This year as A&E editor of TechNews, I wanted to do something edgy; something that pushed the envelope in an unexpected way. I wanted to humanize the staff and faculty of our school. I knew this would be tough. How do you relate to someone whose career is based on catering to judgmental know-it-alls like yourself? Well, if Russians and Americans can cohabitate the International Space Station less than thirty years after the end of the Cold War, we can start thinking of our teachers as fellow humans now that we are in college. So here it is folks, the first brick out of the Berlin Wall that is the student-teacher divide; this is the first of a new series in which I will ask Shimer and IIT faculty and staff to describe the best concert they have ever attended. Up first is Dr. Andy Howard who is an Associate Biology and Physics Professor at IIT. Earlier this year I attended the Bristol Renaissance Faire courtesy of Dr. Howard, who spends every summer working at the fair as a velvet-clad anachronism. Because I already had this substantial proof that Dr. Howard is a person with interests outside of our hallowed halls, I thought I would begin my series by asking him to describe the best concert he has ever attended.
“Probably the most memorable concerts I've attended were concerts that I was performing in myself, but I don't think that's what you're looking for… In August 2010 the male a capella choral group "Chanticleer" performed in the Pavilion at Ravinia. My family, including our daughter and her husband, who were living in Texas at the time, gathered on the lawn at Ravinia to hear the concert. It was hot, muggy, and mosquito-laden, and we weren't in a spot where we could see the performers, but it was still a sublime concert. Both the familiar pieces and the new ones were a joy to hear, and all of us were transported into a musically special place. Whenever I hear Chanticleer I'm amazed that there are men who, given great starting talent and proper training, can sing soprano as well as all the other voice parts; but that was secondary to the beauty and artistry of the ensemble,” said Dr. Howard.
On behalf of TechNews I would like to thank Dr. Howard for his time and participation in this series. At TechNews we firmly stand by the belief that having written a doctoral dissertation does not make one less of a person.