Faculty Focus: Fritz McDonald, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Walking to class, I notice students waiting in their cars. I understand there are not enough comfortable places to sit on campus. The Oakland Center should be twice as large. Lecture halls should have more lounge spaces. I wonder how many students sit in their cars before class, go to class, and then leave campus, never experiencing all that Oakland University has to offer.

This university is a wonderful place. It is amazing that it even exists. You are incredibly lucky to go to such a university. Hundreds of millions of young people never have access to what you have. To only go to classes is to miss out on the experience of going to college itself.

When I was in college, I wrote for my university’s alternative weekly. I met friends for life. (The alternative weekly was like The Onion, only much more profane). I worked as a projectionist for the film co-op, getting an education from seeing some of world’s greatest films. I was a member of the philosophy club, getting a good preparation for my eventual career and discussing some deep stuff.

Go to the OU art gallery. Go to one of the many wonderful performances put on by the Music, Theater, and Dance department. Have you ever seen an opera? Go see L’incoronazione di Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi on May 8 or May 10. Where else can you see an opera for ten bucks? Join clubs. Start your own club. I advise the Harry Potter club, Lumos. Did you know there was a Harry Potter club? Join it! Go to lectures–OU brings in amazing scholars from around the world. Go see Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz of UCLA talk about mindfulness and OCD on April 17th. Write for The Oakland Post. Go see a film on campus.

I understand that many of you work full time, sometime many jobs. Here is my advice to you: do as little work as you possibly can outside of college. College is a full-time job. It might be the best full-time job you ever have. Go ask your parents for more money, if they have it. Spend less money on your car or clothes. Don’t waste your time working at Abercrombie and Fitch or Taco Bell. Spend more time at OU.

Fritz McDonald is an associate professor of philosophy at Oakland University. Read some of his papers/publications at oakland.academia.edu/FritzMcDonald.

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