Fairhaven College Dean's Newsletter

October 29, 2021

Dean’s Note:

I dropped out of college when I was twenty-one years old because I had unanswered questions.  Let me rephrase that.  When I was twenty-one, I took responsibility for my education.  I couldn’t find a satisfactory answer to my questions about the purpose of the entire educational enterprise—from grade school through college.  My teachers and professors didn’t have the answers I sought.  And Go to college to get a good job wasn’t a satisfactory answer for me.  So, I dropped out and, of course, joined a band in Seattle.  I returned to college several years later when I realized my desire to have others answer my questions for me was a shirking of my responsibility.  It was up to me to learn how to learn.  And my band broke up.
I’m impressed by Fairhaven’s curriculum.  It asks you to learn to take responsibility for your education—this will prepare you well when you’re out of college.  Part of learning to take responsibility for your education is asking questions about the larger purposes of education.  As Fairhaven students, you should ask your professors toward what purpose(s) they believe you are being educated.  They should have answers beyond platitudes—but their answers are not yours.  You should also ask yourself: to what purpose am I seeking my education?  What future am I trying to effect or bring to fruition by my education?  The Fairhaven curriculum, in my opinion, is unique across campus in that we ask you to learn to claim responsibility for your own education.  Learn how to learn.  Questions are important and so is the questioning process.  Question everything and everyone (in a humble way—don’t be a question asshole).  Love the questions.  Love the process of questioning.  And appreciate any institution, curriculum, and professor that demands you ask questions and seek your own answers.

What’s Going On

Adventure Learning Grant 2022!
The Adventure Learning Grant is a $20,000 stipend awarded annually to a small number of Fairhaven students so that they may travel abroad to enrich their education with intellectual risk, challenge, and adventure. Grant applications are due the first day of the Winter 2022 term.  We will hold one more information session this Fall 2021 term for interested individuals to learn more about the program from the director, Hilary Schwandt, and former grant recipients.  
The remaining information sessions will be held in Room 326 in person, as well as virtually
(email Hilary at hilary.schwandt@wwu.edu for the zoom link) on  Nov 19 at 9:30am.  For more information about the ALG go to this website: https://fairhaven.wwu.edu/adventure-learning-grant
If you would like to join the ALG canvas page, email Hilary (hilary.schwandt@wwu.edu).

Outback Farm Work Parties!

Come get your hands dirty, build community, and help the farm! You don't need to prepare, just come on over to the Outdoor Classroom on Wednesdays from 3-5pm and Thursdays from 12:30-2:30 pm.

Job Opening!

Occam's Razor, Western's Interdisciplinary academic journal, is looking to hire a Lead Designer.  The Lead Designer works closely with the Editor-in-Chief Designer to ensure the successful production and continued promotion of Occam’s Razor website. Students pursuing a major in Design are encouraged to apply. Indigenous students, LGBTQ+ students, and disabled students are especially encouraged to apply!  Contact Occam's Razor  for application info.

Fairhaven Alum Film

Writer Charles Mudede will bring his first feature Thin Skin to
Bellingham.  Charles, who wrote the award-winning film Police Beat, directed by Robinson Devore, now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art and Zoo, also directed by Devore is a Fairhaven alum.  The costar of the film Ijeoma Oluo, is a WWU alum.  Charles might also be familiar through his writing in The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative paper. Lots of exciting local connections with this film, plus Lindy West is one of the writers. 


Caskey’s Corner


Tlingit Words of the Week: 

A káx yan aydél wé tl’átgi.
A káx yan aydél wé tl’átgi.  Take care of the land. This is a Tlingit cultural value.  We are stewards of the land, sea, and air.   Hard to pronounce—and hard to live up to.