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Project Dialogue:

Thursday, September 13, 2018,

  • Location: The Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life

The dinner conversation leader for Thursday, September 13, from 5:15 PM - 6:15 PM at OUCRL is Dr. Matthew Walker,Associate Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt.

Undergrad and grad students are welcome as are faculty and staff. The delicious dinner is free! 

This Project Dialogue dinner series title/topic is based on the National Public Radio dialogues on belief. (See https://thisibelieve.org/guidelines/ ). 

Guest faculty dinner conversation leaders are invited to write (in 500 words) about a belief that they hold close and, when they come to the dinner, to share their belief with students around the table. This series follows the same suggestions that NPR offers on its website (see below):

Tell a story about you: Be specific. Take your belief out of the ether and ground it in the events that have shaped your core values. Consider moments when belief was formed or tested or changed. Think of your own experience, work, and family, and tell of the things you know that no one else does. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching—it can even be funny—but it should be real. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your daily life philosophy and the shaping of your beliefs.

Be brief: Your statement should be about 500 words. That’s about three minutes when read aloud at your natural pace.

Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about belief. Also, rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one core belief.

Be positive: Write about what you do believe, not what you don’t believe. Avoid statements of religious dogma, lecturing, or editorializing.

Be personal: Make your essay about you; speak in the first person. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Tell a story from your own life; this is not an opinion piece about social ideals. Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly echo your belief and the way you speak.