RJ Fellows

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Q & A with Joseph Scheller

The RJ Fellows community is one in search of new questions, and new answers to go with them.

Below is a continual question & answer series with RJ Fellows program founder Joseph Scheller.


Questions



Question Why do you feel awareness of other cultures is important?
Answer It is nice to read about far-away places. However, to get a better understanding or to help challenge misunderstandings, it is better to visit to learn why and how different peoples live in different ways to adjust their lives to their circumstances and temperments. The sights and sounds and smells and food tasting all and each makeup how people live. Each community has a different history. The landscape may harbor ancient reminders ofpast civilizatilons long since gone.I have learned people are not stupid just because they have a different culture from my own. I always have to remember some people must like the culture the way it is. The basics are: food supply, water supply, shelter, clothing, raising new generations, defence, conquest, and power structure. There is always the question of Why other cultures do what they do to survive generation after generation. I think Americans like to compare. to bench mark. We like to know how we are doing. We do this not to be smug. That happens Too. However, unlike some other cultures, we can enhance what we do and the way we do it. We can change.

Question

Why is the RJ Fellowship Program at Muhlenberg College?

Answer

The RJ Fellows is a unique approach to education, so it required a special place. Muhlenberg has all the elements to make such a program successful. It is a liberal arts college. The faculty and the administration and the RJ Fellows ned to be open to uncertainty. The future, being unkown, is certainly uncertain. Muhlenberg is a college without a graduate school. This means the courses are taught by carefully selected faculty for both teaching ability and subject knowledge. Muhlenberg is a church related college, so faith and hope and moral stature are welcome components for student development. The last reason is I am a trusteeof the College. I had the opportunity to discuss the benefical possibilities of the RJ Program with the College president, vice president, and administration, and and a special faculty committee. It took Three years to get started. Through the guidance and participation of faculty, administration, the program director, and the RJ Fellows, the program will always be evolving. I am most grateful to Muhlenberg to make the RJ Fellowship happen.

Question

Where was the most awesome place you have visited?

Answer

The hospitals where I first saw our new-born children and our new-born grandchildren. New life brings with it hopes for all wonderful posibilities.

Question

What would you like to see the RJ Fellows accomplish?

Answer

I would like you to embrace and welcome the future with all its surprises, because this is where we all are headed. I would like you to be keen observers to enable learning truth and gaining insight. I would like you to cherish and nurture life: yours,your offspring,and that which surroounds you. I would like you to remain free. Freedom comes at great cost. Freedom is not easy. Do not give it away. Freedom is a heritage my grandparents gave to me by coming to America, as did yours. We must preserve freedom so we can pass it along to the future. We are its keepers and caregivers. I would like you to love learning for the rest of your life. I would like you to constantly give yourself away, because you then have something to give, and by doing so you will be continually renewed.

Question

Do you plan to write another book?

Answer

Yes. I am considering writing about habits and how to change them. I am struggling with some of my own and the consequent health issues. I envy people who can sustain a healthy regimen. I have not been able to do this consistantly. Others seem to have this problem too. So I thought I would share my search.