A pilot event for a Tusculum College program entitled “Explorations in Thought” was held Jan. 11-12 at the Roan Mountain Bed and Breakfast at Roan Mountain, Tenn.
A group of faculty, staff and alumni, along with a member of the college’s Board of Trustees, joined to explore and discuss the theme “Heroism: the Persistence of the Human Spirit.” This was done through a common reading of Timothy Egan’s “The Worst Hard Time,” a book chronicling the struggles of Depression-era Americans who faced the “Dust Bowl,” the worst environmental disaster in American history.
They also watched films with a similar focus on heroism: “Hotel Rwanda” and a film concerning Dr. Jeri Nielsen’s struggle to treat her own breast cancer while she was stationed at the South Pole.
Participants also engaged in activities to foster further discussion of how to develop and honor heroes in the classroom and community as part of Tusculum College’s focus on the Civic Arts.
“This was a successful event, helping to develop campus community,” said one participating faculty member. “I enjoyed getting to know my colleagues and members of our broader campus community better. I have never considered addressing the issue of heroism before in class, but I am now considering ways to incorporate it into my course this block.”
The concept for “Explorations in Thought” was suggested by Interim President Dr. Russell Nichols.