Only when the past ceases to trouble and anticipations of the future are not perturbing is a being wholly united with his environment and therefore fully alive. ~ John Dewey (Professor of Philosophy, University of Michigan, 1884-1894)
A man I’ve never met or heard of, a stranger, wrote me a letter on Saturday morning. It’s not the only one I got in response to my open letter to Chris Webber. But this one, more than any other, stopped me absolutely cold in my tracks so simple, direct, and vivid was it in its declaration of why and how things like the Fab Five, their banners, and Michigan basketball matter.
They saved John Gorman’s life. Read more
Dear Mr. Webber,
You don’t know me. And I don’t know you, though I know some of your close friends. So let me first introduce myself. In 1993, when your heart was broken in front of a national television audience, I was 27 years old and near the end of my first year as a professor at the University of Michigan. Read more
When Jimmy King visited class last week, one of the things he advised the students was to treat negative publicity “like alphabet soup.” I won’t directly reproduce his salty metaphor, but the gist of it was that you take the negativity, digest it as fuel, eliminate the waste product, and move on. He’s really, really, really good at that. I don’t know how many times some outrageous, negative thing has been said about Jimmy or his teammates or about some of the current Michigan players that I’ve taught over the past two years, and I begin to blow my stack about it and Jimmy always comes back to calm me down with some version of “alphabet soup. It’s not that I don’t understand it. I do. And if I were the target of the negativity I think I would find it easier to follow Jimmy’s advice.
But when my friends or my students are targeted by the negativity, I’m unable to tolerate it. Read more
Everything that stirs us and causes us to cringe during the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament every year can be explained in this way: adolescents using adolescence to try to overcome adolescence. Read more