Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

A Belizean day in the life

The course is designed to make the most of every minute on the two-week field trip. Professor Scott Shumway offers a snapshot of the typical day in the field:

A typical day began with 7 a.m. breakfast, perhaps preceded by a moment of solitude walking the shoreline or out on the dock. After breakfast, we would gather in the classroom for instructions. Most mornings we boarded a boat for a 20-minute ride to one of the snorkel sites.

Afternoons were spent studying the patch reefs near the island. Between lunch and the afternoon snorkel, Professor Shawn McCafferty would lecture on coral identification or fish biology. After dinner the students would reassemble in the classroom for an overview of the day’s activities, a showing of the photos that Professor McCafferty took during the day, and planning the events of the next day. The final two days were devoted to the student patch reef projects. [Read more...]

Lessons in living

For the past two years, heading toward Commencement, I’ve asked alums to send us their best advice for the members of the graduating class, as students end their journeys at Wheaton and set off to find their way in the world.

We always receive great heartfelt advice. You’ll find it on page 4. But, as I was reading all the words of wisdom while working on this issue, it dawned on me that the entire summer Quarterly offers great advice from students, faculty and alums (some of it unspoken) and lessons in living and finding your path—even from those who, sadly, are no longer with us. In Memoriam is full of short stories about alums and friends who made the most of life in big as well as small ways. [Read more...]

Letter: Be prepared for anything

During the Boston Marathon, I was in the main medical tent when the bombs went off.

In an event like the marathon bombings, a person has two choices—get out of the way or help. I did not save any lives that day, nor did I even go near the critical patients—there were plenty of experienced professionals handling them. But I did step up and I did my best to help. [Read more...]

The arts of the deal

Former orchestra conductor Itay Talgam’s TED talk

Former orchestra conductor Itay Talgam’s TED talk

In looking for leadership inspiration, Itay Talgam debunks what he terms the “myth of the maestro.” The former orchestra conductor has made a name for himself by looking at great orchestra leaders for ideas on how to create environments that value innovation and creativity and celebrate both individual and collective achievement.

In his much-watched TED talk, Talgam said, “[A conductor’s] happiness does not come from only his own story and his joy of the music. The joy is about enabling other people’s stories to be heard at the same time.”

His point speaks to the importance that lies in tapping the insights, knowledge and skills of an organization’s members; creating the space for each person to shine; and focusing individual efforts on an overall goal. Talgam’s observation resonates with me as both a chamber musician and an educator dedicated to the value of the liberal arts. [Read more...]