A fraction of what I learned from Benjamin Ward- a true renaissance man.

 

April 2013, at my ten year reunion

I took four classes with Professor Ward: Aesthetics, Philosophy of Sport, Existentialism, and Philosophy of Education.  Since my graduation we had been emailing each other every one to two years.  I last met him at my ten and five year reunions.  This year we spent two hours together, including attending the football game for a while.

He reminded me that no matter what our employer tells us to do or what we need to do for our family, it’s very important to do something for ourselves which we are not responsible to anyone for.  He didn't view his work as work – he liked teaching and interacting with students.  It’s what he wanted to do.  He chose the classes he taught and he liked reading books that are unrelated to what he was teaching.  When I met him in April he was reading about constitutional law.  He believed that each time we read a book or hear a piece of music that we’ve read or heard before, it’s a different experience because we are different.

I like to think Professor Ward has shaped how I’ve developed.  One of the points he made in class was that the value of education is not in being able to remember all the facts you covered during classes or recite what people wrote, but in when you encounter something years later and you are forced to think about it differently because of your critical capacity.  I regularly remember this and like to look at things beyond the surface level, whether or not there is any incentive to do so.

I am forever grateful to Professor Ward for his lessons, encouragement, and friendship.

- Roshan Bharwaney


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