The View From 32


AUGUST 22, 2007  

Innovation, again.

Caribbean pierogis in serving dishMy employer, Cuyahoga Community College, prides itself on being innovative. Heck, we're even members of the League for Innovation (something like the Justice League of America, but different). This is a good thing most of the time. But at the start of every semester we faculty have to endure three days of meetings during which we're reminded frequently of all the innovative things going on.

Today's lunch, however, may have set a new standard for innovation in menu planning. The first delicacy on the table was labeled Caribbean Pierogis.

Now I'm of Eastern European ancestry, and I know a thing or two about pierogis (pronounced in my family pee-ROW-hees). Serving them with a mango-green pepper sauce just wasn't something grandma ever did.

But I have to admit they were pretty tasty.

And although I'm pretty cynical about the guest speakers the college brings in to start each semester, I have to say that today's—Freeman A. Hrabowski from University of Maryland, Baltimore County— was a lot better than most.

He talked about college students, what makes them succeed or fail, and how we as teachers can help (or hinder) their success. The topic was familiar, but Dr. Hrabowski was unusually direct and engaging. He spoke with energy and without PowerPoint slides, and liberally scattered personal stories throughout his presentation. He was rewarded with a standing ovation, not easy to get from a pretty jaded audience of college professors.


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