Jack B. Miller The Volksgeist Analysis

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As I filed into Room 109, I could see from the top of the stairs my peers cautiously picking seats in the back, pulling out paper and a pencil as if the lecture had already begun, anxious and frightened of what was next. Pomona was my first choice--it was everyone in the room’s first choice--but along with that came the Critical Inquiry course required of all first-year freshman; all I knew was what everyone else knew: the name and the reputation. Facilitated by Professor Jack B. Miller, The Volksgeist was the most infamous class in the nation. Offering a different, not to mention controversial, perspective, Professor Miller explained that The Volksgeist, meaning “spirit of the people,” revolved around the idea that the prevailing individualism…show more content…
Over the course of two semesters, Professor Miller introduced the idea of effective communication and small problems facing the United States today. He put us into small groups early on, not only forcing us out of our comfort zones, but also allowing us to bond over our collective confusion and insecurity as freshmen. Each day consisted of keeping us extremely aware of current events and basics in a variety of disciplines: physics and history and art and engineering. It took my group of five a long time to figure it out, but we realized that Professor Miller was seeding us with the simple belief that some of the most convoluted and intricate problems can be approached in a variety of ways and solved: making a boat faster through hydrodynamics; preventing wars through good communication; making paintings pop by adding shadows; adding triangles to architecture to be both aesthetically pleasing and weight bearing. Eventually, we were tasked with choosing a problem in the world today we felt deserved the most attention, ultimately conveying a concrete solution, taking into consideration politics, economics, cultures, sciences, and people involved. He stressed that the ideas

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