Why is there a tree?

I’m in two of the most dynamic COM classes this semester. About a dozen students in each, and the most interactive, highest percentage of participation I’ve experienced to date. In Briankle’s class (roughly, philosophy of translation), we’d spent a huge chunk of time talking about a piece by Walter Benjamin in which the garden of eden figured prominently. George asked the deconstructivist question about the presence of the forbidden tree…ahhhhh, we had no answer.
In Stephen’s class, not only are we highly interactive in class, but for the first time an email discussion has gotten underway and kept up steam for the past 2 1/2 weeks. Most recently, about Stephen’s father’s passing and what/how to commemorate it with him. My original plan was to blindfold him, lead him to a local swimming hole, and toss him in to mark the rite of passage. We’ve settled on just bringing food to the next session…probably more “proper” , and even that has some folk nervous….who are we to publicly acknowledge Stephen’s loss?

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