Thinking through the big questions

Taylor Illustration bwby Ryan Morgan

In early December Whatcom Community College welcomed a new club to campus. The Philosophy Club is so new it has only two members, the founders of the group, Zach Vanry and Dylan Gillies. Vanry said he was inspired by a philosophy class taught by Tim Watters.

Vanry said his fascination with the course material spurred the idea for the new club. He said, “Tim kind of acted as an advisor for me and Dylan, getting the club started.”

There have been no meetings held yet, as the club is, as Vanry put it, “in its larva stage.” He would like to get members and gauge their interest on when and how often to meet before making those decisions, but he did say he would like to meet in the fireside room in Syre if possible.

Vanry hopes the club can be a place for interesting and engaging discussions that involve critical thinking of issues.

“I want to talk about issues that are relevant to us,” he said. Philosophy has to do with a lot of different aspects of life, which Vanry is very excited to talk about. Like philosophy classes offered by the college, Vanry is thinking about creating a list of possible suggested reading material to get the minds churning.

However, as far as structure goes, the list of texts is where the similarities to college classes end. Vanry said he wants the club to get involved in hands-on events.

He said one thing he would really like the club to do is go to the Mindport Exhibits in downtown Bellingham.

The Mindport Exhibits, as defined on their website, is “a museum of phenomena; a provocative blend of art and interactive exhibits; a place to spark your awareness and stimulate your thinking; a place to play and to observe.” These kinds of activities are what Vanry hopes will inspire deep and profound observations and ideas.

Other activities could include dissecting movies. Vanry said “The Matrix” would be a good example of a movie to examine. He said the character development would be a key point to focus on, and also felt it could be intriguing to analyze the choices certain characters make.

Vanry said, “it would be really cool to maybe do a Facebook group.” That would be a way to continue discussions while not physically together.

The point of the Philosophy Club is to get a group of students together who want to ask the hard questions about life. Vanry said there are a lot of things going on right now that are making people ask serious questions.

He said “asking questions and thinking critically could lead to answers in solving important issues”, or could lead to getting past tough times such as the economic struggles of late. Vanry said, “we shouldn’t think of a way out of things, but think our way through it.”

Vanry says he hopes the club will become a place where people freely share their perspectives, and in time, make good friends.

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