Dylan-ology 101

Author: Patrick Bredehoft

I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours.

~Bob Dylan

Before I came to Penn, I was an English teacher.  And while I loved working for Admissions (and now for Alumni Relations), there are days when I really miss teaching.

Luckily, Penn has provided a great solution.  Each year, I’m involved with two events at the Kelly Writers House that allow me not only the opportunity to re-connect with teaching, but also to explore a topic that I find endlessly interesting: the lyrics of Bob Dylan.

One of those events happened yesterday, when Al Filreis, Penn’s Director of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (and one of the founders of the Writers House) invited me to co-host a lunch where were discussed Blonde on Blonde with a group of fellow Dylan fan(atic)s.  This lunch is an annual event, and each year we consider another Dylan album during that discussion.  The guests range from current students to current grandparents, from complete novices to Dylan idolaters, and highlights a score of professions and passions—but everyone gets to participate in the conversation.

The other way the Kelly Writers House supports my educational enthusiasms is by allowing me to lead an online book group each year.  This April, I’ll be facilitating a 10-day discussion on Dylan’s album Blood on the Tracks, which is certainly one of my favorites.

It’s an incredible feature of Penn that such opportunities are available not only to our students, but to the many staff members who work for the institution in one capacity or another.  Whether they attend a speaker series, take classes with world-class professors, work toward a new degree, or simply spend a few hours getting Tangled Up in Blue, one special aspect of Penn is that there’s always more to learn here.

 

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