Sphere College Project

A New World of Learning


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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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A Pound of Flesh

On the heels of the first anniversary celebration on Tuesday night last week we had a fantastic class on Thursday night. The discussion was about Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

Why are we reading/discussing Shakespeare? Well, for several reasons. My former students at Ursinus College have been doing book drives collecting texts that Sphere College students can use. In fact, I have stacks of texts in my kitchen waiting to be handed out: The Epic of Gilgamesh, Galileo, Genesis, The Qur’an, The Bhagavad-Gita and more. In Sphere College we go in the direction students choose to go given our interests and the resources at hand. I had a stack of Merchant, and a number of the students thought that it would be a good experience to approach Shakespeare, so there we go.

Shakespeare proves to be a very rich source of material for exploring ‘Self and Other’. Our discussion included gender similarities and differences, the letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law, the nature of bargains, morality questions related to charging interest for loans, what the implications are for an economy based on loans for growth, how social norms in one society can affect social attitudes in seemingly remote societies, and other topics.

We’ll be continuing with Merchant this Thursday night, then move on to something brought in by one of the students.

In the meantime, I continue working to build the infrastructure of the College during a time of economic difficulty. But hey, I do love a challenge—particularly one that will have such a huge payoff in its affect on our society: a practical program of education for adults that allows them to go through the transformation they wish to go through. Frankly, I’ve wracked my brain and I can’t think of anything at all that would have greater positive influence. Stay tuned! Help out!

And as always we welcome your financial support. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount—any amount will help. Just visit the DONATE! page and make a small, tax-deductable contribution. It will help us pay for the people who are making this possible (right now that’s me, Michael and Virginia), it will help defray costs for creating and printing brochures and mailing materials, for purchasing supplies, and it will pay for our memberships—we belong to the Phoenixville Area Time Bank, and we very recently joined the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia!


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Passing the Baton

Really great class last night. And it was the first night I got to participate completely in the role of student!

I passed the baton to Michael Reddy, who is taking over responsibility for the Thu night class. What a relief to have someone so capable of managing a discussion! And I get to learn along with the other students. That’s a large part of the idea here: a college administration that understands that we’re all learning together.

The discussion last night was a reading, suggested by one of the students, involving the metaphor of the earth as Divine Mother. We learned a lot about Self and Other in the process.

Next up, we’ll consider masculine/feminine in the character Portia in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.


DON’T FORGET: Join us for the Sphere College First Anniversary Celebration? It’s Tuesday, April 20 at the historic Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville. Reception at 6pm, presentation at 7pm, screening entries to the Sphere College Short Film Contest at 7:30, feature film, Living in Oblivion at 8pm. Here’s the press release. Come on out! Bring friends! Bring enemies! bring random strangers!