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“Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome”

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts > News, Events & More > “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome”

“The quest for Wisdom will not be stopped by a mere pandemic!” one our faculty members was overheard to say. During the last few weeks, the students and faculty of the college have embraced the challenge of online courses whole-heartedly and are improvising, adapting, and overcoming the obstacles. A few snapshots:

  • Last week in a class devoted to the thought of Duns Scotus, led by one of our newest faculty members, Erik van Versendaal, Anthony Esolen began the class by reading Gerard Manly Hopkins poem “Duns Scotus’s Oxford.” Only at Magdalen would we begin a class in philosophy with a poem. This took place on the Feast of the Annunciation and so it was fitting that the conversation turned to Scotus’ championing of the Immaculate Conception.
  • In Euclidean geometry, led by John Klucinec, students have begun the study of the theory of parallels, a section crucial in demonstrating the Pythagorean Theorem.
  • In Humanities we continue our journey through Dante’s Divine Comedy, with classes led by Brian FitzGerald, Mary Mumbach, and Anthony Esolen. This journey makes perfect reading for Lent and will culminate on the last day of classes before Easter.
  • In Physics the juniors are concluding their study of Newtonian Physics, specifically the application of Newton’s Laws in the real world. The science of flight is currently being investigated, which includes the complex notions of fluid flows, viscosity, and the boundary layer. In the final weeks of the semester, Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity will be studied and followed by Feynman’s treatment of Quantum Mechanics.
  • In Writing Workshop, Mary Mumbach will undertake with the freshmen what has become a rite of passage for the students: the close reading of T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland.
  • Brian FitzGerald has, for the last few classes, been leading students through Christopher Dawson’s thought as it is collected in Christianity and European Culture. Their reflections have included the question of whether a person can inhabit multiple cultures simultaneously.
  • Though students cannot continue to sing as a choir, Debbie Harne has taken this opportunity to teach music theory. The class has been divided by skill level and instruction is being “tuned” to each group.

To learn more about the college’s academic program.  Please visit our website here.

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