Monday, June 25, 2007

And The Band Played On

Greetings from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania



Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band


On Saturday, a couple of my good friends and I ventured over to the College for a Band concert. The Band is called Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band. They play the music that you would have listened and danced to on a summer’s evening if you had lived in the time just after the Civil War to the turn from the 19th to the 20th centuries. Some of the selections they played were traditional American songs of the time such as “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” by F.J. Keller and “The Washington Post” by John Phillip Sousa. The Cornet Band also played some selections from “Un ballo in maschera” and Terzetto and Finale “Attila” by (Joanne knows this) Giuseppe Verdi. I really enjoy this type of music very much and I wasn’t sure if my friends were going to like it or not. It turned out that my friends loved the concert and we had a grand time.

Clothier Hall and Bell Tower


The College we went to for the concert is Swarthmore College. It was established in 1864. I grew up and have lived near this college for many years and the sight of the Bell Tower is very familiar to me. The campus itself is so beautiful and well maintained. The concert was held in the Amphitheater of the Scott Arboretum. Every time that I visit the college though, I can’t help feeling that the College has lost their way some how along the way towards actual higher education. This college is probably one of the most liberal institutions in America today. Whenever I comment on other blogs or I am confronted by belligerent liberals and they ask me what I know about liberalism I can refer directly to my experiences with Swarthmore College.

It does no good to rant about the people that go to or run Swarthmore College. The institution itself is a very noble one. I can only hope that someday that they will return to the days when all ideas were considered and not just those of a narrow and close minded ideology. I think after having a history that began in 1864 they would owe it to themselves and their students to consider all ideas.


If Still Your Orchards Bear


Brother, that breathe the August air
Ten thousand years from now,
And smell—if still your orchards bear
Tart apples on the bough—

The early windfall under the tree,
And see the red fruit shine,
I cannot think your thoughts will be
Much different from mine.

Should at that moment the full moon
Step forth upon the hill,
And memories hard to bear at noon,
By moonlight harder still,
Form in the shadow of the trees, —
Things that you could not spare
And live, or so you thought, yet these
All gone, and you still there,

A man no longer what he was,
Nor yet the thing he'd planned,
The chilly apple from the grass
Warmed by your living hand—

I think you will have need of tears;
I think they will not flow;
Supposing in ten thousand years
Men ache, as they do now.



Edna St. Vincent Millay

9 comments:

thipple said...

I can only hope that someday that they will return to the days when all ideas were considered and not just those of a narrow and close minded ideology. I think after having a history that began in 1864 they would owe it to themselves and their students to consider all ideas.

What makes you imply that all ideas are not considered and that there is a narrow and closed minded ideology?????

J_G said...

Swarthmore has adopted the liberal ideology that makes it impossible to do anything but use every resource available to support the unsupportable.

J_G said...

I'm sorry thipple you must permit access to your blog or you will not be able to comment here again. I don't appreciate people that cannot stand behind the things they say.

Mike's America said...

Thipple. I can answer your question.

The very determined effort that liberals at all levels of education make to exclude views that are not compatible with their ideology is proof.

For example: Viewing Al Gore's propaganda film on global warming is required of many elementary students. But it would be forbidden to offer the students a viewing of "The Great Global Warming Swindle" because THAT film is considered "political."

I had the same experience in university when I went to set up a College Republican Club. We had the Womyn's Center and the Black Student group openly advocating political viewpoints. But I was told that my group was not compatible with the University charter because we were "political."

Now that I've answered your question, perhaps you could answer one of mine: Why is it that the people who preach diversity and tolerance are the least tolerant of diversity of political thought?

City Troll said...

If I knew you were in the neighborhood Monica and I would have had you over for coffee and a laugh

J_G said...

Why Thank you city Troll. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing. I very much enjoy the physical beauty of the Swarthmore College, the campus is very well maintained but it is rotting from within.

Like I said in my post I have lived very close to this once great institution of learning but as Mike pointed out so eloquently it is not the only university to reject ideas that do not correspond with predetermined ideas. Higher education has become something of a misnomer, it is now a situation where they decide what the outcome is beforehand and then use all of their available resources to support the unsupportable.

Thank you for the input Gentleman. I have this thing about people that insist on being anonymous and not willing to be part of legitimate dialogue.

SusieQ said...

Jenni, you look adorable (but so tiny) sitting in that great big lawn chair. I am glad you had a nice time. I like things like that too.

Speaking of higher education and liberals and their closed minds, have you read Allan Bloom's book Closing Of The American Mind. In it he writes about all of that. The book came out in the late 80's and was a best seller.

J_G said...

I haven't read that book Susie. I'll take a look around and see if I can find a copy. It's a pretty well documented fact though and it's a shame too. The US used to be a leader in education but not any longer. Gosh, they have remedial reading courses in most colleges today before you even start taking regular classes.

I have to say though, Swarthmore does have an Engineering school but I'm not sure how they are ranked.

Villanova used to be "the" Engineering school in the area but they succumbed to the route of easy money and turned it into a law school back in the late 80s early 90s. I remarked to a friend that taught math there years ago, its just what we need, more lawyers to sue companies whose equipment fails due the lack of qualified Engineers. Drexel is the school for Engineering now and they are getting bigger and better at it too. Drexle has come a long way in the last two decades. There is hope.

Petra said...

Good words.