John Fielding: Bridge tradition, training
October 19, 2011
Editor’s note: John Fielding is running against Ken Brenner for the District 5 slot on Colorado Mountain College’s board of trustees.
I grew up in a family of educators and even lived in faculty housing for a couple of years at Wesleyan University when my father taught American history there. My mother retired as a second-grade teacher and my father as vice chancellor for the state of Connecticut's university system. Discussions of challenges from teaching kids to read, to managing university budgets were common at our dinner table. I earn my daily bread using the skills in mathematics, geometry and communication I learned in college. My continuing studies center largely around natural philosophy, particularly the relationship of the individual to society, man to nature, and life to the universe.
My previous efforts to support the college's expansion included initiating a petition signed by many hundreds of local residents to help resolve the difficulties encountered in working with the city government. During that process, I had several conversations with Dr. Peter Perhac, Alpine Campus' CEO. He advised me that the trustee position had become vacant and that if I were to serve in that position, I could be even more helpful. I am also a candidate for the Steamboat Springs City Council, my goal being to re-establish a mutually supportive partnership. The perception of lack of support caused the college seriously to consider relocation of the campus away from Steamboat, and still has impact on the commitment to provide the necessary improvements for a harmonious presence.
Our colleges and universities must continue to fulfill the dual role of both a center for continuation for the great traditions of Western education and a technical training ground for practical applications in the modern workplace. I have three particular suggestions for the curriculum. First, I support a required course in American citizenship, based upon the same fundamentals that an immigrant must master to attain that status. Second, require a realistic and comprehensive course covering the effects of drug use, from severe alcoholism to casual marijuana use and prescribed pharmaceutical habituation. Third, as an elective to fulfill an English comprehension requirement, provide a course that studies ancient languages in modern usages, especially Latin in the law and science as well as the relationship between English and the romance languages.
Thank you for considering me to be your representative.