Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Visiting EMU, remembering my student years

I went back to Eastern Michigan University Tuesday to cover a story about several literature professors who started a rock band back in 2008, and are now playing shows to raise money for textbook scholarships.
I went to EMU for both undergraduate and graduate school, and had the chance to learn under, and work with, many of the faculty members in the English Department.
Needless to say, I was able to catch up with a lot of people there I hadn't seen in quite some time.
Anyway, I met with Joe Csicsila who is a member of the band, called the Ypsi Mayflys, and a Mark Twain scholar by profession.
It was interesting to hear from Joe how the band just sort of evolved out of a common musical interest shared by these guys.
My story on their music and fundraising activities will be on soon, but the visit also prompted me to start thinking how fortunate we are in this area to have access to all of these institutes of higher learning nestled so closely together.
I'm curious by nature, so I get a profound feeling of contentment walking into places like these, dedicated to musing on, researching and documenting various aspects of life and the human condition.
It seems we're prompted to follow patterns so often in our society that these educational institutions stand out as something of a last refuge for the person seeking enlightenment.
Sure, some would argue current educational policies are based on financial figures and not the betterment of the mind. However, talking with teachers like Joe Csicsila, it is easy to reaffirm one's faith in the stability of contemporary scholastics.
Perhaps too expensive, perhaps jaded by political pandering, higher learning certainly faces challenges.
However, it seems we'll all be better in the end if we keep chasing after learning for learning's sake, even if it means facing some intimidating road blocks.


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