Thursday, August 16, 2007

Meet Bernard Bray

I met Bernard Bray, the main source for my story today about Talladega College, for the first time Wednesday over lunch at Cafe Royale on the square in Talladega. He's been a political science professor at the college for 37 years, and he's perhaps one of the most interesting people I've met in my time at The Star.

For starters, he's blind. But a note on his class syllabus encapsulates his attitude about it: "Your professor is hard of seeing. Please work with this attribute as an asset, rather than a liability."

Last year, he and his students wrote and produced an original play titled "Socrates at the Ritz" that they performed at the Ritz Theater in downtown Talladega. He wants to further pursue drama as a way to teach civic education.

Also, when I was in college, I know I heard plenty of my professors explain that their classroom is certainly not a democracy. But Bray encourages students to think about it differently. The classroom is political space, he says, and they should think critically about their powers and his, and, when appropriate, examine manipulating both.

And he's been all over. From his curriculum vitae he provided me, he holds degrees from Indiana University, Kansas State University and the University of Kansas. He has also studied at New York University, the University of Michigan, Princeton University, Vanderbilt University and an international seminar in Salzburg, Austria.

Oh, and if you find yourself hungry in Talladega, try the Tom Terrific at Cafe Royale. It's ham, turkey, swiss, mustard and broccoli-cauliflower salad on wheat. And it's delicious.

If it's around noon, you'll probably see Bray sitting in the corner.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Thanks for including these additional insights in your blog. Prof. Bray sounds like a great teacher -- and lunch tips are always good! Maybe there should be a note at the end of your articles that direct people to the blog for further information.