Public Engagement

  • Student

    David Brown

    “I love being the age I am, because I’m open to new things,” says David Brown, who is designing his own degree program in the Bachelor’s Program for Adults and Transfer Students at The New School. “As an older student returning to school, you’re here because you want to be here, so you’re really more invested. It’s not a passive ‘teach me, show me’ kind of learning; it’s more of a partnership.”
    A lifelong New Yorker and self-described “continual learner,” David Brown served in the military and has worked in fields ranging from the commercial real estate to textile sales. “I’m at The New School for the learning experience—taking courses that make me think in different ways. The pedigree of our instructors here is unbelievable, and every instructor finds a way to make the material not just relevant but inviting.”

    David’s first class at The New School, Secular Jewish Thought, was particularly eye-opening. “It was such a great class! The oldest student was in his late 70s and the youngest was maybe 22, and I was the only non-Jew. And I thought to myself, ‘Would I have taken this course if I had gone to college immediately after I graduated from high school?’ I don’t believe I would have had the confidence. Now, if a course scares me, I want to take it to find out why.”

    David appreciates the diversity of ideas represented at The New School. “That’s what I love about taking courses in different parts of the university. Just last week, I struck up a conversation with a Parsons student, and we spent an hour talking about drawing, design, and innovation. Where else could that happen?”

    “I’m always amazed not just about the talent in the room but at the way students find connections between diverse interests and build a community,” he says. “People start up a regular conversation and the next thing you know, there’s some kind of business partnership going on.”

    David values his time in the classroom. “I’ve come here in a bad mood after a crazy commute, and the minute I get in that classroom, it’s like whoosh, everything is gone,” he said. “For those hours of the week, I get to live in a world that doesn’t have foolishness. Those hours are my sanctuary.”
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