About “dense, joyous, modern . . .”

“Dense, Joyous, Modern . . .”    {Graduate Liberal Studies Life}

I’m the director of DePaul University’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program and its sister program, Master of Arts/Master of Science of Interdisciplinary Studies Program.  From our offices on Racine Avenue, the western boundary of DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus, we see the rest of the city more easily than we see the rest of the campus.  And our adult students are often more involved in their lives away from the university than they are in what gets called “campus life.”  But we’re all thinking about graduate learning in an exhilarating interdisciplinary way.  Our official websites (http://las.depaul.edu/mals/ and http://las.depaul.edu/ids/) are full of information, but are not so good for reflections on what’s happening in the program, or cool things that people should know about, or big questions that we’ve got to figure out.  Although the blog will be funneled through me, I’m looking to add guest bloggers from students and faculty before too long.

David Gitomer

I knew I would find the name of the blog in Whitman.  Uncle Walt’s openness to all kinds of knowledge from all sorts of people everywhere in the globe, and his yearning and willingness to plunge into the heart of experience make him our hero. Illinois is of course the Prairie State.

David Gitomer

Walt Whitman, “The Prairie States” from Leaves of Grass

A newer garden of creation, no primal solitude,

Dense, joyous, modern, populous millions, cities and farms,

With iron interlaced, composite, tied, many in one,

By all the world contributed—freedom’s and law’s and thrift’s society,

The crown and teeming paradise, so far, of time’s accumulations,

To justify the past.

The banner shows the arm of Hakki, student in our program.  After reading the Hindu epic Ramayana in my graduate course on India last winter, he had his upper arm encircled with characters from the story.  Hakki showed me his tattoo at our last gathering, and I felt that great professor pleasure knowing that a course experience had worked its way into a student’s notion of what he was about.  The tat is “dense, joyous, modern.”   More on Hakki’s tattoos in a post coming very soon.

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