DePaul University (the fine institution that pays my salary, but which neither sponsors nor endorses any of the content here on the blog) requires it’s incoming first-year students to take one of two courses: Discover Chicago—an intensive immersion program that uses the city and surrounding area as the classroom—or Explore Chicago—a more traditional classroom experience focused on Chicago.
My colleague teaches a Discover Chicago course called “Crime, Chaos, Culture, and Cosmos,” looking at various aspects of life and ideas of the afterlife in Chicagoland. When he asked if I would help him with his class for the day by driving a van full of students, I was initially hesitant, but when he told me where we’d be going (and that lunch would be provided), I agreed. Our itinerary would take us to Argonne National Laboratory, the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, the Lithuanian World Center, historic St. James on the Sag, the Zoroastrian Association of Chicago, and the Chicago Portage. Continue reading