Fresh Minds, Waiting to be
Colleagues, the new academic year is upon us. The freshmen are here. For us, it’s the same old drill. For them, it’s a brand, brave, new world. Some are scared spitless, others excited at the scent of new freedom, others have wild oats waiting to be felt and seized, and still others believe themselves ready to take on the establishment and conquer old paradigms with the wisdom of youth.
And we, the old paradigms, are laughing behind our wizened beards.
Each of these is about to undergo probably the greatest intellectual rite of passage in their lives. Their bodies are fully developed, but their minds are about to have the greatest growth spurt since the acquisition of language.
The question that lies before us then, colleagues, is will we try to shape these minds, to force them into some mold, conform them to the image of society, prepare them to be good little worker bees with our droning?
Or will we give them tools and train them in their usage so that they will engage their assumptions and perceptions, challenge to seek what is truth, to keep that and reject the rest, to be able to pierce the veils of mere rhetoric to examine for meaning and clear thought?
One is the easy way out. The other is our job, and duty.