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The Great Connections Winter Programs and the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

View of Chicago from the Aon Building on East Randolph; NBC pyramid tower in the forefront, Marina City as cylindrical buildings, and Trump Tower the large skyscraper to the right.

Kade Stone, Amelia Channer-Holmes and Damon Miles of the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

We’ve been busy! We worked with delightful sets of students on two different weeks in January, chewing over works on Reason and Power, such as Newton’s laws of motion, Emily Dickinson’s “Wild Nights,” the power of logical fallacies, Rand’s essay on Definitions, and Madison’s Federalist Paper #51 on the separation of powers. We also enjoyed Improv comedy games and a night at Improvised Shakespeare at the I/O Comedy Theater in Chicago, one of the oldest Improv comedy schools and theaters.

Our Winter Week students January 4-11th benefited by the powerful instruction in writing from TGC Advisor Malachy Walsh, based on Aristotle’s Rhetoric, the schemes and tropes taught to Shakespeare, and Malachy’s research and experience in how professional writers in such arenas as advertising, film, fiction, and comedy write. Thank you, Malachy!

Hailie Konkol, Rachel Gershman, Felicia Goglia, Assistant Program Director, and Jamie Konkol on our architecture tour.

Above you’ll see some of us appreciating the power of architecture by viewing the city from the 70th floor of the Aon Building in Chicago, thanks to arrangements made by my co-facilitator Felicia’s husband, Ross Goglia. We got to see the whole expanse of Chicago, including the implementation of famed architect Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago, by gazing from the windows in all directions on the 70th floor. “It visually put into perspective the relation of buildings, parks, and other landmarks of Chicago,” said student Rachel Gershman. Thank you, Ross!

Amelia Channer-Holmes, Francine Greco, and Ben Hunter of MannKal learn to recognize logical fallacies.

The Mannkal Economic Education Foundation of Perth, Western Australia, sent their top students to us January 25-31st as a part of the students’ five-week tour of the U.S (some of them in the picture above). While exploring texts like those above, as well as Rand’s The Objectivist Ethics, Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, and Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow.

Mannkal Students Warm Up for improv Games

Above, we’re practicing improv comedy skills which – believe it or not – seriously help in learning to collaborate with other people on projects!

As with the Winter Week students, those from Mannkal were sent on an architectural scavenger hunt to search out significant historic locations in the downtown area. And we had a wonderful time learning about the contrasts between Australian and American food, drink, thought and speech – I had never heard “whilst” used in ordinary language before!

A Taste of What Our January Students Said About The Great Connections

“It’s one week of difficult learning for a lifetime set of skills that are essential for your mind.” Hailie Konkol, Spokane, Washington

“How much I enjoyed reading about topics I would previously have avoided (like Newton’s Laws or introspection). I am surprised that this seminar brought back my passion for reading.” Amelia Channer-Holmes, Perth, Western Australia

“What surprised me the most was how much the group dynamic changed within a 5 day time-frame. We went from almost bickering over every point and not listening well to others to succinctly addressing points, explaining ourselves well, and listening intently to others.” Francine Greco, Perth, Western Australia

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