell College - and long may his name be both remembered and revered. Page was an historian, who focused on American history, and with particular attention to the revolutionary period. Page was also, profoundly and thoughtfully, concerned about education, as the quotation above indicates. He helped found the "The Penny University," in Santa Cruz, after he left his teaching position at UCSC. 

Page also left behind a legacy, at Cowell College, in the form of a very simple and concise explanation of what education should be all about. It is still remembered, and is featured on the Cowell College web page. I am printing it out, below:

The Pursuit Of Truth, In The Company of Friends

I am not teaching this Quarter, which makes me nostalgic for the last time I was teaching - and that last time was in a classroom at Cowell College, as a matter of fact. 

There was a little plaque, right at the bottom of the stairway that led up to the classroom in which I taught my class. The classroom was located on the second floor. The plaque wasn't very obtrusive, and I only noticed it pretty late in the Quarter, but it spelled out, as a message to contemporary students, Page's wonderful little statement:

The Pursuit Of Truth, In The Company of Friends

All good things really do require that we pursue them, and make our commitment to them, in "the company of friends." Politics, as well as education, must be carried out in the company of friends. It won't be successful unless it is. 

If you are as concerned as I am with potential political and related difficulties ahead, don't forget Page's advice. It is my advice, too: "Find Some Friends." 

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