Rebecca Scott is a graduate student at Loyola University Chicago and an adjunct instructor of philosophy at Lewis University. Her dissertation is on the relationship between Emmanuel Levinas and Plato, on the question of teaching, and she is obsessed with all things pedagogy.
What are you most proud of in your professional life?
In the summer of 2014, I co-taught a class with Dr. Stephen Bloch-Schulman, at Elon University, on race, gender, hip hop, and philosophy, for high school students who will be the first in their families to go to college. As a part of that class, we went to a professional recording studio and made a hip hop album. (You can listen to it here.) Whenever I think about what the students accomplished in the class, both in terms of the finished product and in terms of their growth as thinkers, I feel incredibly proud of them and of the work that Stephen and I did.
What excites you about philosophy?
I find teaching to be endlessly interesting and exciting from a philosophical perspective. Teaching raises so many important questions, whether epistemological, ethical, moral, ontological, or political. As a phenomenologist who studies Levinas, I’m especially interested in the connections between teaching and learning and ethical subjectivity. The capacity to learn or to be transformed by others seems to me to be a fundamental part of who we are. As teachers, we also have a responsibility to think carefully about how we attempt to transform our students.
I am also very interested in practical pedagogical questions. There is nothing more exciting to me than trying something new in class and seeing it have an unexpected impact on student learning.
What do you like to do outside work?
Outside of philosophy, I play in a rock band called Panda Riot, and I do triathlons.
Where is your favorite place you have ever traveled, and why?
When I was an undergraduate student, I participated in a Buddhist studies study abroad program in Japan for one semester. I’ve never had so many insane, amazing, and beautiful experiences in such a short period in my life. I got to meditate under a freezing cold waterfall, be initiated into Shingon Buddhism, learn some Japanese, perform a pilgrimage around the island of Shikoku, stay up all night at a crazy arcade in Kyoto, get hit with a stick by a Zen master, travel by myself to see self-mummified buddhas, get beer from a vending machine, and so many other things.
What three items would you take to a desert island other than food and water?
I would take a guitar, a way to write things, and all Plato’s dialogues.
If you could only use one condiment for the rest of your life, which condiment would you pick, and why?
Sriracha. There is no why. Sriracha is a first principle.
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