My thought was that I didn't understand what CR had observed.  Then when he answered, I wondered how he saw the compassion manifest, how slight the slightest exposure was, why the effects he saw could accurately be attributable to this exposure, how his commerce students differed from others,  were they brutes before, and so forth.

I try to continually get my students to think about humanity.  I tell them that "man's inhumanity to man" (explaining about the use of man...) is more accurately "man's humanity to man," since it is our behavior.  I'm relentless, I hope, in presenting opportunities to think hard and deeply about humankind in response to good and great writing, but I don't turn literature (including the classics) into sociology or morality teaching, unless a given work asks to be read that way (can't think of any that do, but I don't count out finding such).  I don't assume I begin with brutes and end with angels.  I see character revealed in my students, but I don't concern myself with it in a different way than I do with anyone's; that is, I respect their autonomy and don't think them other than people.  So, I wondered about CR's experiences since they seem so different than mine.

As to whether the slightest exposure (reading a fragment of Sappho) or a scrupulous course (or many) of study (in an institution or in life) is the cause of all subsequent behavior and thought, I think the discussion is off onto a ridiculous angle.  The brutes and the angels both drink water.

(I make no claim that these are "thoughts of my own" sans what I have learned from others),

Peter Montgomery wrote:
Have you any thoughts of your own to contribute, Marcia?
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask]" href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Marcia Karp
To: [log in to unmask]" href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 5:56 AM
Subject: Re: Test of Time

What profound affects did you see? 


Chokh Raj wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">
I recall that my commerce students' slightest exposure  to the classics
affected them (their human consciousness) in a profound manner. An
exclusive pursuit of practical careers, I suppose, might pave the way for
worldly success but, I'm afraid, it leaves much to be desired in the growth
of our human personality.  Reminded of Eliot's teacher, Irving Babbitt's
stress on the classics.

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