Monday, April 21, 2014

Three Beautiful Things 04/20/14: Moving, Google v Evan, Sour Ale Finish

1.  Oh, my!  More stuff out the door and donated:  books, cd's, dvd's, a cd/dvd rack, kitchen stuff, and more.  We are lightening our load and really clearing out the house.  It's all good.

2.  In a column for today's New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman interviewed Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google about how to get a job at Google, here.  Bock said what many big shot corporation big shots say:  college is about financial investment.  Think about getting the best financial return on this investment.  Either don't go to college or, if you do, pursue a rigorous degree, like computer engineering, and stay away from soft stuff like psychology or English.  He didn't say a word about a liberal arts education's worth in terms of a deeper understanding of human nature, a word about self-examination, or a word about learning to think critically.  That is all predictable and you know I know this if you've read my little piece, "Being a Liberal Arts Teacher".   Then today, at the Bier Stein, I ran into Evan, a Survey of World Literature student of mine from about six or seven years ago.  He has been working in the bar/restaurant world, doing very well, and will manage the bar at the new Electric Station opening in July.  This is the second time I've run into Evan in the last few years and both times he made it a point, an emphatic point, a well-developed point, to tell me that he owes all of his entrepreneurial and managerial success to what he learned about what it means to be human in the Survey of World Literature course.  Both times he's told me, without any prompting from me, that what he learned about authenticity, goodness, and other deep aspects of being human has guided his success in the business world more than anything, that these stories and poems changed his life.  Gilgamesh.  Homer.  The Tao.  Rumi.  Those great ancient texts transformed Evan's thinking, his business practices, and his world view.  It wasn't the rigor.  It wasn't problem solving.  It was examining life's meaning and the depth of human experience that he owes his success to.  I know he's not alone.

3.  I like those sour ales as an after dinner drink and once I finished my club sandwich this afternoon, I ordered a sour farmhouse ale brewed by Logsdon and it was a perfect finish to my dinner.  (Sorry I don't remember its's off the tap list at the Stein so looking up its name was futile.)

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