27 March 2013
Good Life Essay
The common lecture given by President Machen encouraged college freshman to seek the good life in college and understand why it is a requirement to take this class. Much like Beethoven creating Ode to Joy, many students have graduated from the University of Florida and have accomplished or created things that changed the world. Machen's ideas about what the good life is and why the “What is the Good Life” course was set up exemplify the concept of a worldwide impact and brotherhood from Smith and Burricheter’s lecture on Ode to Joy. In Machen’s lecture he brings up examples of current students who exceedingly accomplished the Good Life in college and the audience of freshman is shown that even ordinary students like ones at the University of Florida are able to achieve the same lives. Machen also uses many specific examples like how the famous and influential author of the Lord of the Rings books was inspired by a Finnish language course in college and developed a passion for, and even created, his own language (Machen). With these examples he shows how discovering our passions can lead to a career that affects the world. This relates to Smith and Burricheter’s ideas of how art changes the world. According to the Ode to Joy lecture, “art is created to express the aspirations and ideals of human kind” and gives men a sense of the “highest feelings to which men have risen”(Smith and Burricheter). Art unites mankind on the basis that we all have similar aspirations and feelings to certain things. Ode to Joy was Beethoven’s masterpiece that is still easily recognized today and shows the effect of one piece of art, just as something a college student would create or do, that can affect the entire world. President Machen also emphasizes that the Good Life course was set up to give everyone a common background and discussion topic to relate to each other (Machen). This is much like Smith and Burricheter’s worldwide...
Cited: Machen, Bernie. “Humanities Common Lecture.” University of Florida. Reitz Grand
Ballroom, Gainesville, Fl. 24 January 2013. University President Lecture.
Smith and Burricheter. “Leonard Bernstein, Music and Celebration of Life.” School of
Music. Multimedia Lecture.
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