This is an excerpt from Bennington College mathematics faculty member Andrew McIntyre's speech welcoming the class of 2014.
Watch for hidden expectations, they can be a barrier to learning. They affect your behavior, they affect the way you understand things, but they live in your blind spot and are difficult to find on your own. If you have ever sat in a class and thought, 'I can follow all the steps, but it still doesn't make sense,' then you were probably struggling from some of those invisible demons.
Watch for expansive strangeness. Each of us has a powerful tendency to order all our experiences into our own framework. Generally this is a good thing, but it can blind you to other possibilities.
Facts are not enough, there is more to learn. We recognize this about the arts, but the same is true of math, biology, political science -- anything. Facts are important, but they are easy; at Bennington we concentrate on the difficult parts. Imagine a book containing every conceivable fact in the world. Describe something you have learned that would not be included.
There is the lack of light pollution here. If you stand out at the end of Common's Lawn LOOK UP. You will see the disc of our galaxy, starting just to the right of commons and stretching almost directly overhead, the central bulge just below the horizon.
Voiceover: Timothy Daniel Allen http://www.timdan.com/
Music: Goldmund Threnody - https://itunes.apple.com/us...