“The center cannot hold…. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” Yeats, The Second Coming (1920)
Today I sat in a meeting regarding the General Education Program in which I teach and heard the latest news from Tallahassee. It’s grim.
The legislature has determined that Florida’s students simply don’t need so many liberal arts courses and will cut the GEP by two classes (6 credit hours). To make matters worse, of the two courses remaining to be required in teach of the areas (ours being Social and Cultural Foundations), one will be determined by the university and all students will have to take a section of that course. The remaining course will be competed for by all the area disciplines. I'd say the chances that Humanities will be the chosen required course are about as good as Ron Paul's shot at the Republican nomination.
My heart ached as I heard this news. Our higher education system seems to be doomed to being flushed down the toilet by lawmakers without a clue about higher education. And I thought we were mass producing mindless mediocrity before.
As Yeats asserted nearly a century ago, we are in a time of major change. Instability is the rule, not the exception. Somehow, it seems that the more of the same, as lame as it might have been, simply is not possible. And the positive aspects of a true college education increasing have the appearance of an endangered species. "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
As my head was spinning today, I wondered how much more of this insanity I can stand. Indeed, I wonder to what degree I am complicit in that insanity. Amidst the din of anxious voices and the rush of my own hypertension in my inner ear,I could hear the small, still voice in the depths of my soul asking ever so softly, “So, to what is my life calling me now? And how will I know?”
The Rev. Harry Scott Coverston, J.D., Ph.D.
Member, Florida Bar (inactive status)
Priest, Episcopal Church (Dio. of El Camino Real, CA)
Instructor: Humanities, Religion, Philosophy of Law
University of Central Florida, Orlando
If the unexamined life is not worth living, surely an unexamined belief system,
be it religious or political, is not worth holding.
Most things of value do not lend themselves to production in sound bytes.