For 2014, our community selected “METAMORPHOSES” as our Jan Term theme. Take a moment to reflect on some of the most interesting notes submitted on this theme by students, faculty, and staff...
METAMORPHOSES: It's about transformation and becoming, about processes and products, about aspirations and ends.
The word "metamorphosis”, meaning "transformation, transforming", derives etymologically from Greek: (meta-), "change" + (morphe), "form".
In choosing the plural form of “metamorphosis” for our Jan Term 2014 theme, our community voiced its passion for many kinds of learning in a modern world whose rates of change are, in many ways, clearly accelerating, and whose forms of change are themselves changing.
– One pragmatically-minded student sent us this reflection: “Understanding and embracing change is a key ability in our world. This theme can encompass a broad set of approaches to learning how to skillfully initiate and handle change.”
– With an eye to our 2014 curriculum, another wrote: “In pointing our attention to processes of change, it resonates broadly with many disciplines and subjects. It captures the spirit of Jan Term itself: an opportunity for intense transformative experiences.”
– From a faculty member who was quite inspired by this theme, we received the following: “Transformation is THE puzzle of our time: from what to what? How? Why? When change comes, how can we best know when to do what? Should we lead or follow? Submit or resist? Affirm? Deny? Analyze? Beautify?... All of the above???”
– A staff member wrote: “In metamorphoses, there are harmonies between continuity and change.” Here’s a few words from the Western canon, old and new, that illustrate this idea:
- "The only constant is change" – Heraclitus
- "In order for something to change, something must remain the same" – Aristotle
- “What does not change / is the will to change” – Charles Olson
– Many students also submitted thoughts that reflect specifically on their own experiences as young adults in higher education – for example:
“As students, we are all undergoing significant transformation in all aspects of our lives -- provided we allow it. We can change, grow, and develop, and Jan Term is a great opportunity to do that.”
– One student took the occasion to reflect on change in the whole cycle of life:
“I like the link this theme has to life, vitality, and transition as a beautiful thing meant to be embraced (even if difficult).”
– …and another sent us this moving statement, with which we’ll sign off for now:
“I find change in one body more interesting than differences between bodies.”
Thanks to all who submitted their reflections!
May 2014 Meta-Morph your world!