"Paideia and the Roads You Travel Down" [9/10]

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"Paideia and the Roads You Travel Down"
A note from Aaron Schmaltz Inside Giving intern

When I think Luther College, several words come to mind: liberal arts, community, faith, Norwegian, and of course, Paideia. While my first year at Luther significantly shaped me as a critical thinker, writer and student, I cannot help but draw upon my memorable Paideia experiences.

Essentially, Paideia represents Luther as a liberal arts college; it prompts students to be aware of the intersections among disciplines, it provides possibilities for dialogue between perspectives, and it makes connections.

Paideia is hailed as a "common experience [which] helps students build community and integrate learning."

Similarly, The Sesquicentennial Fund, Luther's $50 million initiative, embodies Paidiea's lifelong lessons: "Luther is dedicated to a way of learning that moves us beyond immediate interests and present knowledge into a larger world."

Upon entering my Paideia classroom for the first time, I could tell that some important relationships would be made. Sometimes I wish I could go back and revel in that moment, in meeting my professor and classmates.

I recall Mark Muggli, my Paideia professor, as being big on performance and theater. And so at different points during the course, we presented our interpretations of Plato's Allegory of the Cave or Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. This required improvisation and communication on our part, thereby providing a firm foundation for expression and knowledge.

Recently I spoke with Professor of History and current Paideia Director, Jacqueline Wilkie, who told me that graduated students come back talking about Paideia. "They come to me and say 'I can't believe how important this is! I find it out in the real world all the time.'" I thought about where I'd be in twenty years. Would I be surprised to turn around and find that Paideia had followed me all this way?

Ultimately, Paideia is a journey, a push in the right direction.

When I think Luther College, I begin to notice how everything is connected. I lived in a dorm named for Luther's Norwegian heritage, I participate in a growing community, and I further my education in the place that fits me. Imagine where I'll go next.

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