Harrison Middleton University
The Raven
Gertrude Stein
astronomical clock
Rachel Carson

Category: Emotion

We’re excited that you’ve joined the conversation! At HMU, we want to continue the great authors’ conversations in a contemporary context, and this blog will help us do that. We look back to Aristotle and the early philosophers who used reason and discourse to gain wisdom and now we endeavor to do the same every day.

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April 5, 2024

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

It’s an unlikely pairing, but reading Moby Dick feels a lot like taking a deep dive into a Queen album. First, you’re in gospel, then punk rock, then opera, and all of this about some seemingly mundane thing, like a bicycle. Or, in the case of Moby Dick, into the world of whaling. There are entire chapters on the shape of a whale’s head,

 » Read more about: Moby Dick and Queen  »

March 8, 2024

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

If there’s one thing you know about me by now, it’s that I value discussion. This past weekend, a number of students, staff and alumni gathered in Tempe, Arizona for a rare in-person meeting. We last met just before COVID, which caused a few years hiatus. Happily, we were finally able to renew this tradition. HMU President Joe Coulson started us off with an excellent introductory discussion about the similarities between music and poetry.

 » Read more about: Sonny’s Blues Discussion  »

September 30, 2022

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Some of the primary texts that we study at Harrison Middleton University date back to the Roman Empire. Obviously we use popular translations of these texts, but it is always a worthy exercise to look at the primary texts. Much information can be gained by looking at the original versus the translation.

It is also interesting to note how prevalent Latin is in American society today.

 » Read more about: Latin Translation  »

July 8, 2022

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Happiness is of such importance that the Declaration of Independence uses it as a foundational principle. Considering its importance in my own society, one would think that I thoroughly understand the term. However, it is as slippery today as it has always been. Sometimes I believe that my own personal happiness is necessary because it will assist me to support those around me.

 » Read more about: Where is Happiness  »

Ahab Rages and Odysseus Weeps: Trauma as a Core Concept for Humanistic Inquiry

June 24, 2022

Thanks to David C. Yamada, a 2022 Fellow in Ideas, for today’s post.

The Great Books of the Western World series includes the two-volume Syntopicon, An Index to the Great Ideas, which contains 102 core ideas and accompanying entries that help to frame the major works to follow.

 » Read more about: Discussing Trauma  »

Friday, May 6, 2022

Thanks to David Kirichenko, a 2022 Fellow in Ideas recipient, for today’s post.

Understanding your place in the universe is difficult. It requires facing, and then transcending, your deepest concerns, with death as one of our core fears. One day you will die. Everyone you know and love will die. All of us began aging from the day we were born, and death does not wait at the end of life’s road – it is with us throughout life’s journey.

 » Read more about: The Art of Meditating on Mortality  »

February 18, 2022

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

In Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film Rashomon few facts can be established. As with most murder mysteries, the viewer sees a tangled web of evidence unfold before them. Unlike most murder mysteries, the audience begins to assume the role of judge and jury. Though we never receive an answer to the crime, the audience weighs details from each testimonial.

 » Read more about: Truth in Rashomon  »

October 8, 2021

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

During the 90s, Seinfeld garnered a huge viewership. In an attempt to bring the classics to the present, our recent Quarterly Discussion drew connections between Seinfeld and Aristotle’s Poetics. We also tried to discover keys to the sitcom’s great appeal. Considering the characters’ petty, stubborn behavior, what exactly did viewers identify with?

 » Read more about: Classics in a Contemporary World  »

June 11, 2021

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

When looking through the Syntopicon under “F,” I find Family, Fate, and Form. Yet, the more I think about it, I want to find Forgiveness.

Merriam-Webster defines “forgive” as: to cease to feel resentment against; to give up resentment or requital; to grant relief from payment; to cancel an indebtedness. It comes from Old English (OE) “for-gifan” which had various meanings,

 » Read more about: Forgiveness  »

April 2, 2021

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

As a reader, and a human, I am always drawn towards love’s many dimensions. Unlike Janus who faces in two directions only (forward and backward), love is indescribably complex. For that reason, it absolutely fascinates me. Although Louise Glück’s book Ararat from 1990 includes many moments of pain and loss, it also offers an amazing lament for the idea of love.

 » Read more about: Louise Glück, Ararat  »

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