Sphere College Project

A New World of Learning

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Thank You!!!

Another short, sweet post, but probably one of the most important…

I’m sitting here in Steel City Coffeehouse writing thank you notes to the people who have contributed funds to support the College. It’s long overdue—frankly, I must admit that I felt as though there were more important things to do. I now realize how wrong I was. And much like solving a very, very difficult problem in mathematics, it’s always obvious once you know the answer!

I must say that the feeling I’m getting from writing these notes is unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. It’s almost overpowering when it’s done from a really genuine place. In fact, as I write I realize that I’ve actually been avoiding writing these notes because I was afraid of the unfamiliar feelings I would get from truly saying “Thank You” to the people who are supporting the achievement of dreams—not just mine, but those of the faculty and students of Sphere College. Let me just say to you that it feels very good to say “Thank You”, and I highly recommend it. And it’s not just for financial contributions. It’s for any form of support, including reading this blog. So…

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

I’m pretty sure I’ll be making a habit of this. Ta ta for now. It’s time for me to get back to writing!

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Happy Mother’s Day

It’s a short one today:

Friday night we had a fundraiser, a Black and White Affair, at Molly Maguire’s in Phoenixville. The event was very successful and we at Sphere College are indebted to Will Poskitt and his many friends for making it happen! I, for one, had a chance to meet some wonderful people and catch up with many friends as well. For me, meeting new people and regularly being around people I know and love make for some of the nicest experiences in building the College.

And now I’m off to enjoy a nice Mother’s Day. This can be a conflicting and confusing for many. I understand this, and simply wish you peace today no matter what your position on the day may be, and thank all the mothers for all they do.

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Event Speeches

Tonight, Friday May 7th, we’re having a Black and White (and Red) fundraiser on the third floor of Molly Maguire’s in Phoenixville. The event is free and open to the public. Details are available in the recent blog post, “Black and White Affair”. Come prepared to support the College!

With each event I need to make a speech. It’s really important to convey a sense of what the College is about and the effect it will have on society. Now, as a trombone player and computer scientist making this kind of speech wasn’t exactly something I learned about. Although I’ve spoken to tons of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders (literally!) about music and musical instruments, and an equal weight in adults about topics in computer science, I haven’t been in a position of regularly making this particular kind of speech—one that involves emotion. Each time I do it, it gets easier.

You’ve probably all heard standard advice about preparing speeches, and I’ve been employing it: use humor, keep to the point, imagine the audience naked (that one’s not really working so well—who thought of that one?!), and practicing in front of a mirror (the Chinese hanging with a demon face on it is good, too). That’s the best I can do, so tonight I’ll really dig down deep and deliver everything I’ve got.

I look forward to seeing people there all dressed up and enjoying themselves in support of a good cause, and I hope to get an opportunity to meet everyone!

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Note the new header image. Thank you Jonathan Stewart, student of Sphere College and graphic artist, for providing the artwork! Jonathan has also donated a great deal of his time and expertise developing the brochure for the college.

Please join us for a special evening fundraiser for Sphere College on Friday May 7th from 8pm to 12am on the third floor of Molly Maguire’s in Phoenixville. More details, including dress code, are available in the recent blog post, “Black and White Affair”. The event is free and open to the public. Remember to stop by the ATM beforehand so you’ll be able to purchase lots of raffle tickets!

Strategies for funding Sphere College are becoming clearer each day. The contributions that continue to come in help us to purchase supplies, defray costs of incidental expenses like membership of the College to the Phoenixville Area Time Bank, printing of brochures, the creation of a very nice sign we can use at various events, and so on. We are deeply appreciative of your ongoing support.

However, we are spending faster than we are bringing in the funds. We have great need to secure funding for a permanent space, and to hire several people who can form a solid core of the infrastructure of the College. I’m confident that there are high net worth individuals who are deeply passionate about doing good work in their community and who can bring these goals to fruition. I am certain that once they learn about what we’ve been doing and what the future vision of the college is, they will be compelled to provide substantial financial support. I just haven’t met these people yet.

This is where I need your help. There are people out there reading this blog (it’s now getting roughly 80 hits per day compared to 12 hits per day a year ago) who either personally know such an individual, or who know someone who does. I ask you to put me in contact (info (at) spherecollege.org) with one of these individuals in any way you choose. You can introduce me to them directly, or provide me with their contact info and let them know I will be contacting them. I will then sit down with them to discuss what the college is about.

Once all their questions are answered they will clearly see how beneficial it will be for our society for a significantly higher percentage of members of our community to be engaged in educating themselves about the things they are passionate about. It is inevitable that when people follow their passions that they will acquire knowledge that will help them create a more responsive and effective government. Waiting for people who are unable to find a job to resort to means of sustaining themselves that are unhealthy for them is also unhealthy for society. We will end up incarcerating them and paying through the nose for the justice and “correction” system. Instead, we should first provide them with an environment in which they can learn the skills that will allow them to contribute to society, and we should do so in a way that works with their learning styles.

So please take some time to think about who you know who and put me in touch with them. In the meantime, keep your contributions coming. They not only help sustain us as we work to expand, but also demonstrate broad support for the vision of the college. And stay tuned here for developments with Sphere College.


Black and White Affair

My good friend Will Poskitt and friends decided to throw a party/fundraiser. We are extremely honored that they selected Sphere College to be the beneficiary.

The description, posted on the Facebook page for the event, is as follows:

In lieu of life being fantastic within a world of need I will be hosting a Black Tie / Black and White/Formal Affair and fundraiser with close friends by renting out the spacious 3rd floor and bar of Molly Maguire’s.

Official date is Friday May 7th from 8pm to 12am.

As to food or possible dinner before hand I will be consulting with friends and researching different alternatives.

This is an open event, the third floor pretty mondo so bring any friends you would like. Dress code* will be in effect and strictly enforced. Please drink responsibly. If you will be drinking please arrange a designated driver ahead of time.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
— William Butler Yeats

We are excited to announce Phoenixville’s very own Sphere College as the beneficiary for this event. Thank you truly for all of your wonderful suggestions for possible charities to receive donations. We envision that success of Sphere College and its students will in turn benefit the other charities and the populations they serve.

While no donation is required, any and all contributions will greatly be appreciated. Donations can be made by check to “Sheltering Arms/Sphere College” and are tax deductable. Please indicate whether or not you would like to be identified by name on the Sphere College website as a contributor. Our target is $3000, which would pay for fees, renovations and one month’s rent for a suitable space for the College to move into.

Founder Dr. Richard Liston will be making a brief presentation to share the heart and mission of Sphere College. Or he may be moved to play the ukulele, do standup comedy, break dance, rap or whatever comes to mind.

I have been a friend of Dr. Liston’s for nearly two years and can testify to both the dedication and sacrifice he has made in order to make Sphere College a reality. I am personally thrilled to be a part of supporting this school and its growing impact on our community. I would encourage you to review the Sphere College website to learn more.

More info can be found at http://spherecollege.org

Please feel free to contact Richard with any questions here on Facebook.

Ladies: Black, White, and/or Red Cocktail-to-Formal style attire.
Men: Black and White attire; Black White and/or Red Tie/Handkerchief.