Author: John Mosley, C’13
This time last year, I was taking a class called Modern Political Thought. The class included a group of about 8 or 9 seniors auditing the course, which was a new concept to me. Throughout the semester, the auditors posed some of the most fascinating discussion questions to the professor which often led to a deeper understanding (for me at least) of the texts and documents being studied. Since that class, I have hoped to see many more of these senior auditors as I progress in my studies. Last spring, no seniors appeared in any of my classes, but this fall, I was glad to see a senior auditor seated in the front row.
I immediately sat down next to him and began telling him what to expect from the class. The auditor was very polite and eager to begin. However, when the professor facilitated the first open discussion of the semester, the auditor seemed reluctant to participate, citing the fact that, as an auditor, his role was simply there to “take it all in.” I was disappointed. The auditor refused to participate for the entire class and, unfortunately, has not appeared for a class since.
From what I can see as a student, the senior auditing program is a wonderful way for members of older generations to impart new wisdom and new points of view to undergraduates. The Modern Political Thought class was one of my favorite experiences at Penn thus far, and that is primarily due to the auditors, who applied their combined years of experience and studies to the subject matter and in doing so added a new dimension to the class, which was lauded by the professor. I guess my message is this: to any applicable alumni reading, PLEASE AUDIT CLASSES!