Ben Dunlap “The Life-long Learner”
The guest lecture with Ben Dunlap on life-long learning was great and kept me wanting to watch. I thought he was a great storyteller and I enjoyed watching the lecture. Ben Dunlap, the president of Wossford College in South Carolina, tells stories of three successful men: Sandor Teszler, Francis Robicsek, and Roger Milliken. I thought that his main point he was trying to get across was to “live each day as if it is your last and learn as if you’ll live forever”-A famous quote by Mahatma Ghandi. I also think Dunlap was trying to explain the common quality that the three main had in common which was an inextinguishable, undaunted appetite for learning and experience. The opening of the lecture started off with Dunlap’s greeting: “What’s up guys?” in the European language spoken by Hungarians. The first person Dunlap tells the story about is Teszler. He states that he was a businessman who suffered with so many people during the Holocaust in his native Hungary. He says that Teszler managed to escape Hungary and went to Britain then to America. He talks about Teszler and his business on textiles and how he was the first one to develop double knit. He states that Mr. Teszler bought land in Kings Mountain in South Carolina to open up a textile mill for his business. In Dunlap’s story he also talks about how during the time Teszler opened up his textile industry, it was around the 1950s after Brown vs. Board of Education, and the south was notoriously segregated. He states that Teszler hired 16 foremen to work, eight were black and eight were white and for two months they had to work together mastering the new process. In his story, Mr. Teszler asked the men if they had any questions and a white man said, “There is only one place to sleep, one place to eat, one bathroom, and only one water fountain. Is this plant going to be immigrated or what?” Mr. Teszler replied with “You’re being paid twice the wages of any other textile workers in this region and this is how we do business.” Dunlap begins telling the story and says after two months when the main plant opened there were lots of new workers, both white and black. The 16 foremen whom were standing shoulder to shoulder met the new workers. The same question was asked from another white man about immigration and he got the same answer as before. Dunlap states after he arrived in 1993 the faculty decided to honor itself by naming Mr. Teszler the professor of the college. Dunlap says it was partly because he had taken all the courses in the catalog and he was much more wise than any of us. He states that Teszler’s greatest passion was music, especially opra. Dunlap tells how Mr. Teszler came up to him and said “You know Dr., human beings are fundamentally good.” Dunlap states that he made a vow to himself, then and there, that if this man who had such cause to think otherwise had reached that conclusion, he would not presume to differ until he released him from his vow. Then he says he is stuck with the vow because Teszler is no longer alive. Dunlap then talks a little about Robicsek, an art collector and also a heart surgeon. Dunlap then talks about Milliken, a ruler of a textile empire with a lot of knowledge of the French history. I agree with Ben Dunlap and his lecture. I think that we are never too old to learn and that learning is the journey of a lifetime. I think that the human mind is an amazing thing and that being able to learn is so incredible. It is crazy to me to think how people go through stages of their life from babies to toddlers to teens to adults and the way they think changes as those stages change. I find thinking and the human mind such an interesting and creative thing. I also find the holocaust and learning about survivors of the holocaust an interesting topic because it is amazing how people go through such tragic struggles like the holocaust, and end up successful people. I had a hard time finding fallacies in this lecture other than Dunlap would jump from one topic to the next and at times he had me a little lost. I felt he was missing the point at times. Also, I felt that he may have committed the amphiboly fallacy because sometimes the way he spoke or phrased things were confusing to me.