Blogs > All About Milford and Orange

If you live, work, or simply just care about Milford and Orange, this is the site for you. We'll provide you with interesting news about these communities. Most importantly we want to hear from you. Feel free to contact City Editor Helen Bennett Harvey, at or Brian McCready, Milford Bureau Chief, at

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Foran High Students Ponder Life’s Big Questions

Submitted by the Milford Board of Education
MILFORD – What is the purpose of life? Are the decisions you make your own? Or are they predetermined from times past? Does a God exist? Is there validity to ‘Good vs. Evil’? Do we have a mind? A soul? Both?
Tough questions -- on any given day -- but the students of Foran High School and several invited guests were up for the challenge during the school’s 3rd Annual Philosophy Day held on Wednesday, Feb. 1st.
Designed as an extension of the Introduction to Philosophy class, the community-style forum brought students, teachers, parents, grandparents and several other members of the community together to share their thoughts on a wide variety of life’s big questions. While students have deliberated many major philosophical issues over the past several weeks, they realized that perhaps their views were limited since all of their discussions were from a student’s perspective. With nearly a dozen adults joining the tabletop discussions during Philosophy Day, everyone enjoyed the renewed depth and breadth of the dialogue.
Teacher Paul Turtola organized this year’s event and was very pleased with the discussion taking place. “As a teacher, I can introduce the prominent philosophers of the past – and my students can learn the basic themes of each one. We can have discussions in class about prominent issues. But to be able to apply the things the students have learned in this type of forum is fantastic.”
Four tabletop discussions were conducted at a time, each lasting 45 minutes. At the conclusion of the session, participants then rotated to a new table – with a new question to ponder. At one tabletop discussion, a lively conversation took place while tackling the question of ‘planning’ vs. ‘the unexpected’ when going through life and how that impacts the decisions we make.
Several students felt that while routine is a good thing, a marginal amount of unplanned time is a necessity in life. They felt that extreme ‘planners’ may find themselves disappointed most of the time when they do not reach their planned expectations. A wonderful offshoot of this discussion was the consideration of ‘going with the flow’ rather than creating one’s own path and the level of self-awareness a person has.
Another table of participants pondered the concept of ‘an idea’ and whether there was, indeed, original thought or if people are just re-engineering ideas of the past. Formal concepts from past philosophers such as the existence of universal energy and the theory of form made their way into the conversation, as well as the existence of the mind and the soul.
Mr. Turtola reported the Philosophy Day continues to get better and better every year. He hopes that the program continues to gain strength – and even offered that perhaps there could be a combined Foran/Jonathan Law Philosophy Day program in the future, to give yet another perspective on philosophical issues.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home