One of my favorite quotes comes by way of Gottfried Leibniz’s book Philosophical Investigations, it reads “I agree with you that it is important to examine our presuppositions, thoroughly and once for all, in order to establish something solid.” This blog is an attempting to allow potential University of Chicago students to examine their presuppositions about the U of C and its MAPH program in light of my experience in the program.
And just who is the “me” behind this “my experience”? Well, I am a thirty-something amateur philosopher, happily married to his high school sweetheart, who successfully traversed U of C’s nine month Masters of Humanities gauntlet. With a teacher as a wife and previous work experience as a teaching assistant, research assistant, and–part time–drum instructor, I’ve always been fascinated with the challenges of education and questions of pedagogical method. As a result my musings try not only to describe my time at the U of C through the eyes of a student, but also attempt to tease out the program’s implicit methodological philosophy–tempering my rants with real suggestions for reform and also stepping back to consider the benefit and value of a MAPH education.
This blog represents one year (from August of 2011 to August of 2012) and persists on the net as a resource–albeit a resource with an expiration date–like a time capsule with periodic updates. It is my hope that my accounts of my experience and the experiences of a handful of frequent contributors and guest bloggers will help others make informed decisions about whether or not the MAPH represents the next logical step in their academic growth or perhaps some valuable advice on how to negotiate the program for those already in its thrall.
MAPHmatically Yours consists of over 155 posts written immediately before, immediately after and while I was a student whose chronological organization–while convenient while I was writing it–is less than helpful to those trying to research some particular question or topic. The category tabs on the right side of this page and the search function will assist those not willing to wade through the program in narrative order. If you are here looking for general information on the MAPH program, use the categories tab on the right side of the page and select “MAPH Program” or “Curriculum.” For my thoughts on Hyde Park and Chicagoland at large check out “Living in Hyde Park.” For comparisons of the MAPH program with more or less contemporary educational trends and some more detail oriented posts check out “Pedagogy and Higher Education.” If you would like to see actual samples of MAPH assignments, discussions, and the sort of thinking that characterizes a MAPH student, click on the “Philosophical musings.” Posts tagged “AfterMAPH” represent an afterward and thoughts on transitioning from one who has graduated from the program for those who are about to collect their diplomas and say good-bye to Hyde Park. Eventually, a new category “Revisions & Updates” will pop into existence to collect posts designed to build bridges between my experience of the program stuck in a perpetual 2011-2012 school year and any changes that occur as the MAPH program in subsequent years. Posts are cross listed in multiple categories, but should provide a method of guided reading.
Contrary to what some of the archive posts might tell you, there is no longer a MAPHmatically Yours email address for the submission of questions or concerns. However, the comment box at the bottom of this page may be used to reach me and arrange further conversation. Enjoy!