Food for Thought

Typically, I would be a bit bothered if I had to attend the same class twice in one day. However, this week there was a pretty great exception when I got to go to my professor’s house for an informal dinner and conversation.

Students listening carefully to their professor in his sitting room after finishing dinner.

Professor Hersh, the professor of my Theory and Practice in American Education seminar, invited my class to his home just 15 minutes from Yale’s campus in Hamden, CT. Many of us thought we would just get a small dinner and talk for most of the time about our readings from class. However, once we got there we were invited by our professor, his wife, beautiful pieces of art and a lot of food to feed fifteen people. Instead of keeping the format of the typical classroom that is focused on readings and the syllabus, this “dinner class” was a great chance for every student to know more about each other and share a relaxed conversation on our thoughts on any aspect of education.

An Eskiimo wood carving of three men on a boat holding a rope.

My professor and his wife made each of us feel very at home and made sharing our opinions so easy because we had no thoughts of grades or being college students; we were just people with great opinions sharing dinner, conversation and laughter. The breaks to have brownies, look at the cool Eskimo art in my professor’s house and talk about the difference between a cappella groups at Yale (my class has a member of Shades and a member of the Spizzwinks(?) in it) fit in great with our talks on the purposes and goals of education and how different institutions should go about achieving them.

When I got back to Yale that night, I felt like I understood not only my professor and his life more, but also the lives of my fellow classmates. Though it happened 15 minutes from Yale, I am excited that it is because of Yale that I got to learn so much about education, the people who learn it with me and Eskimo art from Canada.