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Approaching the "Common Good", Connection, Intelect - Bowdoin 2010 Supplement


Tranque 1 / 3  
Dec 18, 2010   #1
I have written so much (and for so many) over the past few weeks that my mind is drawing an absolute blank.
As I was writing this piece, I realized that I was answering a question, but perhaps not Bowdoin's. I continued with my train of thought, reviewed it, decided that it was better to have something than nothing and tied Bowdoin into it. Please review this and determine if it is an appropriate response to the prompt, and give some feedback as to what I can improve, what I should do differently, or if I should write another piece/select another topic entirely.

Thank you.

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250 words or less.
Bowdoin students and alumni often cite world-class faculty and opportunities for intellectual engagement, the College's commitment to the Common Good, and the special quality of life on the coast of Maine as important aspects of the Bowdoin experience. Reflecting on your own interests and experiences, please comment on one of the following:

1. Intellectual engagement
2. The Common Good
3. Connection to place

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A key task in approaching the "Common Good" is identification - what is the common good? Is there really a defined standard by which all people were meant to live, crossing cultural and ethnic barriers? In a sense - yes. The essential realization is that such a standard is self-determined. Devotion to the common good is the dissolution of dominating self-absorption, yielding to the greater needs of the world at large.

This is complicated by such detail as cultural mindset and personal difference. People are of one blood but six billion brains, all dreaming of different worlds. How then, can one contribute to such a complex pool of needs? The common good becomes not one stony, moral pillar, but many tiny shrines to the multitude of personal ideals. The ultimate contribution to the common good, then, is the cooperation of people to abstain in judgment and to peacefully resolve difference, so that all individuals may decide their own tenets and be free in their pursuit.

In reflecting upon my understanding of the Common Good, I examined Bowdoin to determine its contributions relative to my beliefs. In addition to its service commitment to the community regionally and abroad, Bowdoin offers excellent diversity in coursework with classes ranging from Gay & Lesbian studies to the Classics. Surrounded by the educationally driven, community minded environment of Bowdoin, I would be given the tools necessary to broaden my mind and approach my goal - foreign service - with new fervor and refreshed ideology.
albicelestes - / 4  
Dec 18, 2010   #2
It is good. But I'm not sure if you should mention Bowdoin...
OP Tranque 1 / 3  
Dec 18, 2010   #3
I wasn't sure how exactly they were wanting me to answer the question - is it in relation to Bowdoin? Or is it purely personal?

If I remove that chunk, what should replace it?
albicelestes - / 4  
Dec 18, 2010   #4
If they suggest you comment on Bowdoin's efforts on common good, then you're successful with the last paragraph. Still, I'm a little confused by the prompt
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 30, 2010   #5
The only way to know if you are writing about the common good in a way that is consistent with what the have in mind is to look at what THEY write about it. What does the website for the school say about this ideal they call "common good."

When I look at that, I think of utilitarian ethics: striving to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

The essential realization is that such a standard is self-determined. Devotion to the common good is the dissolution of dominating self-absorption, yielding to the greater needs of the world at large. --This is a beautifully written sentence! I think it should be followed by a very short, simple sentence that ends the first paragraph in a refreshingly clear and easy-to-understand way. So, try adding a brief sentence to the end of that first paragraph.

I think your answer is great, though!


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