Literature of my early college days

img_3221I have been rereading my English literature textbook from Howard Payne College in the early 1960s.  Mr. Robnett was my professor and he taught me Shakespeare as well.

I implored my students in my career to save their textbooks and refer to them as they went out into the world, or prophetically for myself as well as them, “You can read them in your old age.”  I thought I would read my books again and, so, here I am.

From Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses,” I made a note in the the 1960s to study and now in 2018, I read these lines again,

We are not now that strength which in the old days

Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Tennyson wrote those lines in 1842, one hundred years before my birth in 1942, during World War II.

I hope my history and world civilization students kept some of their textbooks and on a rainy day read the lines of whatever interests them and kindly remember me as their teacher of history whose definition of the field was, “History is philosophy with examples.”  For I remember my students…and our books.

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Department of Philosophy–University of Texas at Austin

UT College of Liberal Arts Department of Philosophy.

Click the link above.  Please read the three questions poised under the category of “Welcome.”  Do you have personal, developing answers to the three questions?  Any class you take in college and university should be providing you a platform or answers (partial or complete) to those three questions; that includes college courses in history, literature, biology, math, or the arts.

If you are not examining answers to these questions daily, then you need to be.  You have a choice to resolve doubt as much as you can  Just do it.

I quote from the Department of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin, webpage.

Philosophers have generally taken several questions as central:

  • What is there? (And, what, in particular, am I?)
  • How do I know?
  • What should I do?

The Philosophy Department of the University of Texas at Austin carries on that tradition.

Poor Students Struggle as Class Plays a Greater Role in Success – NYTimes.com

Poor Students Struggle as Class Plays a Greater Role in Success – NYTimes.com.

I’m an instructor at one of these colleges. We just ended a semester and issued the grades. Guess who gets the “F’s” ? It’s not for lack of intelligence. It’s lack of transportation, lack of babysitting, lack of a stable home environment to do homework, lack of family support, lack of any tradition of “succeeding” in the family, and employers who won’t work with these kids to schedule them so they get to class. Low attendance is the #1 cause for failure, lack of homework is right up there too. If you’re behind the 8-ball, it’s so much harder to ever get ahead. But we instructors can’t lower the bar, either. We have to hold every student up to the same criteria. I don’t know what the solution is. And whatever the solution is, there’s no money to pay for it anyway. All the money flows to the Cayman Islands these days.