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Shimer College

About anything but ordinary

Shimer College video Apr. 6th, 2012 @ 07:12 pm
Great new video portrait of Shimer; transcript available here:

Shimer College: About · Early entrance · Shimer in Oxford · BA to JD · Request info

Interview with Ed Noonan May. 14th, 2010 @ 01:24 pm
Part 1: Part 2: Part 3:

Information sources in the current crisis Mar. 5th, 2010 @ 02:36 pm
The situation that faces Shimer in early 2010 can be approximately summarized as follows:

Shimer College currently faces a grave threat to its independence and academic freedom. This threat dates to 2007 and stems from a previously anonymous donor, activist Barre Seid, working in concert 1954 Shimer alum Patrick Parker. Together they have covertly garnered undue influence over the Shimer board. In 2008, failing to disclose their financial ties, Seid employees John Marienau and Chuck Lang joined the board, along with Seid grantee and PR flack Joe Bast. In 2009, under Seid's financial pressure, the board hired preferred Parker/Seid candidate Thomas Lindsay to the office of the president over three preferred candidates. President Lindsay began bypassing official Shimer College hiring and firing procedures and reshaping the admissions and development offices based on what appear to be political criteria. In 2009, still failing to disclose financial ties, thirteen further trustees with ties to Seid were added to the board for the sole purpose of garnering Seid/Parker a majority vote. To preserve this majority vote and change the school's mission, six qualified nominees to the board, all Shimer alums, have since been tabled by Parker/Seid. There have now followed threats to oust the original faculty, staff and board. Faculty contracts end June 15 2010 and a curriculum review is pending. The faculty, students and alumni of Shimer College stand united against the Parker/Seid president and the Parker/Seid half of the Board.
Specific requests for help will be forthcoming shortly.

You can stay relatively up to date on Shimer events by following one or more of these blogs: 
Shimer College and the Future (still going strong!)
Shimer Student Alliance
Shimer Alumni Alliance Blog

Also, if you tweet, please join the conversation on Twitter at #shimercollege.
i am: determineddetermined

This does not fill me with hope for the future of Shimer Nov. 16th, 2009 @ 06:31 pm

I urge you to write the board.

Update on Adam Sep. 1st, 2009 @ 10:27 pm
From his brother, David:

Great News!!!! CT scan back early, and his brain is going to be completely sound! THANK GOD! They are aiming at a Thursday reconstruction surgery. That is the serious business, as the upper half of his face is basically floating in there. If all goes well, he could be on a regular floor after that! The doctor told him about the floating facial bones, and Adam says, "So, no rugby?" The doctor laughed!

You may donate to his fund via:


Adam Metschke Aug. 28th, 2009 @ 06:09 am
From Facebook:

David M., Adam's brother: Everyone pray for Adam. He was in a motorcycle accident this evening. It looks bad, but we don't know how bad. I will update everyone as soon as I know more. ca. 9:00 p.m. PST

Adam just came out of surgery. We don't know anything yet, but the surgeon said that "He did really well" I will continue to keep everyone informed. Thanks for keeping him in your prayers. 1:00 a.m. PST

Richard C., Adam's friend and classmate:

We were able to talk with a doctor briefly who told us Adam did really well in surgery all things considered. All they keep telling us is that it's really too early to tell how recovery will go. And still very little information about the actual events surrounding the accident. 2:00 a.m. PST

From Emily, his sister-in-law: Thank you all for your positive thoughts and prayers. Keep them coming. Adam needs all the love we can give him.

Ha! Aug. 27th, 2008 @ 01:43 am

Let us sue the Army for plagiarism Jan. 16th, 2008 @ 02:14 am

Oh, I'm sure I am the last one to have seen this, but dang!

Support Shimer businesses! Nov. 9th, 2007 @ 10:59 am
Country Mouse plays Friday nights at Cafe Cyberia in Chicago, and Harbor Lights in Winthrop Harbor is also Shimer-owned. Anyone want to arrange a field trip to these places?

Shrugs Sep. 1st, 2007 @ 12:55 pm

Old and crusty Shimerite - or is that Shimerian? Mar. 30th, 2007 @ 09:08 am
Hi everyone - I went to Shimer when it was on the Mt. Carrol, Illinois campus, and it's been interesting to read down through the posts.

What to do with a liberal arts degree?  I was already in love with libraries when I started at Shimer, so I became a librarian and have enjoyed that for a few decades now, although I've had romances with geographic information systems and other alluring occupations.

Book sale Jan. 15th, 2007 @ 09:25 pm

Come try, come try/ come buy, come buy!

Desperately seeking Oct. 10th, 2006 @ 11:05 pm
I'm looking to speak to W Warui and Tanya P (full names omitted for privacy purposes), alumnae from the early part of this decade. If anyone talks to them, please give them my contact infomation (this username at livejournal.com).



Shimer pictures Sep. 2nd, 2006 @ 02:15 pm
Here is a picture from visiting the Waukegan campus (Psyche and Katie H. in the tree). I have maxed out my flickr account (under the name of spikethemuffin) with other pictures from same, and posted the picture of Godot's kitchen to my own lj. It's better if you click it to make it full-sized.

Read more...Collapse )

Sacred stones Aug. 15th, 2006 @ 06:28 am
Talked to the B & G guy, who said that there are no plans for Shimerhenge. Talked to my mother, who lives in Rogers Park; she is willing to take Shimerhenge for as long as it takes to find a proper home for it. Anyone object? Speak now or forever hold your peace. (From this weekend: "I can just imagine Wolf coming back and, I don't know, eating Shimerhenge so no-one else can have it.")

teaching English with a Shimer degree Jul. 13th, 2006 @ 02:49 pm
hi everyone,

I was writing because I'm applying for a one-year post-bacc teacher certification program through a local community college. Because of the No Child Left Behind laws, in order for a person to teach high school English (for example), they need to be "highly specialized" in their field. So basically I need to have 24 credit hours in my subject matter. Unfortunately, my Shimer transcript lists things like "Hum 1" and when I told them it was the equivalent to Literature, they told me lit classes don't transfer to "English" and in fact I'd need to have ENG or COMP (English or Composition) classes in order for those credits to count.

Since I already am $15,000 in debt for a degree I haven't ever really used, it would be nice to not have to spend an extra year and couple thousand dollars taking English or Composition classs.

Has anybody had this problem? Maybe a nice letter from Shimer indicating that ALL the classes were HEAVILY focused in Composition would help?

Thanks in advance,
Current Location: Tucson, AZ
i am: frustratedfrustrated

After the Storm that is Graduating: May. 24th, 2006 @ 02:44 pm
I have mixed feelings about this campus now, the nostalgic way in which people congregate on its lawns and classroom tables. There is this removed sense, as though my umbilical cord to this place has been severed, finally, and I am now without the shifting and heavy weight that this campus placed upon my back.*perhaps I allowed for that, but let's face it, people, it ain't easy here, not always*

So, what to do with this Liberal Arts/Humanities degree? I feel lost, suddenly.
Who are you consolidating your loans with? Got any good references?

something pretty and interesting: May. 19th, 2006 @ 06:11 pm
i found this website with oil paintings--portraits of philosophers that some of us really like. i actually found it by googling for a picture from the movie Zorba the Greek, with anthony quinn, and subsequently found out that the author, nikos kazantzakis, of the original novel Zorba the Greek, that i started reading yesterday, is actually considered a philosopher. i'm only a chapter in but i kinda knew that already by the way he writes and what about....everyone should read that book. shimer would love it.
I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.Collapse )
i am: tiredtired

Missing Heirs May. 9th, 2006 @ 08:35 pm
...I helped the daughter of someone who claimed to be the grandson of the former dean of Shimer college--- fellow by the name of Aaron Brumbaugh--- get a job cutting hair on cruise ships yesterday.

Smeltularity ensued.

Alert! Apr. 24th, 2006 @ 11:57 am
Solidarity night is NOT the 29th, as I had heard.

It wil be May 13th.

Thank you,

The naked chick.

X-posted to my own journal

Chocolate Apr. 6th, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

Does anyone remember the chocolate tastings we used to have?

Heh. We left those Michiganders in the dust. We were so snobby about brands! Well, I was anyway. And didn't it pay off? Chocolate from four continents. Cadbury's vs. Callebaut. Cake vs. quiche. The importance of love as an ingredient, especially with the bittersweet.

Yeah, yeah. The new crop of students are so virtuous, they don't do anything so frivolous or unhealthy as chocolate. They don't know what they're missing.

May Day... Mar. 11th, 2006 @ 03:53 pm
Do they still do the Maypole? I have such lovely memories of Mayday... maybe I'll write up my memories, although I think it would take Psyche or Sarah or even Kathleen to do it justice...

Also, since Soli Night does not seem to be in the offing, maybe one last Beltane would be the thing for alums to say goodbye with and pass the torch on... given the surprised expression on someone's face when I made my last offering at Shimerhenge ("You left your..." she said...), my glancing impression is that they don't have a terribly pagan crowd out there, but I could be wrong, as it may just be that B & G was sick of cleaning candle wax and flowers remnants off the stones and asked that the offerings be more spiritual or at least self-policed... or it could be that the new crop of pagans is so hardcore, they don't jibe with the patriarchal four "cardinal" directions. Would it be intrusive to go back?

Anyone got a thirteen-foot pole? Anyone got reels of ribbon? Anyone got drums? Tobacco? Whiskey for the little people and hearts that are true? Feet for dancing and a longing to be out under the stars? Wood to burn? A pipe to play?

Pretty sure I could put a couple people up in Chicago, if there's interest.

Mar. 2nd, 2006 @ 11:27 am
Hi all,

I'm an IIT alumnus. I posted a bit earlier on the Shimmer blog. Anyways, I've been reading your comments and thoughts on moving. I know it's quite a move Shimer, especially to a place that is so different but it somewhat pains me to see how you generally characterize IIT students! I know you do not wish to be mean spirited and I'm sure this move is hard on all of you but please give IIT a chance before you brush it aside. IIT is not a robotic institution where everyone wears pocket protectors and programs TI calculators for fun. I , myself, graduated with in 2004 with a degree in molecular biochemistry and biophysics and it really could not be further from engineering. More so, I have had a strong interest for many things including culture, literature, and such. I even took a Shakespeare course while attending IIT because I have a genuine interest in Shakespeare!

Take my fiancee for example, she graduated from IIT with a degree in political science and she came as a transfer student from Moscow. She loves art and Russian literature including Pushkin and Dovstoyevsky. Believe me, I met many interesting people from IIT who were incredibly intelligent and interested in many aspects of the liberal arts.

And really, many students do have an interest in art. Just take a look at the IIT campus, it is a shrine to architecture and was built by Mies van der Rohe. The architecture students love making art and designing things. In fact one of IIT's downtown schools is the Institute of Design. The archies spend many hours on their projects and many are truly creative people. Please do not cast all of us as stoic CS majors or engineers who all wear horn rimmed glasses and find programming as the most fulfilling point in our lives. I hope that I can convince you otherwise because it really hurts me to see the generalizations people draw about my alma mater. Also just to let you know, there is a gay/lesbian/bi club on campus called Spectrum and it is one of the most active clubs on campus.

Please, if you'd like to know more about IIT just talk to an alum or student. I'm not an official representative or anything but I'd like to talk to people who are curious, or wish to know more about IIT including everything from where to live to just knowing the people. My AIM is "hitokirishinji". Feel free to message me, I'd love to get to know you all and hopefully dispel any misunderstandings. I'm actually located in North Chicago, mere minutes from Waukegan so believe me I know the difference between living here and down at IIT!

Free stuff! Feb. 25th, 2006 @ 09:54 am
I *had* depended on Hunter House to haul away my excess furniture. I don't know if they are planning to show. Before the 27th/ 28th, I need to get rid of:

A cherrywood tv hutch and record cabinet
A marble-and-birch(?) nightstand, very lovely, maybe in need of a little tlc
Several pounds of non-perishable foodstuffs, mostly various sorts of flour and spices
Many books
A kitchen table and chair
Bolster pillows for reading in bed
Such books as are too Shimerian to be donated to the Waukegan Public Library
A fan
Funky lamp


Bookshelves! Several of various provenance, large and small. Oh, holy crap, who doesn't need bookshelves. These I'm selling for $5 each (will take post-dated checks, Paypal or promissory notes), or you can grab a couple of bags of discarded clothes and haul 'em to some place that accepts donations or use them yourself (they are all clean, women's medium & men's large).

Call me, Laura H: 224 392 1080

Rooms: Feb. 16th, 2006 @ 08:14 pm

I'm in a bind right now, and need to find a temporary place to live, til shortly after graduation. I don't really want to sign a long term lease. Room mates are fine, as are pets. Please let me know if you have any info.
You can email me at invisible_isis@yahoo.com if you do.



An Open Letter Feb. 8th, 2006 @ 03:48 pm
When I first heard the news about Shimer moving to Chicago, I was both surprised and jealous. My surprise stemmed from the fact that the idea of moving seemed to come very unexpectedly. I was jealous because when I first came to Shimer, my friends and I would always talk about how amazing it would be if Shimer could be somewhere in the city. I wanted to have a Shimer-in-Chicago experience. My feelings soon shifted to a general uncaring attitude because as a Senior, no matter what happens next year, I won't be around to experience it. So I said fuck it -- I decided not to participate in any of the meetings about IIT or the vote -- the whole process seemed beyond my control anyway.

As I started to hear more information about IIT, the less exciting it sounded. In my visions of a Chicago campus, I always thought it would be wonderful if Shimer had its own dedicated campus somewhere closer to the city, but this IIT situation was nothing of the sort. First of all, it's on the south end of downtown in an area that really isn't all too appealing for a plethora of reasons. Secondly it's a technical college. While I feel like the fact that it is a technical college says enough, I will elaborate on how ridiculous it is that a liberal arts college is moving into a building that is much more appropriate for scenes from the movie "2001: a space odyssey". The space and people we will be surrounding ourselves with are not inspiring for delicious conversations about art and philosophy.

Okay, so none of this really even mattered to me until I went to the "fireside with Bill Rice" yesterday. I was ready to dismiss Shimer and bid it good riddance and good luck (which I actually did in my online blog). But last night's discussion made me realize that this school will not survive at IIT. By "this school", I mean the community and environment that is held in high regard by nearly all the students that attend and have attended this college on this campus (I cannot speak for the mt. carroll campus, as I have no frame of reference). Listening to Mr. Rice discuss forcing a community in a place where it is EXTREMELY obvious that little to no community will exist was disheartening at best. You cannot force a community to happen. The suggestions for "keeping the community together" included: requiring students to live in on-campus housing (the dorms at IIT are tiny and require that students who live in them buy a meal plan at a significant increase in cost) and eating together, along with having classes together.

The IIT campus is quite large and obviously does not belong exclusively to Shimer College. There is no off-campus housing that is nearby (ie: many houses within walking distance like there are here in Waukegan), forcing students and faculty to live quite spread out from one another. I don't know how one can force students to eat together when they're at a place that gives them a myriad of decisions about where and when they want to eat (cafeterias, outdoor "parks", etc).

The reason why the weekday students have a very tight-knit community in Waukegan is because we must, because there aren't a whole lot of other options to be had here. Nearly all of us live within walking distance from the school. We see each other at our best and at our worst. It's incestuous and complicated and beautiful.

I can see how weekend students and others that do not live on campus (some faculty and staff, etc) feel like this move won't affect the community all that much. I am sure I'll get hell for saying this, but I don't think you can really be part of the true Shimer spirit unless you live here or take great effort to be around. I speak from experience in that I have been an on-campus weekday student, an off-campus weekend student, a commuter weekday student and an off-campus (in Waukegan) weekday student. I have seen nearly every aspect of community involvement at Shimer College. I can say very assuredly that the only times I have ever felt like I was truly a part of Shimer College was when I've lived in Waukegan. When I commuted back and forth, I rarely stayed around to hang out and just be with fellow students, even though I had several good friends who lived in Waukegan and often invited me to stick around. It was a hassle to travel and to not be near my "home base". Perhaps this can be critiqued as part of my personality and social issues, but I would venture to guess that most people tend to like to be nearish to their homes, especially when they need to study or they're out drinking or staying out late and getting home 40 minutes to an hour away isn't an appealing process. This will be an issue at IIT. There is no way that this sense of community that I equate with Shimer College can be recreated at a place that we will be so diluted in.

And so here we are, thank you Bill Rice. It's really too bad you never got to experience Shimer College, and now you never will. I think it might even be appropriate to change the name, because this place, as it exists will never be the same. And sure, the world is always changing and it's inevitable that it will, I for one don't want to sit idly by and just watch all this disappear. I hope that the gold that "the college" hopes to fill its pockets with by this move will be worth the death of our school.

And please, stop calling it an "expansion", it's just offensive.

Amanda Stilwell
Shimer Student 2002-2006 (accepted 1997, but delayed entry)

Solidarity Night Feb. 7th, 2006 @ 10:43 am
Can anyone tell me when Solidarity Night is this semester. I'd like to visit.


My letter to Young Kim. Jan. 19th, 2006 @ 03:25 pm
Hi Young.

Honestly, I haven't read your email until just now- right after I received Chris's recent email announcing the official move of Shimer. I was too scared of what it would say, how it would make me feel.

And more deeply honestly, I'm disgusted. I met a delightful young man recently who couldn't stop talking to me about philosophy- and he wanted to know all about the place I attended college and loved so much- and I relished the opportunity to tell him all about it. I stopped short, however; I wasn't going to recommend that this fragile being with beautiful ideas and a desire to co-inqure to go to a subsidiary of IIT, with God-knows-what kind of atmosphere. How could I?

I'm disgusted. I want you to know that unless I'm seriously seduced by an amazing community at IIT a few years down the road, I'll never recommend that another student attend Shimer. I've already convinced two people to matriculate at Shimer- I've always considered it a solemn duty as a Shimerian.

Now I'm a Shimerian in a strange land, a-sojourner-here. Like I needed to be an expatriate of another realm.


Upcoming Discussions Nov. 30th, 2005 @ 11:08 am
Hi all,

We've got two discussions happening this week on Shimerhenge. At least maybe they're happening -- I need to hear from at least one more person for each one. So if you're thinking of being there, please let me know.

On Thursday evening, we'll be discussing Auden's Song IX (text on the website). See this thread for updates.

On Sunday evening, we'll be discussing Primo Levi's "The Drowned and the Saved," ch. 9 from Surviving Auschwitz (text on the website). See this thread for updates.

Before joining the chat, you'll need to create an account on http://shimerhenge.com/moodle/ . That shouldn't take more than a few clicks; I'll be glad to help if you have any problems.

Ideas for our next discussion? Post 'em to the Shimerhenge forum! (much easier than posting to a blog, I might add).


Sam Henderson

I Had No Other Idea Where I Could Post This, But It Is Appropriate... Nov. 19th, 2005 @ 01:10 pm
REPUBLICANS AND EDUCATION....In the past couple of weeks universities around the country have announced huge tuition increases. In California, for example, UC just raised tuition and fees for undergraduates by 8%, the fifth increase in the past five years.

The Republican response in Congress has been predictable: a massive reduction in student assistance in order to help finance their $70 billion corporate tax cut:

The budget bill would reverse a previous law capping the interest rates for student loans....would also increase the cap on parent loans....would also raise taxes on student loans, raise interest rates on consolidation loans and reduce subsidies paid to student lenders, totaling $20.5 billion in cuts over a 10-year period, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office.

You can watch George Miller's impassioned floor speech about these cuts here. Be sure to keep watching after they try to gavel him into silence.

But here's another related tidbit. Not only did congressional Republicans raise interest rates on working class and middle class students — no big surprise, really — but these supposed free market zealots also declined to change a rule that prevents students from refinancing their loans if interest rates go down. Here's Dick Morris:

While homeowners can refinance their mortgages as often as they want and relieve themselves of high-interest debt when rates cycle downward, student and former-student debtors are only permitted to refinance once for the lifetime of the loan! And now the House is considering legislation that would stop students who are in school from keeping their current interest rate of 4.75 percent and would instead force them to pay 7.9 percent, creating a lifetime burden entirely unjustified by the lending market.

....Frequently, students use their once-only refinancing option shortly after graduation and find themselves helpless as the market interest rates drop ever lower....But student loan refinancing — beyond the one shot now permitted — is blocked by special-interest regulation and legislation.

Get the picture? Republicans are raising fees and interest rates for middle class students, cutting taxes on corporations and the rich, and allowing special interests to keep a special privilege that allows them to lock in higher rates on kids for years regardless of what the market does. That's a pretty sweet deal. For someone.

(I am either no good with HTML at the moment, or too lazy or busy at this time to correct the links here in this post from the original article. Subsequently, here is the original article with links and an amazingly low quality and impassioned video of congressman George Miller: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_11/007588.php)
i am: Article In Paper
i hear: Goran Bregovic _ Mesecina
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