CUI Bono examines veteran’s perspective on core curriculum
The Concordia Courier
By Heather Hershfield | 11/11/2022
The last CUI Bono talk of the semester took place on Tues., Nov. 8, and was hosted by Richard Lewis, the director of the Veteran Resource Center since 2021. The meeting was full of faculty and students, all equally eager to hear Lewis’ experience as a veteran and Concordia alum.
CUI Bono faculty advisor and Professor of Philosophy Dr. Daniel Deen started off the talk by introducing it. “[The talk] is an intimate portrayal of how the academy and life is smashed together,” Deen said.
Then Lewis introduced the overarching topic: Veterans and the Examined Life. He first delved into history and philosophy, with his focuses ranging from the Peloponnesian War to the Iliad. These subjects first came up in his classrooms as a student and ignited a spark for him to continue studying.
Lewis was constantly searching for answers, and the questions he had are part of Concordia’s Core Curriculum. These questions include: How shall I live? What does it mean to be human? What is true? What is good? What is beautiful?
Lewis said that theology and philosophy are proven to help during military transition. He supported this with research from surveys but also relied on his own anecdotes.
“The [subjects] give me similar peace of mind and have helped me come to terms with my own troubles and inner demons,” he said. “If I did not come to Concordia immediately after the military, I would have a much more difficult time thinking about how I can apply these to my life and how to feel about the things I went through.”
He stated that his positive experience with the Core Curriculum does not have to be unique to veterans.
“If you experience trauma you tend to have some questions and rage. Your basic question is: Why is this happening? But you start to realize people have been asking this question for years, and it gives peace of mind,” Lewis said, adding, “I think the act of exploring it and sharpening your mind helps to deal with the questions and trauma. By looking into the difficulties you will find solace.”
Kirstie Skogerboe ‘21, staff member and recent Concordia graduate, shared Lewis’s respect for the curriculum.
“I think not all students understand that liberal arts are connected to their lives, and I appreciate him talking about the relevancy to his own life.” Skogerboe said.
She hoped the CUI Bono event will encourage students to make a connection between their core classes and everyday lives. CUI Bono also hosts a podcast, posted here: https://www.cui.edu/studentlife/student-leadership/clubs-and-organizations/cui-bono/podcast.
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