When we stop listening, we stop learning
I spent 10-plus years teaching high school STEM subjects after a 25-year career in industry. Most of that time was in a very elite, liberal prep school in Gates Mills, Ohio. I was undoubtedly one of the few conservatives on the faculty. The differences of opinion between my colleagues and me were never divisive. We socialized as work colleagues and socialized after hours with our spouses. Occasionally, topics arose that had a political bent to them but we were able to discuss in a civil manner, respect each other’s opinion, and learn from each other. That was all 15 years ago.
Today, I am distressed by that lack of ability to have a civil discourse and actively listen to all opinions. While the problem seems to be pervasive in society, the world of academia gets the most negative publicity on this matter. I am delighted that we on the Eastern Shore are going to be able to hear from a University of Pennsylvania professor who has been belittled and bullied by her own administration and colleagues for expressing views that are not extreme and are worthy of a robust discussion (even if you disagree). Amy Wax made national news with the outrage at her school when she expressed her views on affirmative action and conventional social values.
What a treat to be able to have free expression 5 p.m. Oct 19 at Talbot County Free Library. I applaud American Conversations for the courage to bring this conversation to Easton with Wax. It is a subject that everyone on the political spectrum should care about. JOSEPH DICICCO