Dr. Logsdon’s “Stories Beneath the Elms” Continue…

Joseph Robert Martin, Jr. Class of 2009

I chose Eureka College because it was away from my hometown and the only college that allowed me to attend. I did not know anything about the school before I moved on campus. My first impressions of the campus and its students reminded me of a summer camp, which was not the greatest feeling. However I was open minded about meeting new people and creating new friendships. I did not join any Greek fraternities or participate in extracurricular activities besides working. I spent most of my time in the forest playing disc golf and relaxing by the lake.

As I reflect on my first experiences in the classroom at Eureka College, I immediately regret my lack of effort. It was not until my second semester Comp II where I immersed myself in the readings and partook in thought experiments with my peers and myself. I started my college career intending to major in business administration, but changed to sociology and psychology. Loren Logsdon sparked my interest in academia through his Comp II class readings which included Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander. Also during the second semester of my freshman year I was enrolled in Sociology 101. With interdisciplinary courses I was able to connect these two classes in my final Comp II paper. I incorporated sociological themes of alienation and technology with the readings from my Comp II class. After this semester I changed my major and graduated from Eureka College with a B.S. in sociology and psychology. Currently I am attending graduate school for applied sociology, and I owe this endeavor to Loren Logsdon and his Comp II class.

In addition to Dr. Logsdon, I am grateful to William J. Staudenmeier, Jr. and Scott Hemmenway for providing me an academic foundation for furthering my higher education. Dr. Staudenmeier stimulated my urge for knowledge and provided outlets to reach my potential. His difficult and heavy workload gave me the confidence to apply myself and attend graduate school in sociology. As for Dr. Hemmenway, I see myself as a natural philosopher, always questioning and critiquing people and things. I am a philosopher at heart and appreciate the way Dr. Hemmenway contemplated things with his students about philosophical ideas. His classes are very similar to my graduate level courses where students discuss intellectual ideas in an encouraging environment.

I have many personal stories about Eureka College, but the main memories I have include playing disc golf and developing my ability to learn. My academic work at Eureka College fueled my thirst for knowledge and tuned my intellectual capabilities. Education should be teaching people how to learn rather than what to learn. I think the courses I enrolled in at Eureka College were meta-education classes where I learned how to learn, which gave me invaluable tools for furthering my education.

I am not a school spirit type of person and never fully submersed myself in the Eureka College spirit. To be honest, I did not like living on campus and moved to an apartment my junior year. Eureka College traditions and ceremonies may have affected others in a special way, but not for me. I believe that not being involved in Greek organizations, student government, or any other extracurricular activities may have influenced my lack of interest in the Eureka College spirit. I am not a fan of Ronald Reagan’s politics or economics, and I found the spirit of his legacy heavily influencing Eureka College. I am grateful for my professors giving me the ability to gain knowledge to further my life’s goal of becoming good, just, wise, and active in social change.

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