Continuing Developments

This week has seen me survive a terrible case of the flu, and struggle immensely with midterms.  But despite feeling like Atlas, I have made some progress with our project.  We now have a definitive time set up to interview Darin Waters, and are nearly done drafting up a list of questions to talk to him about.  We originally were wanting to interview him tomorrow, but he is leading a committee on race in North Carolina tomorrow, so his schedule is very busy.  Not deterred, I have also been in contact with the administrator of a facility on our campus known as the Reuter Center.  This is an area where adults from the Asheville community can continue or begin their higher education without having to go through the typical college class experience.  I think interviewing a student there would be incredibly interesting, as many of them have been taking classes at UNCA for years, simply enjoying the liberal arts educational process instead of focusing on trying to get a degree.  I’m especially interested in hearing their opinions on UNCA’s development, and it’s move towards a more digital form of the humanities and liberal arts.  A final thing I’d like to discuss, unrelated to our project, is the visit Tim Kaine, Hillary’s running mate, recently made to our campus.  After having a few days to reflect upon and process everything that he said, I was left with a question posed by Senator Kaine that is very relevant to our course: Why is public higher education so exorbitantly expensive in the United States compared to other Western nations?  The culture and attitude surrounding college education in the US is a far cry from the way many European nations view it.  Regardless of your political views, I think we can all agree that college education in America is in need of a serious reform.  Acts such as the GI Bill have tried to even out the playing field, but it still remains difficult for students to attend college without aid.  In addition, the stigma against liberal arts educations and the push for more vocational fields makes schools such as ours even more important to continue the liberal arts narrative.

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