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Parents step into their students' shoes

Emily Goodridge, MA ’14
October 24, 2012

Emerson provided a unique opportunity for visiting families to attend college courses as part of this past weekend’s Family Weekend celebration. A variety of courses from each department, called “Mini-College Sessions,” were offered.

In The Brain in the Media, Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders Vinoth Jagaroo spoke eloquently about the human brain; its levels of complexity; organizational structure; and new, integrative approaches to studying the brain that are currently being implemented. Highlights included discussion of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, advancements in the lie detector industry, and the brains of psychopaths. In the Q & A portion, several parents asked questions about neuro-feedback and autism. Attendees appeared to be deeply impressed, shaking Jagaroo’s hand afterward and thanking him for a fascinating hour.

Assistant Professor of Journalism Mark Leccese provided an energetic and invigorating hour of discussion on journalism today and the changes it is undergoing in his course, 16 Ways at Looking at American Journalism. He provided his audience with a factsheet containing 16 quotes about journalism. A quote from American journalist Finley Peter Dunne incited a lively conversation: “The role of a journalist is to ‘comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.’” Debate centered on the purpose of journalism and the rise of entertainment journalism and blogs. Another popular quote was “Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one” by A.J. Liebling, an American journalist and media critic. Leccese, much like in his regular classes, invited participants’ comments and kept his “class” entertained with funny stories and advice such as, “Journalists take facts and put them together in a way that tells a story…in the end, you’re just telling stories.”

What better way is there for parents to step into their children’s shoes for a day? When it was time for families to return home, they left reluctant to say goodbye, but confident that their children’s education is in good hands. 

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