Silence, Solitude, Laziness and Other Pillars of the Good Life


Fall 2014 quarter

Taught by

sociology
librarianship

Freedom and discipline concur
only in ecstasy, all else
is shoveling out the muck.
Give me my old hot horn.

Hayden Carruth, “Freedom and Discipline”

Silence has been banished by ear buds, the roar of politics and the economy, and the hum of hard disks doing our searching. Solitude? Think- as you're tempted to buy a retreat in a monastery or take a guided walk in a faraway canyon- of surveillance and our collective reliance on Facebook and its e-cousins. Laziness? We're anxious to be worker bees, and the last defense of a “right to be lazy” was written by Paul Lafargue in 1883. Silence, solitude, laziness: gone.

This program will consider three paradoxical, counterintuitive hypotheses: Silence may open space to enjoy the virtues of vernacular speech and living in common. Solitude may allow us to know the importance of embracing others. Laziness may be more productive than work if our aim is the good life.

We will follow the paths of iconoclasts, monks, mystics, utopian socialists, Charlie Chaplin and other artists, stoics and cynics and the occasional (certified) sociologist or philosopher to remember what we know about living well.

In addition to the common work of the program, students will undertake an independent study of considerable significance that should be more admirable than convincing.

At lease four class hours each week will be devoted to writing, learning to make artful sentences.  Students will read their work aloud and learn to accept and give good, open and public criticism of writing.  If your own writing practice contains even a scintilla of laziness, that’ll change.

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

more of the same, of course.

Location and Schedule

Campus location

Olympia

Schedule

Offered during: Day

Books

Buy books for this program through The Greener Store.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

More information about online learning.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmen Freshmen–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 27

Fall

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 10156
So (16 credits): 10157
Jr (16 credits): 10158
Sr (16 credits): 10159

Go to my.evergreen.edu to register for this program.

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