"This is a story then of how the world swerved in a new direction. The agent of change was not a revolution, an implacable army at the gates, of landfall of an unknown continent...(But) the epochal change with which this book is concerned...is not so easily associated with a dramatic change. When it occurred...the key moment was muffled and almost invisible...There were no heroic gestures, no observers keenly recording the great event for posterity, no signs in heaven or earth that everything had changed forever. A short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties reached out one day, took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That was all; but it was enough."
These are lines from the early pages of "The Swerve: How the World Became Modern," by Steven Greenblatt. I am starting my summer reading early in order to be ready for discussion of this common reading book selected by the Faculty professional Development Committee. Already I see themes in the book that can guide our own new directions - probably no mistake on the part of the committee or no great sign of discernment on my part - as we prepare to launch a long range discovery and planning process for the continued growth and success of the college. I encourage everyone to join in the reading and discussion of this book. I am excited about the conversations to follow.