“…we should all think seriously about love since it’s likely to have a profound impact on our lives by virtue of its presence or absence.”
This was said by the teacher of Summer in Love, Jason Gough. Summer in Love is a philosophy class based on finding the modern-day definition of love as well as looking back on the history of love and how it has changed overall.
Mr. Gough, during the school year, is a teacher in Seattle. He says he has three reasons he taught this course. The first is that he wanted to let students know that philosophy still connects with us even in modern days. Second, a lot of people would say love is a necessity for their happiness, however they cannot define it simply because love is a complex thing. Lastly, he wanted to educate students about how the definition of love is always changing especially now that we live in a world with technology and social media.
This class intrigued me because it aimed at finding the definition of love through reading. So of course, I put this class as my first choice. I was stunned on the first day of classes. I did not expect at all to be in a class with the only male being Mr. Gough. I had even asked him how he felt about being the only male; his response was, “I actually forget that I’m the only male in the class, maybe because I’m far more interested in hearing the voices and views of those at the table.”
At first, I was a bit upset no male students bothered to attend the class. After a week though I felt a bit grateful the only male was the teacher. I found that it was easier to express my ideas with females about love rather than if there were males there, especially when it came to talking about erotic love.
In class, we read a wide range of philosophy books including Plato’s “The Symposium” and “The Philosophy of (erotic) Love” by Robert C. Soloman and Kathleen M. Higgins. Often we are assigned reading as homework and afterwards we discuss what we learned, and whether or not we agree or disagree with the topic at hand.
I think the best part about the class is that we have a chance to talk about things you normally wouldn’t. I believe it’s rare to even find a class based solely on love. Despite my enjoying the class I believe the most difficult part of summer in love is the analyzing and understanding the reading. Mr.Gough even described reading philosophy as being “dense”, “abstract” and “bizarre.”
The end of this month is slowly approaching. I have grown comfortable with my classmates as well as my teacher. This is actually my first experience taking a philosophy class and I can definitely say this was a great first experience.