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Devraj Kori
It was the tension between these two poles- a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other- that kept me going.
It was the tension between these two poles- a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other- that kept me going.

Devraj's posts

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I wrote this piece comparison #EvertonFC  Manager Roberto Martinez and #DCUnited  manager Ben Olsen.  Check it out if you have some time this rainy weekend ahead of tomorrow's Merseyside Derby  #EFC

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I was inspired by an awesome piece in the new W&L student publication, the Stone, to write a short response.  Hope you like it.

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Despite being out of college for a few years now, I still frequently read articles and literature that I feel readily relate to the themes of this course.  However, I've found that day to day, learning about mindfulness is much easier to do than actually engaging in mindfulness; I often use those articles as another source of cheap stimulation. 

I came across this link, and it made me take a step back.  When I get out of the habit, it's difficult for me to return to meditative practices. This helped me take the first step

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So I started writing what was going to be a blog post comparing Albert Camus's The Myth of Sisyphus to Roberto Martinez, the manager of the english soccer team Everton FC (Tim Howard's team for those of you that watched the World Cup).  It ended up turning into a pretty long essay since I found it tough to summarize Camus's writing. 

This is a rough draft of that essay, I'm sorry that it's so long but if any of you have spare time to read I would love to get any feedback on it.  I wasn't really sure of the audience I'm writing for, I had hoped it would be understandable to people who are only casually familiar with soccer and casually familiar with philosophy, but there's a good chance I failed on both counts.

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David Brat's wikipedia page has been edited over 500 times today alone, as of 1:45 pm on June 11th.  Brat defeated sitting house majority leader Erick Cantor in the Virginia 7th congressional district GOP primary. 

I think the history page provides an interesting glimpse at an ongoing battle of rhetoric.  Click on some older versions, and compare them to both the version prior to that revision, and to the current version.  

For instance, the current version phrases the primary result as Brat's "upset victory," rather than Cantor's "upset defeat."  There is also a push to emphasize that he was a professor of "economics."  

Further, in the 24-hour journalism cycle, time is of the essence and many journalists unfamiliar with Brat will turn to wikipedia as a source.  It'll be interesting to see how the victories won in the rhetorical battle over Brat's wiki permeate into the mainstream media's coverage. 

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I'm very sorry to hear this, but I respect Professor Velasquez's decision. To cling to A Course About Nothing beyond its time would seem to run contrary to the lessons I learned in that very course.  It is fruitless to hold on to "nothing", to wish in vain that Washington and Lee university would make an effort to practice the values of a true liberal arts education, the values it has no trouble touting to prospective students. 

For now, I will just try to be grateful that I was able to experience the challenges, rigors, and personal revelations of a Velasquez course. I also feel for future generations of W&L students who will be deprived of such an experience.  

Non Incautus Futuri - Not Unmindful of the Future.  I don't know any latin so I'm sure there's a reason for the double negative, but I get the sense that it takes "Incautus" - unmindfulness - as the status quo.  "Non Incautus" is then something other than what is presumed, something we ought to strive for. Education is a never-ending journey, and if W&L's motto is something to work towards, rather than something immediately realized, perhaps the school is simply not yet ready for classes with a stated focus on Mindfulness. The irony and hypocrisy is not lost on me. 

What is won't always be, and I think few students who read Plato today have much sympathy for Socrates' sentencers.  *The time will come where the philistines who punish impiety to the gods of college rankings and wall-street job placements are looked upon with similar ridicule.  *

Thanks for everything Professor, what has transpired here is unfair and the loss to the W&L community is far more bitter than the taste of hemlock.  I hope I can play some part in whatever project you take on next. 

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I will try to keep this brief, for a little context W&L Professor Velasquez has been asked to "take contemplation out" of his political philosophy courses by the university administration.  Those of you who experienced a Velasquez course know that his methods may seem unusual or unorthodox.  His upper-level courses would incorporate meditation, yoga, and spin classes along with rigorous course readings and writing assignments to create a unique and fully engaging educational experience.  

In this letter, Professor Velasquez asks to be seen before the Executive Committee.  In their request to "take contemplation out", the faculty administration has implied that his courses/methods have caused harm to the W&L community, so to me it is appropriate for the body charged with overseeing the trust of the W&L community to investigate these allegations.  

To me, Washington and Lee University is not a vocational school.  I may not share motives with the typical student, but I did not choose to attend W&L solely to increase my future salary potential.  I was drawn in by the promise of a well-rounded liberal arts education, one that permeates all aspects of college life well beyond the classroom.

I believe Professor Velasquez's courses exemplify the notion of a liberal arts education.  A Course About Nothing was a transformative experience for me, it allowed me to internalize the academic lessons I experienced in politics, economics, and philosophy courses throughout my academic career in a unique way that fundamentally changed the way I approach the world around me.

 I also think it's disquietingly fitting that the man who introduced me to Socrates now faces pressure for practicing a pedagogy which the powers that be view as strange and dangerous.  

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Animated philosophical dialogue about whether the social progress over the last few centuries of human history was made possible by Reason or Empathy.
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