There are some exciting new developments in the life of Cyrus! To start, I recently applied for a program through the ExCollege. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a department at Tufts that arranges for lecturers from other universities or unique disciplines to give courses on something of their choosing, often something you wouldn’t normally find as a university class. To give you an idea of what’s usually offered, here are a couple choice morsels from this upcoming fall:
Sorry, Not Sorry: The Apology Through a Social Justice Lens, taught by Quinn Philips, a graduate student in Diversity and Inclusion Leadership program at Tufts.
Medicinal Plants: From the Sacred to the Scientific, taught by two people; John de la Parra, an ethnobotanist and researcher at Harvard who has a PhD in chemistry from Northeastern University, and Ernest Anemone, a lawyer and ethnobotanist specializing in issues surrounding the use of plants by society.
Whether these courses interest you or not, I encourage you to go to the ExCollege website and check out what courses have been offered in the past or will be offered in the future. This is a really unique department offered at Tufts, so take a look.
That all being said, what exactly did I apply for? Every fall, incoming first-year students have the choice to take an “explorations seminar” through the ExCollege, which cover an absurdly wide range of topics (take a look) and are taught by current Tufts juniors and seniors. These instructors plan and teach the entire course and also conduct academic advising for everyone enrolled in their class. Just a couple weeks ago, I submitted my application to teach a course “On Goodness and BS” (title in progress), in which students would discuss the issues of “what makes a person a good person vs. a bad person?” and also “how do we identify BS in various kinds of information?” In the last section of the course, we would combine both topics and look at what sort of obligation (if any) we have towards responding to BS and how we would best do that. There would be fun assignments inviting students to reflect critically on their beliefs and how they change, and also ones where students would note the kinds and volume of BS they hear on a daily basis, to discuss in class. I’m incredibly excited to teach this course because it covers some important information, and if approved, I hope you will consider enrolling!