Saturday, October 30, 2010

October's Over

The end of a month seems like a good time for another roundup post. Here's what's been going on in the past month, as far as your humble narrator is aware. (Previous summary here.)

The past month
- Top news: Seven members of Lindsay's wrecking crew left the Board of Trustees, conveniently matching the number of new alum members who joined in late September. The pro-Shimer majority is, thus, now quite solid.
- Shimer Days were held with great success.

A good number of Shimer faculty have been heard from, in print and on the blogs:
- Eileen Buchanan and Jim Donovan were published in Substance, Judgment and Education, a volume of papers from the Association for Core Texts conference in 2006. Both papers deal with Shimer's curricular development in response to the "Great Books, Great Art" NEH grant which ran from 2005 to 2007. Eileen's paper is titled "Michelangelo and the Copernican Revolution," although it begins "in reality, this paper is about neither Michelangelo nor the Copernican Revolution." Jim's paper is on "Teaching Scientists to See: A Possible Bridge Between C.P. Snow’s Two Cultures."

- Dave Shiner was quoted in a Pope Center article on whether tenure is necessary.
- Dave also talked with legendary Shimer professor John Hirschfield.
- Stuart Patterson checked in from Shimer-in-Oxford.
- Steven Werlin posted two articles about his work with Haitian microfinance agency Fonkoze: "Walking with Elie" and "Scaling Up".

Other blogospheric happenings:
- Mohini Lal shared her story as an early entrant.
- Noah Lebien shared his story as a transfer student.
- Shimer-in-Oxford student Adrian Nelson reported on Oxford academics and other matters:

- Shimer-at-Shimer student Michael Doherty interpreted Jean-Paul Sartre on stress management:

NB: No new materials have been added to the public case file for Lindsay v. Shimer College since early September. The case appears to be in a holding pattern.

Next month
- Eugene Baldwin, "Made in Illinois: Archaeology of the First Americans", November 5, 7 PM in Cinderella Lounge at Shimer (3424 S State)
- Orange Horse: November 13, 7 PM in Cinderella Lounge
- Life After Shimer Reading Group: The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper, November 14, 11 AM at the home of Jack Sigel in Evanston
- Assembly: November 14, 4 PM in Cinderella Lounge
- Buffy Ellsworth, "Of Men, Mice and Foxes", November 19, 7 PM in Cinderella Lounge

In closing
Two things come to mind:
1. Dang, there's a lot going on at Shimer.
2. It's always a good day to donate to Shimer.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thought for the day

Isn't it odd that Chicago Public Media, an organization with a notorious contempt for its listeners' opinions, has a much greater commitment to transparency than our beloved, participatory Shimer College?

2. Open Meetings. All meetings of the Board of Directors and Council and their committees shall be open meetings preceded by reasonable notice to the public at least one week in advance, except in the event of an emergency. In the event that the bylaws of the Board of Directors or Council permit such meeting held telephonically or other alternative format, the public shall be mean an ability to listen or observe.

3. Reasonable Notice. CPM shall post a notice on its website of any applicable meetings and make on-air announcements on at least three consecutive days once each calendar quarter explaining this policy and providing information about how the public can obtain information regarding specific dates, times and locations.

4. Closed Sessions. CPM may hold closed meetings or portions of meetings to consider matters relating to individual employees, proprietary information, litigation and other matters requiring confidential advice of counsel, commercial or financial information obtained from a person on a privileged or confidential basis, or the purchase of property or services whenever premature exposure of such purchase would compromise the business interests of such organization.

Contrast this with Shimer's open meetings policy:

Just putting it out there...

Friday, October 01, 2010

September song

Here's another little old roundup (most recent previous roundup here). Things have been pretty quiet in the external community, as far as I'm aware, so this is mostly limited to news from inside the bubble.

Recent happenings:

  • As already noted on this very blog, the Board has added SEVEN NEW ALUM TRUSTEES!!!, each and every one of whom is an awesome human being. If this makes you feel good about the future of Shimer -- and it should -- please consider making a little financial vote of confidence in their honor.
  • On that note, the Advancement Office has rolled out some new ways of donating to Shimer. For instance, you can donate your beat-up old car to Shimer. (Or your motorcycle. Or your steamroller, apparently -- if you happen to have an extra one lying around. Not sure about tanks.)
  • Shimer-in-Oxford has checked in with a video blog by Adrian Nelson and richly illustrated reports from Stuart Patterson and Robert Carpenter. You may remember Robert as the Weekend students' intrepid representative on the Board this past year.
  • First-year student Mohini Lal has posted some reflections on Shimer's smallness and vastness.
  • The mills of the law grind exceeding slow, and Lindsay v. Shimer College continues to plod its ponderous way through Cook County Circuit Court. (No, not that Lindsay v. Shimer, and definitely not this one; this one.) The most recent event on the e-docket is a "stay of execution," a familiar theme in Shimer history. There is currently a lag of more than 15 days between the public case file and the actual motions filed in court; thus, it would seem that the only people who know exactly what has been stayed are those who were present in the courtroom. Still, you can view the case file up through 9/3/2010 here, or in a more organized format here. The motion to dismiss, by Shimer's counsel, is highly recommended for connoisseurs of the legal smackdown.
  • The Shimer-Student-Union listserv, much-used in the recent crisis, has shown unexpected signs of life.
Upcoming events:
  • Something called "Shimer Days" is happening soon (10/11 - 10/16), with all kinds of Shimer-y goings on. Of particular note, there is an open house for prospective students on Columbus Day, 10/11/2010.
  • Further on the Admissions front, any prospective students who complete their applications before 10/15 will not only get an answer by Thanksgiving, but will also get their book fee waived for the first year. So if you know somebody who is or might be applying, you might want to give that somebody a nudge... (Incidentally, this page is a good one to watch for updates admissionary.)
  • Shimer Days also marks the beginning of the fall lecture series, with a panel discussion on Shimer history led by Eileen Buchanan on 10/15.
  • Something called "Life after Shimer Reading Group" is happening just after Shimer Days, on SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY 10/17 in Evanston. The reading is Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland.
  • The next Assembly meeting will be November 14, 2010, at 4 PM in the Cinderella Lounge at Shimer.