The current press for either the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) or the Competency-Based Online Course (CBOC) makes clear that the old-style liberal arts colloquium has failed. But here's the thing: the false dilemma is nothing new.
When challenged about the effect on their psyches of what I generically dub anti-social media, students assure me that they are fully social, but their integration and communication is with a society other than the one in the room.
If you haven't seen this series of videos, they're a great learning/teaching resource on the painting techniques of the Abstract Expressionists -- specifically Pollock, Newman, Rothko, Reinhardt and Kline -- by Corey d'Augustine of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
We all have our own journey to make with our own set of challenges. But one thing is for sure: personal transformation takes time, accountability and encouragement. It can happen organically through personal relationships or through enlisting an outside coach or joining a group.
By embracing a culture of innovation, demanding a sound mind in a sound body and accepting the challenges and dangers of annual war-like campaigns, the modern NFL comes close to exemplifying the spirit of ancient Athens.
My family often says that I'm too modest but I am simply seeing the truth of these outcomes. What I realize now is that my approach essentially stresses the same things my father advised me at a young age: focus on the inputs and take credit only for that.
There are caveats, of course, but at the end of the day, if we are open to new ways of understanding what is valuable, beyond simple aggregation of audience or dollars, then culture will truly advance.
Coincidently, in the 60's, we were told of a new brewing trouble and the freedom bell was rung again. A new enemy had arisen, this time, the political philosophy of communism. The word "enemy," interestingly, comes from Latin and means "not friend."