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Morrissey College of Arts and Science

UN55701 Life, A Tightrope

capstone program

Daniel Kirschner

Professor in Biology

Office: Higgins Hall, Room 515
Telephone: 617-552-0211

Course offered in Spring 2010

Course Description

Given that each of us is part nahr (fool) and part mensch (one worthy of respect), how do we achieve balance between the two? Should we even attempt to achieve such an inner balance? How do we answer Hillel's challenge from the first century C.E.: "If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?" In our aim to carry on with BC's objective to "Light the World", how do we develop/maintain our own "inner light" as it pertains to family, relationships, vocation, community, faith traditions, and avocation? How do we maintain a balance among these diverse commitments?

This seminar will confront these questions. We will consider the varied inputs that feed who we are and that help to inform our individual life decisions. Though forged by genetics, family, community, school, and faith traditions, our identities are in constant flux—challenged by the inevitable change around us or driven inwardly as we actively make choices.

Through discussion, and reading and writing assignments, we will explore our identities from different perspectives, our decision making up until this time, our expectations for the future, and strategies for future decision making that may help to link our inner and outer balances. We anticipate having at least one guest speaker who is an exemplar of one who has crossed disciplines to achieve personal and professional balance.