Recently, I’ve been helping my partner redesign his website. As a result, one of the phrases that’s been popular around our house lately is “fully responsive template.” Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you know what I’m talking about, but for those that might not, a fully responsive template is a website page template that adjusts your content in response to the technology your reader is using to read it. In an age when your reader may be using a cellphone, a tablet or a standard computer screen, it’s a really useful thing to have.
I am also currently mapping out my spring courses. Especially, I am going Amerigo Vespucci all over the section of Introduction to Philosophy I am teaching as a dual enrollment course at a local high school. I’ve been teaching Intro for 4 years now. Not only am I ready for a good shake up of the material, but I well aware that I have an opportunity to turn a group of kids on to philosophy as something vital and inspiring.
Additionally, I am preparing for a conference in March on the philosophy of Jean-Luc Marion. The paper I’ll be presenting is an extension of the arguments I made in my graduate thesis, arguments that I’m really passionate about. It’s the first writing I’ve done on this particular line of thinking in awhile. On the one hand, I’m thrilled to once again wield the exquisite tool of technical language. Having been away from this kind of rigorous writing, I newly appreciate how much complicated thinking can be contained in a single word. On the other hand, having been teaching philosophy at the community college level for the last four years, I know that the same technical language that enables me to say so much, creates the possibility that a larger audience will hear very little. And I believe, as passionately as I do anything else, that the larger audience deserves to hear it. More than that, that if philosophy has anything to say about human existence, then it has a duty to make that truth as accessible to as many humans as possible.
So, I’m conducting a bit of an experiment. I’m going to try to construct this semester’s Intro to Philosophy class with a “fully responsive template.” It’s not just that I intend to use social media and internet sources (which I definitely do, visit my fledgeling Storify page), but I intend to demonstrate to my students that philosophy is a living discipline and then, hopefully, inspire them to live it.
Have ideas for me? Please join the conversation. That responsive thing, you know.