Coffee and brains
Concordia did some “world cafés,” which reminded me of the MC Scholars’ Philo Cafés that I loved so much. A Philo Café was a gathering of the 25 students of the Scholars Program along with its four Core professors (professors of history, literature, philosophy and music) in which we had the opportunity to talk about the course material in an informal setting. These were perhaps the most memorable and enjoyable part of the program, and I find that I have been wanting to recreate that sort of exchange with students at Concordia this past year. However, I’ve been largely frustrated to find that there is no equivalent here, no events conducive to such a dialogue set up for any subject. In actively seeking such a thing, or even just other students so interested in anthropology that they would want to talk about it without the context of the classroom, I became involved with Concordia’s Sociology and Anthropology Student Union. I come away to find that so far, in my classes most students and professors find it disruptive to the class when I ask questions or raise a topic for discussion, and though a handful have approached me to say that they like my insights or that they agree with me, I have yet to sit down and have a conversation with anyone about their ideas surrounding a certain discipline or its concepts. (Sadly, I have only managed to blurt out many of my own at someone who I thought might engage me in such a dialogue, only to find that they simply wanted my notes from class.)
I guess I’ll just have to host my own modern-day salon, my own hub of intellectual discussion, in the befitting Mile End.