Monday, April 23, 2007

More thoughts on Virginia Tech

About a month ago I paid a brief visit to the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Their graduate school has developed some wonderfully innovative programs, so our graduate school sent a few of us, members of the Task Force on Graduate Education, to check the place out. Graduate dean Karen DePauw and her staff were energetic, enthusiastic, and generous with their time. They also arranged for us to have a long lunch with a dozen or so graduate students, who told us about their experiences with graduate education. They were engaging and bright and excited about learning. I have no reason to think the grad students who died on April 16 were any different, although I'd rather not think about that -- nor the fact that many of my own graduate students are much the same.

So, I was thinking that it all hits rather close to home. But that was before I read my student Elyse's recent post, in which she describes finding out that one of those omnipresent pictures we've all been seeing was actually of someone she knows.

How impossible it is to comprehend.

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"More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given" --Bertrand Russell

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