Harrison Middleton University
The Raven
Gertrude Stein
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Rachel Carson

Category: Syntopicon

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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October 27, 2023

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

Viola Cordova was one of the first Native American women to earn a degree in philosophy. Born in 1937, she grew up in Taos, New Mexico. Embracing both her own past and her curiosity of the world, she discarded notions that philosophy should be separated into categories like white or western. Instead, she focused on using all of the tools that we have been given,

 » Read more about: V. F. Cordova Describes Energy  »

August 26, 2022

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

From Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:

“I wonder whether what I see and seem to understand about nature is merely one of the accidents of freedom, repeated by chance before my eyes, or whether it has any counterpart in the worlds beyond Tinker Creek. I find in quantum mechanics a world symbolically similar to my world at the creek.

 » Read more about: A Peek at Knowledge  »

July 23, 2021

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

Harrison Middleton University’s July Quarterly Discussion revolved around ideas of justice. We focused on two pieces of literature, one excerpt from Thucydides and the other a letter written by Simón Bolívar. Both pieces introduce ideas of justice which deserve a second look in comparison to our understanding of justice today. Thanks to the participants of July’s Quarterly discussion which,

 » Read more about: Working Definition of Justice  »

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  »

March 13, 2020

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

According to Virginia Woolf, reading is virtuous. The endeavor – performed well – enhances one’s being. It pleases her to see books on shelves in coffee houses, children’s rooms, and kitchens. In The Common Reader, Woolf celebrates the fact that reading, having evolved over many hundreds of years, has become a staple of the human lifestyle.

 » Read more about: Using Virginia Woolf to Discuss Emotion  »

January 31, 2020

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

“Genome engineered plants and animals are happening right now. And this puts in front of all of us a huge responsibility to consider carefully both the unintended consequences as well as the intended impacts of a scientific breakthrough.” – Jennifer Duodna, TED Talk

In January’s Quarterly Discussion, we looked at The Law by Hippocrates and also some videos and an article by Jennifer Duodna,

 » Read more about: Hippocrates and Gene-editing  »

January 11, 2019

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

“Let’s listen with our eyes and not just our ears. That would be the ideal.” –Christine Sun Kim

Early exposure to language seems to be the key in all languages. The key to what? Success in that language, or with language in general? Or in society? What is the bar for success and how is it measured?

 » Read more about: What’s Your Sign?  »

January 4, 2019

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

Some members in my family celebrate New Year’s Eve with lutefisk or sauerkraut. Some people celebrate with both. I, however, draw the line at lutefisk. I just cannot stomach it. What seems to me to be a petty difference of taste really bothers others, though. They fear bad karma (or something) when I disrespect the tradition. We turn this into a joke at the dinner table,

 » Read more about: Celebrate the Old and New  »

October 5, 2018

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

Spoiler alert: if you are midway through The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, maybe you should bookmark this post because I am going to talk about her character development throughout the first season. If you are not yet familiar with this show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is about a young Jewish woman whose husband leaves her for his secretary.

 » Read more about: Mrs. Maisel’s Emotions  »

July 27, 2018

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

Food is often thought of in terms of comfort, enjoyment, family gatherings, and parties. We have barbecues in summer and stews in winter. Messy finger foods accompany sporting events and polite finger foods accompany baby showers. These things are linked by their participation in custom. Custom (or convention), as discussed in the Syntopicon, stems from public opinion.

 » Read more about: Betty Crocker Culture  »

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