Professor ties themes of OneBook to college students and their lifestyles


Kayla Gangl

Philosophy Professor Richard Schubert speaks to an audience at the OneBook event, “The Educational Omnivore: The California College Student’s Dilemma” on Feb. 05. In his presentation Schubert explained how students eating habits are molded by the collegiate lifestyle.

The Cosumnes River College Recital Hall was filled with students and faculty for philosophy Professor Rick Schubert’s lecture on CRC’s OneBook choice for the 2013-14 school year on Feb. 5.

“The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals,” by Michael Pollan focuses on meat-eating, and the lack thereof, as well as overall food, diet and life-related discussions.

Presenting the book and its key points, Schubert introduced the main ideas using a metaphor comparing education and dietary decisions.

“Appropriate food and appropriate education allow us to live maximally desirable human lives. They support us in accomplishing whatever else we set out to do,” he said. “But in reading the opening of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I wasn’t just struck by the analogy between education and food; I was struck by the analogy between the dietary dilemma Pollan addresses, and what I’ll call the educational omnivore’s dilemma, the dilemma the California community college student faces.”

Many students said that the lecture left them thinking more in depth about not only their dietary decisions, yet their educational and personal paths as well.

“It was really informational. [Your success] is not just about doing two years here, it depends on who you are, and where your educational level is. That’s what I got from [the presentation],” said Jasmine Holmes, 22, a biology major.

Alex Tasker, 22, a broadcast journalism major, also took something away from the speech.

“I found his speech much like his class, very informative,” he said. “It was an interesting way to think about life as a community college student.”

Stephan Starnes

Schubert’s light-hearted sarcasm and jokes about heroin and America’s insatiable desire for artery-clogging food and alcohol helped avoid a somber feeling in the room, but did not take away from the serious topics his lecture addressed.

“When I develop public talks, I try for a win-win; I look to both address what I see as the needs of the audience, and my own needs. For me, this was an opportunity to think through in a way I haven’t before. What I can do as a faculty member to be more effective,” Schubert said.

He also emphasized the figurative relationship between diet and education.

“I’m a human, I eat stuff, right? So if I can exploit an analogy between the stuff I’ve got to decide about what to eat, and the stuff I’ve got to decide about, in my case, what to teach, I’m going to exploit that. I’m looking for synergy,” Schubert said.