There’s something infinitely enriching about discovering that there is a wealth of culture right in your backyard. Dr. McMahon decided to take our Honors Systematic Theology Class out for Thai food as a cultural enrichment.
When I first heard that the Honors Program was returning to the symphony this year, I remembered what an amazing experience the symphony had been last March. I thought to myself, “There’s no way they can top Sebelius.” But, I noticed that the concert this year was focused on Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. While I will be the first to admit that I am no classical music expert nor do I purport to be more than a casual listener while I study, I vividly remembered Gershwin from my elementary school days. I had a music teacher who was passionate about Gershwin, and from my perspective, passion tends to be memorable. So, I had high hopes as I awaited this year’s concert.
John Stuart Mill, a 19th century English philosopher, said in his work On Liberty that “… the only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion.” He uses the term ‘discussion’ to characterize this gathering of variety of opinion. Mill suggests that it is through discussion with others who have different opinions from ours that we learn.
As a student, it is easy to forget why we are attending college at all. Too often we get caught up in the dates and assignments, the exams that seem to come in floods every few weeks, the stress of juggling sports, activities, good health, socialization and the almost always forgotten, getting enough sleep. Sometimes, striking a balance between all our responsibilities is incredibly difficult, and it doesn’t leave us with much time to sit back and think about what we are really doing here. So, friends, fellow students and even faculty, I suggest we take a few minutes to do just that.
Friday night, students in Dr. McMahon’s Honors Systematic Theology I and Dr. Sharbaugh’s Honors First Theology classes gathered for a night of food, fellowship and culture.
We traveled to Squirrel Hill to eat dinner at Curry on Murray, a Thai restaurant on Murray Avenue. For some, it was a first-time experience trying Thai cuisine. We tried dumplings and crab rangoon, and most ordered the classic Pad Thai dish for dinner. We enjoyed an evening getting to know our fellow classmates and professors outside of the classroom while eating delicious food.
I sometimes listen to classical music when I study. My sister is a musician, and I attend her concerts here and there. But, I can’t recall a time where I’ve chosen to go to a professional concert outside of some class or other obligation. It’s not like I don’t enjoy music or its benefits; I’ve just never had a chance to go. That changed for me after the Honors Program took a trip to the Pittsburgh Symphony.